• Fri. Mar 24th, 2023

I like “lone wolf” better.. but I guess it comes down to the same things

Apr 9, 2007

One Of A Kind
The Black Sheep

Many of us have had an experience in which we felt like the lone black sheep in a vast sea of white sheep. For some of us, however, this sense of not belonging runs more deeply and spans a period of many years. It is possible to feel like the black sheep in families and peer groups that are supportive, as well as in those that are not. Even if we receive no overt criticism regarding our values, there will likely be times when it seems that relatives and friends are humoring us or waiting for us to grow out of a phase. Sometimes we may even think we have been adopted because we are so different from our family members. These feelings are not a sign that we have failed in some way to connect with others. Rather, they should be perceived as the natural result of our willingness to articulate our individuality.

Many black sheep respond to the separateness they feel by pulling back from the very people to whom they might otherwise feel closest and embracing a different group with whom they enjoy a greater degree of commonality. But if you feel that your very nature has set you apart from your peers and relatives, consider that you chose long ago to be raised by a specific family and to come together with specific people so that you could have certain experiences that would contribute to your ongoing evolution. You may be much more sensitive than the people around you or more artistic, aware, spiritual, or imaginative. The disparate temperament of your values and those of your family or peers need not be a catalyst for interpersonal conflict. If you can move beyond comparisons and accept these differences, you will come to appreciate the significant role your upbringing and socialization have played in your life’s unique journey.

In time, most black sheep learn to embrace their differences and be thankful for those aspects of their individuality that set them apart from others. We cannot expect that our peers and relatives will suddenly choose to embrace our values and offer us the precise form of support we need. But we can acknowledge the importance of these individuals by devoting a portion of our energy to keeping these relationships healthy while continuing to define our own identities apart from them.


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4 thoughts on “I like “lone wolf” better.. but I guess it comes down to the same things”
  1. Well said, Em. As one who has lived the bulk of their life outside the box, it struck a chord with me. The evolution of humanity is not just genetic, but social. The species cannot evolve unless there are those who dare to think and live outside the accepted standards.

    Those who do not dare, never fully live. Humanity is a herd species who can only change and grow by the efforts and example of those who push the limits of the herd mentality. If it weren’t for black sheep, sheep would have died off long ago as yet another evolutionary dead-end. We keep hope and life alive by daring to question the herd ‘knowledge’.

  2. I cannot take credit for that writing. I belong to a group that sends out Daily Om’s. :)

    I put them in my blog for future reference.. if I ever want to think about something.. or just read specific ones that rang a bell with me… and this one really did..

    I completely agree. Living outside the box is so important. But being able to occasionally fit inside the box is also necessary. To truly survive and be a part of this world, the best method is being able to be both. Society demands that at least some of the time, we be inside the box. (Work for example.. school is another example). But our entire life must not be spent inside. As you say, if one stays inside the box their entire life, they never really live.

    Question everything.. That’s the first step. (And it does get me into trouble!! All the way through school and even now at work… I always question.. and sometimes that annoys people!! But then, those people never think outside the box.. so they don’t understand.)

    I even teach my son to question everything. It will bring him grief in the short run, but in the long run, it will be more than worth it. If all children were taught this, the world would definitely become a better place. I think it is happening. Slowly but surely.. the newer generations are questioning. They are changing things. It really is an exciting time to be alive. So many things changing, so much of the future brimming with possibities.. yeah… I’m excited about things. Maybe it does have something to do with the year 2012.. maybe not. It’s nice to have a “goal” in mind… it’s nice to think about the possibilities that things won’t stay as they are and that younger generations will bring change and better things into the lives of all.

    I have a question for you:
    What will make the world ready for magic? True magic?

    *huggles* and thanks,

  3. I agree some social adjustments are necessary to function in daily life. Consideration of others, not reacting but rather responding to aggressive behavior, being aware that we are all connected on many levels. Without the ability to be civil, and to respect each others humanity, there is nothing but conflict.

    I’ve tried to teach my own children the value of questioning ‘conventional’ wisdom. They take what they need, and discard or store the rest.

    “Thinking outside the box” can itself be a trap of the mind. We tend to over-analyze things at times, things that can actually only be understood by setting aside thinking and directly experiencing them as they are, and intuitively directing these events and movements into new directions.

    As for the last question. I imagine our definitions of magic are quite different, not necessarily opposing, but different perspectives. I’m reminded of the old story of the blind men and the elephant. All of the Universe, and everything in it is magic. The mystery of existence itself is the deepest magic. But how to release and realize the potential in each of us begins where all quests begin and end… with ourselves. When we let go of the emotions and thinking that hold us back, then we can return the energy back to the Universe and change our world. One of the hardest things for followers of the Middle Path to practice is detachment. Expressing our emotions and thoughts without attachment to them, experiencing them but not judging or clinging to them. Hate, fear, envy, greed are in the end self-destructive and crippling to each of us who feels them. When we start to realize that on the most basic levels of the Cosmos we are all truly connected, that on a level beyond words we are One, then we will see magic in the world. It begins by letting go. By reaching out not to take or strike, but to give and share.

    I once read an essay on Vulcan philosophy, and the parallels to classic Buddhist philosophy. The idea that Vulcans had no emotions, or suppressed them to extinction was erroneous. The whole concept was not to kill or suppress the emotions but to control them. The foundation of their culture was “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”. Without learning to control and channel their emotions, and elevating logic, the harmony of their culture could not have evolved. Until people begin to integrate the concept that Humanity means We and not Me, the real magic of the Universe and our species will remain hidden away and untapped.

  4. There is a lot of similarity in how we preceive magick.. however, a friend has brought up the topic in another way.. a more definitive world with magic… true magic.. and I’m asking various people who’s opinions matter to me, what they think.

    So, if the world was presented with the opportunity to hold true magic.. for one and all.. what do you think would happen?

    I don’t think all peoples (and i mean individuals) are ready for magic or would be able to handle it properly.. however, I think changes are coming, and it would be my hope that those who are not prepared to handle such powers would ascend or decend to different plane where magic is not an option….

    Just my thoughts..

    *huggles* and thanks for sharing yours!

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