Healing the Other Within:
Honoring and Embracing What Makes You “You”
When was the first time you knew you were Other?
- Was it at school, when someone called you a name because of the color of your skin, your accent, or that you were wearing hand-me-down shoes?
- Was it a noticeable physical feature that they laughed at, such as a large birthmark on your face, eyes that did not align, your height, your weight?
- Was it because, try as you might, you could not figure out how to act like the rest of the boys or girls around you, and you just felt somehow different?
No matter what our individual backgrounds were, each of us has an experience when we were made to feel different, less than, Other. Yet, our experiences as Other need not define us forever. The pain we’ve felt may have led us to controlling, manipulating, self-destructive, and even cruel behaviors; but each of these can be transformed. Our Otherness can actually be a source of creativity, guiding us toward new possibilities. We can learn how to participate in relationships without the baggage we demonstrated before. We can find freedom by honoring and embracing the Other Within.