Rewrite Your Story
And this time, you make the rules. Discover how to free yourself from someone else’s definition of your life.
Unlearn the Rules of Fear
What is Otherness?
If you’ve been cast out, treated as less-than, minimized, bullied, even hated and humiliated for some aspect of your identity, then you understand Otherness. Your experience of Otherness may run deep, reflecting the sins committed against generations of your ancestors. These sins may still be a major force of oppression that harms you today.
Alternatively, your Otherness may be for a visible difference you have from your family and community. Your family-of-origin may even be the original architects in the diminished worth, isolation, and struggles to get out of bed most mornings that you experience.
And chances are, you’ve been Othered for many parts of You – whether your gender, your race, your ethnicity, your sexual identity, your physical body and its features, your neural chemistry and how you learned, your religion.
Most confusing of all is the betrayal you’ve felt if you’ve been Othered by people who, like you, have also experienced oppression and being cast out. Maybe they decided you weren’t Gay in the way they thought you were supposed to be.
Or another part of you. Instead of building solidarity with you, or trying to really see you, they used the same tactics to Other you as had been used on them.
What Do We End Up Believing About Ourselves?
Probably, you came to believe quite a lot about yourself that isn’t particularly helpful. You can now re-examine these beliefs in order to have a more fulfilling life.
The Healing Otherness Handbook helps you assess the damage that Otherness has done in silencing your voice, stifling your personal expressions of self and culture, keeping you in a perpetual cycle to prove worth to yourself and others, pretending that hurt doesn’t exist, and perpetuating a state of hopelessness.
I summarize this as the 5 Rules of Fear:
“You Shouldn’t Complain Because Others Are Worse Off Than You”
“You’d Better Tone It Down”
“You Must Work Twice as Hard”
“Oh, You Shouldn’t Feel Resentful!”
“You Cannot Change the World”
I’m guessing that you know these rules well. Maybe they were taught to you by someone who thought they were protecting you. Maybe it was their own way of coping. In other instances, these rules came as threats by people who benefited from your oppression. They used these rules to keep you in your place – a place that they’d made for you.
How Do We Unlearn the Rules of Fear?
To use a gardening metaphor, we uproot the Rules of Fear using four tools: Clarity, Compassion, Creativity, and Sass.
That’s right. Sass.
You’ll spend time exploring the past and doing repair work there, but only to the extent that it can help illuminate your present life. The emphasis here is in healing work that can create change for the hear and now. What’s more, you’ll learn to fortify yourself against life experiences that used to catapult you into hopelessness. You’ll craft a very specific, very personal plan to keep you getting out of bed every day.
The Biggest Takeaway in Healing Otherness
The most important thing the book accomplishes is in helping you create a pathway to bring your gifts into the world. The biggest lie your oppressor taught you to believe is that you have no real worth, nothing of light that can be offered. You may have heard that so often that you believed it and even began snuffing out your own light.
You’ll have a chance to fall back in love with the parts of you that have been forgotten. Or, you’ll learn to love them for the first time. You’ll also discover some qualities that you probably didn’t realize were there but that are now ready to be given space in your life.
The beauty of growth, of freeing yourself from someone else’s definition of your life and the roles you can or cannot play, is that you open yourself to the potential of your spirit. You learn to live a truth that says, “I am here!” and celebrates this affirmation. Importantly, you’ll learn direct strategies for remembering your dignity, power, and voice on the days that seem to otherwise be working against you.