Finding You

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Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in?

During Season 3 of NBC’s This Is Us, Kevin Pearson spoke with his niece about the topic.  What he said resonated with me.

I think we go through this life slowly but surely, just collecting these little pieces of ourselves that we can’t really live without until eventually, we have enough of them we feel whole.

It’s been the story of my life.  I wasn’t quite good enough to fit in with the “sports crowd.”  I wasn’t smart enough it fit in with the “smart crowd.”  I was a late bloomer.  My theology was not traditional enough.  I’m not republican but I’m not a democrat.  To top it off, I’ve always dealt with depression.  Did I mention I am diabetic?

I had no idea what I was supposed to do with my life.  I went to three colleges and had five different majors in five years.  I ended up with a degree in early childhood education, which I’ve used often, but not in the school system.  I later got a masters of divinity and nearly completed a doctorate in ministry, both with an emphasis on pastoral care.  I’ve used that education serving in five churches in 23 years.  Throughout my career in ministry, I was told I should eventually become a lead pastor because that’s what a “guy like me” does, but that never seemed like a good fit for me.

Yes.  I’ve had a hard time fitting in.

You may relate.  Or you may think my issues are inconsequential compared to yours.  That’s ok.  Regardless of our experiences, we ALL go through the task of trying to find our place, trying to fit in.  Some refer to this phenomenon as tribalism.  Religion refers to it as spiritual connectedness (or fellowship).  Neuroscience says the brain is social.

Whatever you call it, we are social beings.  At our core, we are social.  We MUST fit in to something, some group of people.  Therefore, we must figure it out.  For our mental and emotional health, we must figure it out.

For some, it may come quickly.  For others, it seems to be more of what Kevin Pearson was talking about; moving through life collecting pieces of who we are, discovering more of who we are.

In the early stages of life, look for signpost moments that define you and give you even a small piece of who you are.  Continue to put them together, knowing that you DO fit in.  There are other people like you.  According to most personality assessments, there are at least 6.25% of the world’s population that fit in your personality type and as many as 25%, depending on which one you use.

There are others like you.  Do the math with 7 billion people.

Chevy Math

Those later in life, examine signpost moments from your past that give you a glimpse of your true self, discover various pieces of who you are, and put them together to find your place and true identity, where you fit in.

Throughout my life, I looked for a place to fit in.  Some moments and places were better than others.  However, when I look at signposts, I continuously find empathy, kindness, moments of existential wisdom that come without explanation.  I find the heart of a counselor.  So it’s no wonder I find myself here.  I took a lot of paths to find a lot of pieces, but now I have a bigger picture of the whole.  Make no mistake, there are still pieces to find.

The hard part is paying attention to the signs and the pieces and putting them together until you feel whole.  Even when the world and those in it attempt to corrupt them and make them harder to find, interpret, and put together.  Again, that’s why we are social.  Find others to help you sort the pieces and make sense of them.  Use a counselor.  I do.  Maybe you could benefit from ketamine or other wellness treatments to help you find, sort, and put together your pieces.  Do what you need to do.

May you find the pieces from your life that define you and help you know where you fit in.  May you know that you do fit in.  This world has a place for you.

Remember, the pieces are there.  Happy hunting.

Mental Wellness Visionary at KathrynAWalker.com | Website

Kathryn A. Walker is a pioneering medical researcher and psychiatrist known for her groundbreaking work in the field of mental health, particularly in the area of ketamine treatments. With a deep passion for understanding and alleviating the burden of treatment-resistant mood disorders, Kathryn has dedicated her career to investigating the therapeutic potential of ketamine.

Through her relentless efforts, she has played a pivotal role in shedding light on ketamine’s efficacy in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Her research has not only transformed the way we approach mental health care but has also provided hope to countless individuals who had previously found little relief from conventional treatments.

Kathryn A. Walker’s pioneering contributions continue to shape the landscape of mental health medicine and inspire new avenues of research in the pursuit of better mental well-being for all.

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