Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What Makes Us Special


A couple of weeks ago I was at the tail end of a slump.  A lot of factors that I've already yapped about put me there & a lot of things came together to snap me out, most notably my husband telling me that I'm not special.  If you need reassurance that he's not a big meanie, check out this post, but the bottom line was that my struggles don't make me unique...everyone has a cross to bear.

I received a comment on that post from a very dear friend as follows:  After seeing literally hundreds of patients in clinic and having to attempt to convince them to change their lifestyle or face the consequences I will attest that you actually are quite unique. You're amazing.

That put me in a bit of a pickle.  I could see what he was saying & sincerely appreciated the complement, but what to do with it?

After chewing on it for a week & thinking about the people that I think are truly special, here is what I came up:  The things that happen to me don't make me special or unique; it's how I RESPOND to those things that makes me who I am.  When I was in high school, I had an English teacher that had his walls papered with students' "Golden Ideas"--little one-off quips that hit you hard with the message stick.  I was never very good at authoring those blasted things & was envious of my classmates who excelled at the greeting card schlock that usually fit the bill.  I'm pretty sure that this would have made it up on the wall & I'm definitely filing it mentally among the mantras that I use on myself & my kids--this is one of my core beliefs.

I can't change the past & erase the extra weight.  I can't rewire my brain to correct years of emotional, binge, or otherwise harmful eating.  I can't waive a magic wand & become the girl who goes on a run for fun.  Many people have the same struggles, the same vices, the same things they wish they could change.  That isn't special.  What makes me the woman that I am (what defines all of us as individuals) is what I do about it, how I respond.  For years I responded with denial, anger, sadness, frustration & bitterness.   It may have been easier to be bitter, but it is so much better to be positive & pro-active.  I will not choose the bitter life for myself anymore.

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