To be an outsider is not an easy task. It is a special role that has great potential for personal transformation.
Who Is The Outsider?
The outsider is the person who departs their existing cultural home for a new unknown destination.
People do not become outsiders accidentally. It is a path that is deliberately chosen because it is necessary, important and valuable:
- stage of life – the transition from adolescence to adulthood is one
- issues within the culture that makes life their untenable
- life changes like divorce that cause a person to leave a social system.
- the search for the soul’s purpose
The outsider is the person who brings a fresh perspective to others, a new way of proceeding, valuing, or synthesizing information.
The outsider’s journey is the beginning of the process of transformation. It starts with an awareness that something is not right or that something needs to change. According to the book, Dharma Types by Simon Tony Chokoisky:
Anything that requires radical re-thinking, leaps of imagination, and creative synthesis of many elements is the Outsider’s purview. Ruled by the Space Element, there is no ‘where’ Outsiders cannot travel, just as there is no experience they cannot have. From the highest of the high to the lowest of the low, Outsiders trek the terrains of the wild and the inner spaces of the soul,reaching to depths and heights that no one else dares to follow. Laws and morals hold little power to obstruct their need for experience, and Outsiders are most creative in their interpretation of social strictures. As a result, they can just as easily fall into depravity, as soar to the heights of purity: such is the razor’s edge that defines the Outsider’s path. However, just as it is easy to fall off track, it is also simple for Outsiders to get back on, for they are never far removed from Redemption, though it may not seem that way to them. Examples of criminals-turned-saints abound in sacred literature, illustrating the Outsider’s roller-coaster journey from truth to error… and back again.
What Simon Chokoisky is talking about is that outsiders rethink the rules and what is considered conventional thinking. They are questioners and seekers of truth and in doing so can investigate anything and make many mistakes. Being an outsider carries the pitfalls of openness.
The HSP Difference
Highly sensitive people are marginalized just because of their difference and because they are in the minority. Does that make them outsiders in spirit? Are we the adventurous outsider that Simon Chokoisky talks about?
HSPs in some ways are reluctant adventurers. Our nervous systems take in everything and we cannot escape that. Our sensitivity also means that we cannot escape consequences. It causes us usually to be cautious and conscientious because when you take in everything you cannot be in denial.
When you take in and process everything around you develop the ability to look at the world from multiple perspectives. Highly sensitive people are very much outsiders in that they are the integrators and synthesizers of the human race reworking and reweaving the human story into one that seems more authentic to them. The range afforded the highly sensitive person is offset by the values that come from having an empathetic nature. Thank goodness! It will cause us to reweave the human experience into one that is healthier and more compassionate.
We humans are creative people. However, creativity is not always constructive. HSPs have the chance to make creativity something positive by applying their empathetic values to the open experience of the outsider in a way that serves us all well.