Years ago my friend Lois told me she looked at other people and felt inferior to them because they all seemed to have it all together. She listed one quality or another each of them had she felt she didn’t have.
She left out a few qualities on her list. Those she had, and many others don’t, that made her a wonderful friend.
It was the first time I realized how easy it is for each of us to take for granted our own uniqueness, what sets us apart from the crowd, or worse yet, to believe that those things you think make you weird, unlovable. Paired with the feeling of being on the outside looking in is the belief you fade away because of your lack of a certain level of “specialness.”
In a world where we often stand alone rather than cry out “I’m lonely!” to those near us, it can take a long time to realize that together with an offbeat sense of humor or appreciation of horror shows may be a deep sense of compassion, empathy and sensitivity to the lost and lonely. The tendency to lend a hand to someone who tripped and fell.
No one is more sensitive to the plight of the downtrodden than the one who’s been there. I was in a situation I never expected to be in a few years ago, where I was frightened, somewhat in shock and forced to make decisions inconsistent with the life I’d been living.
The men and women I met during that time have my heart now, and whatever I can do to help them, I will. Granted, it isn’t much, and sometimes I need to keep quiet or my emotions get in the way of the logic and reason of statements I make on their behalf.
I’ve learned to intercede in other ways. I could have come out of that time feeling like mud mixed with slime, sticking to the bottom of everyone’s shoe, but instead I feel more whole today than I ever have. A lot of that has to do with those who believed in me, regardless of what anyone else may have said or done.
A lot of it has to do with choosing to believe in myself.
I think eventually Lois realized her own worth, although much to my regret I’ve been out of contact with her for years now. I hope anyone who thinks everyone else “has it all” is given a friend who will bless them with a list of their unique combination of qualities that sets them apart.
You have them.
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