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Have you ever felt like you don't fit in, like an Outsider- Loner- Hermit, a self imposed Outcast in the wilderness, where you live in a cave, wash in the river, hunt and communicate with the trees, stars, sun and moon, while looking down on the rest of the world from some forgotten, lonely mountain.

Have you ever had that feeling of standing on the outside of the world everyone else lives in, watching all the groups of people swirl and float around you, all of them following the same rules, having the same beliefs, and mentality? And although you can live in their world, with those different groups, for a certain extended amount of time, sooner or later your spirits starts to itch and fidget for that mountain, again experiencing that feeling that you simply don't fit into this world.

I've lived this feeling, and as much as I tried to shake it, it refused to leave, like an invisible birthmark tattooed upon my spirit. I questioned this feeling, interrogating it like a prisoner holding the secret to my soul; Asking it where it came from? Why it kept trying to take me back to that mountain? And how it always found me, no matter how far I thought I had run?

I tried to deny its existence, to close my ears to its familiar voice, asking me to return to solitude. I shut my eyes to the reflection it tried to show me of myself, a reflection of me alone in the wilderness, outcast, dressed in nothing but the furs of my thoughts. But it was like its voice would travel down from that mountain upon the wind, haunting me, whispering in my ear every where I went. And every time I opened my eyes I would catch glimpses of it, glimpses of the reflection of my Hermit- Outcast- Loner self, lounging comfortably on the edge of my peripheral vision, smiling at me.

So finally I gave in, I was too tired to keep running, my ears and eyes were too in love with their senses to sacrifice the total use of them in an attempt to shut this feeling out, and for some reason my spirit kept telling me that it was OK, this feeling was a part of me, and was simply trying to tell me something. And in the moments of that acceptance, in that moment in which I willingly allowed that feeling to guide me back to that mountain, where I don my furs of my thought like a familiar skin, I finally saw the beauty of seeing the world from such a distance; the freedom and beauty of stepping into the skin of the Outsider in me.

From that mountain the Outcast in me became a Watcher, an Observer of the world and all the different groups swirling and mixing within it. The Loner that I was took that opportunity, alone on that mountain, to not just watch but to learn and understand all the different beliefs, thoughts, values, and customs everyone else, living in their separate groups, followed.

Instead of becoming a part of one group in the world, I became a part of all groups, as from up on that mountain I gained a perspective wider and clearer than any I'd ever experienced being down in the world of social acceptance and conformity. And with this I learned the power of that mountain, of being the Loner, the Outsider, the Outcast... It's the power to use all that understanding, knowledge and wisdom to step comfortably into any group of your choosing, and to learn, dance and experience everything the people in that group have to offer.

I learned that being an Outsider was never actually something forced upon me, but was really a choice made deep down within my soul; my mountain a place from which I could not only collect my thoughts and look at the reflection of myself in the streams and rivers, but also a place from which I could better understand the world, and be free to come down into it whenever I pleased. To come down and spend as much time as I liked immersed in all the groups of the world, having spied them from above and truly seeing everyone for whom they are, plus knowing how and why I felt a connection to each particular group.

But being the Loner on that mountain also teaches you something else, and that is the ability to be comfortable spending time with your soul, as you walk alone exploring the valleys, swimming in the rivers and streams, and hunting with the wolves. Also unafraid of taking new adventures on your own, just like returning to the mountain, when you need to go, you go, no longer weary of Solitude but able to cherish it like a close friend.

You also lose the fear of speaking your mind, even when you know no one else will agree with your words. Because up on that mountain I have experienced the feeling of being alone with nothing but the true reflection of who I am, and it is by accepting that reflection that I found peace with myself. With that peace you become comfortable communicating everything you are as a being, with other people; No longer chasing acceptance but simply enjoying the fearlessness of sharing the parts of yourself that you've discovered.

And from the mountain top you also get to see which groups in the world excite and speak to you most. The wind carries to you the sound of their music, which you can follow back down, eager and ready to fully explore the groups and places of your choosing.

But I am still, and will always deep down be an Outsider, the Loner-Hermit-Outcast, who returns to the mountain to contemplate what I have learned down in the world. To stare into the stream at my reflection and see if I have come back changed. And to once again observe the world from such a breath taking perspective, marvelling at the understanding and knowledge I can gain from sometimes just taking the time to watch, listen and absorb.

This is who I am, and if this is who you are then you know that maybe one day you'll return to the mountain and choose to stay there, spending the rest of your days enjoying the view, at peace alone with yourself. Or maybe you'll chose to lose yourself in one of your favourite groups in the world, and retire. But whichever choice becomes my destiny, right now I know that the feeling of being on the inside and accepted is always amazing, but it's only truly amazing because I've viewed the whole world, spread out profoundly in front of me, from the peak of my mountain, standing alone, on the outside, a self imposed Outcast, simply enjoying the view.

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