If you’ve ever bought into an unwanted idea, you know the harm it can do to your psyche. As a teenager, maybe you weren’t the pretty one, or the athletic one so you labeled yourself the loser or the weirdo. But even as adults, feeling different doesn’t automatically dissipate especially if you decide to choose a non-traditional or alternative lifestyle. Instead you resolve that you’re difference means you’re unlovable or unworthy and that being normal or having a perfect life isn’t in the cards for you.

If you feel that way, take heart. I too, grew up feeling like the odd man out. It took years for me to truly realize that there is no such thing as normal and that the best gift we can give ourselves and the world is to fully embrace our uniqueness. Being like everyone else is boring. Being yourself is who you were meant to be.

I was reminded of this again on a recent trip to Arizona. Standing in the presence of breathtaking snow-capped mountaintops and awe-inspiring red rocks, I realized that the only thing I had to do was simply be. I hope you will remember that as well. Instead of forcing yourself into someone’s mold, why not make your own? You will find this theme in one of our posts this week that beautifully demonstrates the importance of individuality.

6 Variables that Predict Happiness and Life-Satisfaction

(Adventures in Positive Psychology) – Ever wonder what the difference is between those who have positive well-being and those who are suffering? If you’re wanting a life that resembles the former, try working on these 6 variables.

Depression: Medicate, Meditate or Both?

(Mindfulness & Psychotherapy) – Is it medication, meditation or a combination of the two that would be the best strategy to help you recover from depression? This post looks at one path with encouraging research results that may work for you.

Feel Like You Don’t Fit In? Learning To Celebrate Your Secret Self

(The Therapist Within) – It takes courage to let go of the chains that bind us. It’s much easier to slink away from our passions and our true self in order to feel safe and accepted by everyone else. This post invites you to try something different, to be different and to live closer to the life you were meant to live.

Equine Therapy: Three Ways To Boost Your Mood

(Equine Therapy) – The impending holiday season could already be bringing you down. Bet you didn’t think being around a horse could help right? Surprisingly, horses can help improve your mood. Read this to find out how.

Caregiving without Controlling

(A Moody Marriage) – We often talk about the impact mental illness has on those suffering from it. But in this unique new post, blogger Rita Brhel writes about what it’s really like managing a household and her husband’s illness.