BY: ADRIAN DE GROOT
If everyone’s life was not unique, but the same, we wouldn’t write or read autobiographies anymore. – AdG
“Be YOUnique!” is one the nicest words you can hear from another person. What a wonderful opportunity and amazing invitation to just-be-yourself!
Well, I think most people will agree that being YOUnique actually comes naturally by just being the unique expression of the self you already are, all the way from birth. Parents often joke that they wished each child had come with an instruction manual, because each child is well… so uniquely different! We are indeed all YOUnique, and luckily, a lot of emphasis is placed these days on just being yourself. But are we…?
The world is full of codes: dress codes, and codes dealing with how to speak/what to say, “proper” behavior (like, how to eat), how and what to think or believe, what to learn during our school and academic years, what to hold as “truth”, what “true” religion to follow, etc., etc. They can all hamper you from being your unique self. At least outwardly slow you down or even fill you with doubts. Alas, some people are forced to conform, like in North Korea, women in Afghanistan, and even in scientific circles (for example, the Neo-Darwinists versus Intelligent Design proponents), and many other examples. If you cannot be free to behave, think, etc. without harming others, how can you BE YOUnique? You can never be unique by just imitating someone else. After all, imitation is duplication. Being YOUnique is total solo work. You simply cannot settle for anything less here.
As a world citizen, having been exposed to many different cultures, religious traditions, races, languages, etc., and having traveled widely, I do distinctly observe certain common and national traits. Each region and country is so unique, even geographically. Vojvodina, like my native the Netherlands, is mostly flat, and Switzerland and southern Serbia are very mountainous, and other places in the world are tundras or deserts. This affects people and their uniqueness sets them apart from people in other regions.
You even discern unique differences among age groups. My own children and their peers often speak in way that totally eludes me. This is true for children in all countries. And children don’t understand the way old folks talk to each much of the time either. YOUniqueness alive? In a way, yes, but in another way, perhaps no, if people are merely imitating rather than developing their own YOUniqueness.
So many self-help and spiritual sources keep stressing just one thing: what makes us humans so unique is that we can love each other so deeply, that we can talk to each other, that we can make music, art, write novels and plays, poetry, philosophize, build houses and buildings, highways, airplanes, rockets, modern technology equipments, go into space and you-name-it. In other words, human civilization is truly a unique thing on this globe.
Thus, despite all the external conditioning circumstances, climates, geographies, and what-have-you, which are all inescapable, and neither good or bad, I feel I can nevertheless have the freedom within my humanity to be just my genuine and unique self, and follow my heart and talents.
Aha, our talents…this certainly sets people apart in their uniqueness. Sometimes people tell me: “But I don’t have any talents”, and I would say: “But you certainly do have at least one if not more talents; just look deeper inside and you’ll discover them”. Talents not just for music or art, but also for cooking, farming, gardening, organizing, running things, knitting, sports, explaining well, teaching, public speaking, writing, and the list goes on and on. Yes, you do have one or more YOUnique talents!
Personally, I feel that my YOUniqueness has been guided, despite all the difficulties, a divorce, heartbreaks, unrequited loves, physical and mental abuses suffered, dear friends and my mother dying too early, etc. Despite all these challenges, I nevertheless feel guided in the blossoming and maturing of my YOUniqueness. What do I mean? Well, simply: looking back, I can see that I nevertheless walked a path of YOUnique growth, at my own pace and possibilities of course, and this personal evolution I feel was guided by a Higher Intelligence and Heart. I feel my path is not complete yet, but I can safely say that this is still a unique course and the dictum “Just Be YOUnique!” certainly applies here. Of course, needless to say, this guiding force goes hand in hand with my human freedom and free will. And no one should interfere with that!
Actually, the more advanced spiritually I become, the more YOUnique I become as well. I do not equate Nirvana, Heaven, or whatever you may call it, as a melting away into a single pot of divine consciousness, as some believe, but as a further unending evolution of my uniqueness, unique character, ways of emoting, thinking, experiencing, etc. A forever unfolding story or play in which I am ever the evolving actor.
As we are all human, despite our uniqueness, I can totally relate to others, feel others, embrace others lovingly, talk to others, and have the most exciting give and receive actions together, and exactly because of our YOUniqueness, we keep the excitement and joy going. If everyone in the world was like me, I would very soon be totally bored out of my mind, and life would be like a hellish Alfred Hitchcock like Twilight Zone or zombie movie.
Be YOUnique! In my view, it’s the best advice to make a better world, and this is not selfish behavior whatsoever. Loving yourself, being Your-self, being your own YOUnique you, is the best gift you can contribute to the world around you, and with it, create the ripple effect in the lake of humanity and peacemaking.
Now, there is another challenge for us: are we ready to accept someone else’s uniqueness unconditionally, or do we judge them with our egos that cling to certain expectations of others? Do we really have the right to act that way? How free are we truly? When you love mankind with divinely inspired and guided unconditional love, then there can never ever be judgment. And then there can be YOUniqueness for all. Plenty of room for it, actually.
To be totally YOUnique, you need to be also free of anything that impedes that, like addictions, angers, violence, any forms of harm to self or others, and any form of stunting or even halting your own or others’ maturing process. As long as we are evolving as more loving human beings, we are becoming more and more YOUnique. This is, as I see it, a wonderful way to contribute to world peace and unity of hearts.
“Be YOUnique!” can therefore never be a commandment or an order, but is our divinely given freedom and birthright: truly YOUnique and truly amazing. To me, these two words go totally hand in hand and are synonymous: YOUnique = Amazing.
So, be Amazing, you YOUnique you! Remember, after you were created, you with a unique appearance, the mold that made you was destroyed, never to be repeated ever again!
Namaste to everyone!