You are special – really extraordinary! No one has your unique mix of knowledge, skills and insights. On a good day, when you have access to all your best resources, you shine brightly and bring light to the world. We are so fortunate that you are here with your special gifts!
You are ordinary – perfectly human. Your dramas and traumas feel personal and unique to you, but you are not that original. We all have good and bad days, and moods come and go like the weather. With few exceptions, your experience is shared by so many that there is no point in judging or comparing yourself to others. You don’t have to take things so personally. You are perfectly okay as you are.
Feeling special brings a sense of personal power. You challenge limits and defy conventional thinking. You authorize yourself to be bold because, well, why not? You were made to show up and play a bigger game.
Feeling ordinary brings the experience of grace. Since you are more or less like everyone else, you can relax and accept yourself as you are. You recognize your moods and sensations as energy moving through you. You can take your place at the table of humanity and have a slice of humble pie.
Which is better? It depends, because timing is everything.
There is a traditional story of a great Rabbi who was revered for his tremendous wisdom. As he grew older, his students were concerned that the Sage might pass away and they would never know the secret of his wisdom. So they drew straws, and the student who drew the shortest straw had to approach his teacher to ask an audacious question: “Rabbi, what is the secret of your wisdom?”
The old man smiled and replied kindly, “It is so simple. In my left pocket I carry a written reminder: I am special, because I am created in God’s image.” The student nodded thoughtfully. “Ah, so that is the secret. We are special.”
“No,” said the Rabbi. “That is not the secret. In my right pocket I carry another reminder: I am ordinary, because I am nothing but dust and ashes.”
“Ah!” said the student. “So the secret is to be humble!”
“No,” said the Rabbi. “That is not the secret either. The secret is knowing when to look at which reminder!”