Unique – (Adjective) “Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.”
We grow up hearing how unique we are, how we are unlike anyone else who has ever come before us. That as an individual we have so much to offer the world, that no one else can quite contribute. There is some truth to it, but it is not the whole truth. It is even misleading at times. It can even go so far as to create a sense of separation from others.
Yes, we all have experiences that we feel and believe are completely owned by us. We believe we go through things in a way that no one else goes through and our stories are so very different from everyone else. We will even place more value on our struggle, and diminish another person’s experience by stating that no one else could possibly feel what we feel or experience what we experience. While this philosophy may hold some truth, it takes away from what the real truth. That uniqueness, much like beauty, is really only skin deep.
This is not to negate what we contribute and the individualism that we possess. It simply means that in our uniqueness we are essentially all the same. We go through the same things, we feel the same emotion, and we are not as unique as we think. At least, not in a sense that should lead to separatism. In today’s culture, even with all of our connectedness we still seem to suffer from so much separatism.
This collective sameness held by the masses is best seen in the way that our body responds to stress and emotion. As a massage therapist, I get a front row seat to the simplicity of what is perceived as complexity. Our bodies all maintain the same holding patterns. Muscles hold emotions, and our muscles and problem areas give away more than what we would like, to the person who knows how to interpret such things.
The neck tells the story of someone who stays in their head and dwells too much of their stress. It tells of the person who may not be able to voice their truth either because of circumstances or just the simple state of not knowing how. The back tells of financial woes, overbearing people or situations that become just too much to take on. The legs can tell of the uncertainty of what the future holds and how to move forward into it. And then there are areas that are not so obvious, that are to be held between the person and what they deal with. It’s not to say that I can put hands on someone and tell them their life, it’s just that I recognize that we all experience the same things. We cry, we fear, we hold anger and resentment. We worry and become overwhelmed. We are in control until we realize that we aren’t. And we all just really want to let it go and sometimes we just don’t know how.
I am privileged and humbled to be the one that gets a up close view to see a person for who they really are sometimes. To know the feeling of working on someone who seeks out massage to get some relief from the stressors of life. I am humbled by the evidence in someone’s face, the exhale of letting go, the pause of reflection. Mostly I am humbled when I feel the rapport established from affecting change. I live to affect change. I hope to inspire. To bring something to a situation that brightens, lightens, and changes a person in a positive manner. I am not the one who creates change. I am merely the facilitator. And for that I am grateful.