The Jonathan Syndrome – The Value of ‘Not’ Fitting In

Posted by Karen  •  Friday, 16 September 2011

Have you read the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach? The seagull who was rejected by his flock for being different. He wanted to find out how fast he could fly and wasn’t interested in fighting on the ground for fish like the others.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Do you ever get the feeling that you simply don’t fit in anywhere? That literally nobody on the planet views life through your eyes? That the world is walking to the beat of a different drum?

Welcome to the world of the peripherals! A world of wonder, imagination and magic. A world of difference and individuality. A world where you fit in perfectly, simply because you don’t fit in at all. Welcome to my world.

I looked up the meaning of the word peripheral:

“Near the surface or outside of; external.”

Through my coaching practise, I have discovered that surprisingly many people feel this way. This is somehow in-congruent with the physical reality of a world that is pushing us closer and closer together with ever diminishing space available to an ever increasing population.

Interestingly, in the study of the mind, it is actually impossible for any two people to develop sameness as is clearly demonstrated in identical twins. The accepted reason behind this phenomenon is that we each have unique filters through which we view reality. These filters are governed by our experiences and our experiences are governed by our physical location and interpretation of the data that surrounds us.

In short, this shows us that the experiences we are having are fundamentally ‘made up’ in our heads. We see information/data, we run our filters and come to a conclusion/emotion/behaviour. This process works fine when your filters are all functioning at their peak but it can go terribly wrong if your filters are overlaid with fearful, phobic, depressive or anxious patterns.

Likewise, the same filters can tell one person that the situation is safe and fun to be in, and another person that the situation is perilous and fraught with danger, for example on a roller coaster. This mental phenomena ultimately leads to much of our conflict and unhappiness. Many a relationship could have been saved with a clearer understanding of the difficulties we face in accepting each other’s reality as, ……..well,………. real.

What does all this mean for the ‘Jonathans’ of this world? Well, in truth, it means that there is no everybody, it is a figment of the imagination. We are all misfits, none of us have any sameness about us and none of us can ever truly know what everybody thinks of them. We all experience the world differently, we all see the world differently and we are all viewed by the world differently.

So there you have it. You can relax and finally just be…………… well, yourself.

You are welcome to join us:

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