I have been known to make different choices from the norm. I actually label myself as an emphathetic non-conformist. I feel like that describes me perfectly. However, this doesn't leave me unscathed from wanting to belong or wanting my children to belong.
I realized at a neighborhood gathering that I probably had some things in common with the folks there, and I love them because they are amazing people in themselves, but that I probably was also very different. I also had the hardest time watching my oldest son interact with the other kids, because since I make different choices, my children also have different ways of doing things than probably the run of the mill kid. I don't condemn the run of the mill kid, its just not my child. My child is also just himself or herself, and I love that about them. But in certain social situations I kind of cringe, because my children, they always stand out in a crowd. My children are sometimes awkward but full of energy and strong opinions and one of them makes the worst roaring sound that reminds me of a dying animal. They all love people, but they aren't afraid to be them, so they can be slightly awkward in social situations. But they can also be awesome in them too.
I was watching a video of a talk given by an autistic boy, Jacob Barnett, and it was great. He challenged the audience and I guess me viewing the video to stop learning what you think you are supposed to be learning and think about things in your own way. He said in order to be successful you have to be able to understand things in the way that is really you and you can do great things through this. I feel like this really ties in to so many things. Leave it to the ENFJ/INFJ to say that, but really it does.
There are so many pressures to conform to what you need to be or do. Whether it be in education, or dress, or mannerism, or values or mannerisms. And while some of it is necessary for a working society where other people aren't violated, I think we limit ourselves so much. Sometimes, especially for me it leaves me crippled when I do think differently and I just don't know how to express myself, so I just stay silent. However, I know that God intends us to be authentically ourselves, and so maybe the way we always have done something isn't always the right way. Maybe we are supposed to be better than average at something or even more so brilliant at it, even if its not what the world thinks is important. Maybe its okay to wear our shoes on the wrong feet and our pants on backwards and our shirt inside out.
Different can mean we are really being authentic to who God made us to be instead of weird and wrong. And if we are being different in love, in truth and not out of fear or vanity or pride, we really will be able to move mountains.