December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)
I am definitely different. It took me a long time to realize I have my own beauty. It took me a long time to realize I had any value. I was the last child, a surprise, and was plainly told that I was unwanted. I was told our resources were not to be wasted on the child who would not amount to anything.
On top of that, I was a very sick child, requiring more energy and resources than they wanted to spare. Schools constantly pushed me into the corner, accepting my parents dismissals that they knew I was a waste of effort. I spent more time outdoors, finding comfort in critters, and a lot of time reading. I became very good at observing, imagining, absorbing and playing along in my own little world.
STOP. Do not feel pity. It's my story - it is what made me what and who I am. I'm alright with it - each step I took brought me here. I love HERE. There were a few points along the way that stand out - my 6th grade science teacher; becoming a college instructor; realizing I make lovely things.
Do you see the pattern? First, there was an outside influence - my science teacher. I wasn't at the school long, but he made me feel smart. Second, there was a personal effort rewarded with peer-voted success. Third, there was personal confidence. Now? There is recognition and understanding.
I didn't understand when I was little why I was treated the way I was. Now that I'm a bit older and more detached, I realize I was dealing with child-to-child relationships rather than child-to-parent. I was stuck in a warped world of "normal". I didn't know this could be (should be?) different. The "other" child was elevated to royalty status - all things revolved around that child's desires and the need of the parent to prompt that child for any opportunities.
I can't change the past. On a good day, I can't even do a lot about that argument at breakfast yesterday. That's ok - we do our best and let it go. I can, however, recognize things in others. Hopefully by sharing, I can help them take a step they wouldn't have. I can see pain - maybe I can make someone laugh, forget their pain for a moment, rest in a ray of guilt-free sunshine. I lift up animals - who then lift up the spirits of others. I can make pretties - send them out to the world.
I am beautifully different, just like every unique stone the river has polished lovingly to it's own, unique perfection. I am enough and I am not yet finished.
(so are you)