Dimas Alapadi of Sao Paolo, Brazil, was always intrigued that he did not resemble his four sisters. “There was something different about me,” he explained. “I had blonde hair and blue eyes and my sisters had dark hair and eyes. I looked German while my parents were of Italian descent. Something did not add up.”

At age 24 Alapadi had a DNA test done, which confirmed that he was indeed not the child of his supposed parents. His parents were shocked. The family researched hospital records for the day of Dimas’ birth, and found that another boy had been born on the same day – of Germanic parents. The babies had accidentally been switched.

The Alapadi family contacted the family of Elton Plaster, the other child born on Dimas’ birthday. His wealthy parents owned a large farm. The Plasters were surprised, but not flustered. They invited the Alapadis to build a house on their land, so both families could live together.

“This is the way it should be,” Adelson Plaster noted. “We are all together and I now have two sons living and working here.” Dimas and Elton both feel blessed by their new circumstances. “It’s not everyone who can say he has two fathers and two mothers living together with him,” they noted.

Odd as this story may sound, in a way it is your story, too. Soon after your birth you began to believe that you were a child of the world, not your original spiritual source. Yet something inside you knew there had to be more to life than the one that you were living. So you began to search for something better. You tramped many avenues in search for meaning, and eventually discovered that you are made more of energy than stuff. With such insight you are entitled to build your home in the rich estate of love, not the hovel of fear. The switch was not permanent; the homecoming is.

If you have sensed that you do not quite fit into the world, you may have more company than you realize. You may be a part of a very large group described as Cultural Creatives, a term coined by sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson in their book The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World. Ray and Anderson give credibility to people who are disenchanted with traditional religion and societal roles, hold visionary values, and seek a lifestyle unlike the masses. So what you thought was wrong with you may be what’s right with you.

This puts a new spin on your life purpose. You may not need to force yourself into a suit that doesn’t fit you and adapt and adjust to relationships, careers and lifestyles that make you feel small and hungry for better. If you have felt guilty or weird for being spiritual, gay, uninterested in a corporate position, bored with television, happy with a humble car, or bashful about revealing your psychic experiences, you may be closer to home than you know. You may be living exactly the life you came to live, and you simply need confidence to claim it.

A touching parable tells of an old Chinese woman who went down to the river each morning, where she filled two pots with water and carried them up the hill to her house, the pots hanging on the ends of a large stick she carried on her shoulders. One pot, however, had a crack in it and by the time the woman reached her house, half the water in the pot had drained out of the crack.

Over the years the broken pot felt ashamed of its deficiency and finally it apologized to the woman. “I know that I have been defective over these many years,” it confessed, “and you have lost a lot of water on account of my deficit. Please forgive me.”

The old woman smiled and told the pot, “I knew you had the crack from the first day I used you. So I planted flower seeds on the side of the path over which you hung. Now there is a long, thick row of colorful flowers on your side of the path, and none on the side of the ‘perfect’ pot. So there was nothing wrong with you at all. Thank you for helping make my world more beautiful.”

This is good news for crackpots. Your journey of difference finally makes a difference. You were not born to be the same. You were born to be unique.

In the film The Lake House, one character feels lost and confused and does not know where to go. A friend advises her, “Go where you most feel like yourself.” If you find yourself in a relationship, family, job or lifestyle where you do not feel like yourself, the universe may be giving you a sign to seek your right place. I am not suggesting you run away from your relationship, family or job. I am suggesting you simple gravitate to where you feel most at home.

Ultimately the Alapadi and Plaster boys were reunited with their true parents, and they also got to live with the families who raised them. It’s a happy ending. All switches at birth are rectifiable. You just have to tell the truth about where you belong.

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Alan Cohen
Alan Cohen is the author of many popular inspirational books, including the forthcoming The Tao Made Easy. Join Alan in Hawaii this December for his life-changing seminar Transformer Training to develop your skills and/or career as a teacher, healer or leader. For more information about this program, Alan's books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.alancohen.com.

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