5 Signs You May Be the Black Sheep of the Family

By Gary Z McGee

Only the individual can rise to the heights of consciousness and awareness. The more you belong to the crowd, the deeper you fall into darkness. ~Osho

The term “black sheep,” in its original meaning, meant a disfavored or disreputable member of a group or family. It had a negative connotation. But it is slowly becoming a term of prestige. Probably due, in no small part, to the sick society a lot of us find ourselves in.

Anyone rebelling against such a society, anyone not so well adjusted, will discover a measure of health in becoming a black sheep. Here are five signs you may be the black sheep in your family.

1.) You rebel against tradition:

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ~JFK

You’re a vigilant nonconformist. You must be free. Even of that means breaking familial or cultural traditions. Through your actions, you encourage the rest of the family or peer group into stretching their comfort zones. Despite their whining, you have a cheeky indifference and overbearing nonchalance to their typically outdated and parochial customs.

You are the one dropping uncomfortable seeds into all-too-comfortable gardens. The small picture is that your parents and siblings get a little irritated with your antics. The big picture is that your seed planting eventually grows into a more flexible and adaptable way of being a member of the tribe.

As Anais Nin said, “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

2.) You adventurously left home while everyone else remained:

Much travel is needed before the raw man is ripened. ~Proverb of the Caravan of Dreams

While the rest of your family and friends remained near the comfort and security of the shore, you dared the unknown and precarious rapids of traveling abroad.

You’ve immersed yourself into cultures so alien to your own that your mind melted into a more open-minded version of itself. You’ve been so alone that your soul ached from the magnanimous weight of solitude.

You’ve come back to tell the tale, but alas, you’ve generally been rebuffed by the white sheep. Some things simply cannot be explained in words, or even in pictures. And envy is always a factor, even if they’re not aware of it. Your adventurous black fur mocks their status quo white, and their animosity sometimes cannot help but rear its ugly head.

3.) You think rules (and laws) are meant to be broken:

If you are irritated by every rub, how will you become polished? ~Rumi

Whether it’s the tiny unwritten laws of the familial structure or the big written laws of the cultural operating system, you have the audacity to purposely break those rules in order to reveal the fact that the human condition is always fallible and prone to mistakes, especially when it attempts to create and force laws onto others. And especially especially when it attempts to entrench outdated laws grown stale and inefficient.

You realize rules are meant to be broken so that better rules can be realized and eventually broken in a continuous cycle of progressive renewal. Sometimes this means upsetting the status quo. So you probably hear a lot of whining from those who are hooked on the comfort and security of the current way of doing things.

Whether it’s something as small as making it a point to never lie to your kids about the nonexistence of Santa or something as big as not paying taxes because you realize that taxation is theft, you’re constantly thinking outside the box instead of just tossing the box around like a petty cliché.

4.) You’re infamous:

We all want change and great things in our lives, yet most of us just seek to settle and find a groove, there is enough dust to settle in this world, what we need are more fearless warrior spirits to get out there to shake things up in this realm…so the time has come to REACH for the stars, for the stars will not come down to You! ~Alistar Valadez

Your fame is not based in the world of the overly moral goody-two-shoes obeying to the point they are bleating. Nor is it based in the world of the immoral tyrants who seek power over others to the extent they become corrupt. No, your fame is based in a world of amoral courage, a middle way that makes you infamous despite the do-gooders and no-gooders.

Whether it’s just in the small circle of your friends and family or in the big circle of your tribe and culture, you are there to cause waves that wake people up.

Whether it’s in your father’s face or your mother’s, your teacher’s face or your president’s, you’re the one mixing things up; poking holes into unsustainable and outdated ideals grown uncouth over the passage of time, and melting down power entrenched thrones grown corrupt from complacency. Your infamy is a dark beacon in the blinding light, the personification of impermanence, a reminder that change is the only unchanging truth.

5.) You are Unfuckwithable:

Until the whole world is free to agree with you or disagree with you, until you have given the freedom to everyone to like you or not like you, to love you or hate you, to see things as you see them, or to see things differently – until you have given the whole world its freedom – you’ll never have your freedom. ~Adyashanti

When it comes to loving your tribe and your family, you are fierce; but when it comes to being passive to tradition and laws, you’re not having it.

You will not be walked over: not by authoritarian parents, nor by overreaching cops; not by outdated chains of command (chains of obedience), nor by state-driven politics that made someone president over the country you just so happened to be born in.

In short: you will not be fucked with. And in that sense, you are unfuckwithable. For you have pierced the illusory veil of authority. You have revealed it as nothing more than a psychosocial cartoon in the collective brain that everyone keeps repeating ad nauseum. You’ve unhooked the hoodwink, ousted the warden, silenced the inner victim who has played victim to a victimizing codependent culture for too damn long.

Indeed. You have become unfuckwithable, and your black fur blazes all the more brilliant against the backdrop of those who still remain unfuckedwith.

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Comment by Elspeth on December 12, 2017 at 4:47pm

I come from a family of Black Sheep :-)

Comment by Linda M. on December 11, 2017 at 9:59pm

Except for the travel, this is pretty much me.  Sometimes I wonder, if I was adopted.  These days, since my folks passed, I've disowned my sister, I don;t have much family left....I'm the one that went against tradition, and turned pagan.  Very few of my extended family understand that.  Plus there's the whole, don't screw with my friends part.  I'm very protective of my friends/family. 

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