We Are All the Excluded
We are all the excluded.
Each of us
On the outside of something
Or the inside of something,
I wonder, if feeling excluded, is a part of the human condition.
Someone came to me last night and told me of exclusion. Someone came to me last night and said that the game she'd been playing was not for her and that she didn’t know the rules and she never would. She wanted to play with her whole heart.
But not by those rules. Someone the world would never peg for excluded.
We are all searching, looking, for that place to belong, that place where we don’t feel excluded. I think for some of us, it comes and goes, worse on the bad days, better on the good days, fluctuating like the temperature, moving like the weather. For some of us, it fades in and out, little glimpses of belonging, little glimpses of not.
Moment by moment.
I tell my children that the people who seem like they belong are often the loneliest. I think this is true but I am not entirely sure. How do we measure loneliness, mine against yours, yours against mine? Who wins that contest?
I am learning, slowly, that when we connect in, we connect out. The answer, the acceptance, the inclusion that we are searching for is always in, not out. I am learning that sometimes we exclude ourselves because inclusion would be too painful, because we don’t have the tools, because it isn’t worth the fight. Because it is one hell of a fight. Because we are tired. Because the last fight wore us out.
I am learning, slowly, that sometimes exclusion is a gift. A soul saving, heart mending gift. That there is a rhythm, an ebb and flow, a step toward, a to and fro.
That there is saving grace in exclusion.
I am learning, slowly, that the antidote for the sharp want of exclusion is to include yourself. Go deep into the centre of your longing and stay. Stop running, stop hiding, stop chasing, stop trying and stay. Tuck in, burrow down, with all you want and everything you need. Make friends with the shadows and the ever-present howls.
Get comfortable. Stay in.
Rest in your self-validation. Rest in your right thing. Rest in your heart’s content.
And then, begin again.