As women (and humans in general), we spend a large amount of time comparing ourselves to others. Equally, we spend a significant amount of time making sure that we fit into our peer group.
Fitting in is important regardless of your age or sex. It’s the rare brave soul who thrives from being different and marching to the beat of their own drum.
Sadly, I feel that many mental health issues such as anxiety/depression and eating disorders result from the internal struggle of feeling different. As a result the love/hate relationship with our bodies/food/lifestyles becomes a personal conversation that is had daily. That voice often echoes the media ads that say we are developing wrinkles, not adequately spending time with our family and being as perfect as our friend, neighbor or coworker. Is your voice constantly stating you are not doing things as everyone else is doing?
Researchers state that no two snowflakes are alike. Along those same lines, I remind individuals that no two people have the same fingerprints. As a result, we should not try to spend so many hours attempting to conform to something we are not.
Today’s prompt from Vashelle and Mia’s Write or Die Wednesday is not an easy prompt. We are not typically taught to embrace our uniqueness or to be unafraid to stand out in the crowd. It’s much easier to be like everyone else.
What make you unique? Today, I’m sharing a few of the attributes I’ve learned to embrace about myself.
- To begin I’m unique because my name is Sheryl with an “S”. When I was younger, I hated that my name was spelled differently than the normal spelling but as I have grown older, I have embraced it. My Mom’s other choices were Kimberly or Jennifer and considering that I have at least 10 friends named Jennifer, I’m glad she didn’t go with the trend.
- Due to a childhood history of consistent ear infections, I am not someone who struggles with such things as sea sickness, car sickness, or any motion related issue. In fact, this has actually given a great sense of balance. My doctor and I know when I do begin to feel dizzy that the infection is severe. (Pros and cons there).
- I’m petite (5 feet exactly) but should probably be at least 3-4 inches taller. I wasn’t lucky enough to be born with all of my vertebra but it’s also unique that other than shoulder problems, I have no spinal issues. Doctors stated I shouldn’t do gymnastics or dance – but I’m not one to hear I shouldn’t do something.
- Although not truly a photographic memory, I am able to recall events, conversations, dates with no problem. My clients are actually shocked when I remember small details of their lives. I also remember random facts of friends ‘wedding anniversaries, vacation plans and other detail.s My supervisor would seriously call me and ask me to remind her about things that happened in a meeting. It’s a gift and sometimes during my grief journey has not been such a blessing. My husband has finally accepted that I DO remember things.
- I”m not afraid to try anything new. I’ve always been somewhat of an adrenaline junkie and embrace this fact about me.
- I’m not afraid to speak my mind. Although over, the years I have learned to do so in a more politically correct manner.
- Although I do not see auras around people, I am sensitive to the energy that people give off. Although I try not to make immediate decisions about individuals, I have found over the years that there was only one time I “read” a person incorrectly. I didn’t like him at all but after learning more I grew to like him. I feel the difference was he was from a different culture from my own.
- Although there are becoming other couples our age without children, James and I are unique in the fact that we have chosen to end our infertility chapter. Being a childless couple does make us unique in our church, our circle of friends, our professional lives and our family focused community in general. Years ago this was more of an issues but coming to acceptance and recognizing what we have has brought comfort.
- Finally, I am not afraid to share my story – of loss, infertility and other struggles. Friends have shared with me that I am brave for doing this. I acknowledge that putting myself out into the world allows me to be vulnerable but I believe that growth and strength comes from this vulnerability. It takes a lot of energy and time to put on acts that your life is perfect. I want to have a full life and accepting my story is part of that.
Do you embrace the things that are unique about yourself? Rather than spending time berating yourself for not measuring up to someone else, take time today to love who you are. Our imperfections make us unique and learning to accept rather than hide those imperfections can lead to personal growth.
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