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 Walron
The beauty in our differences – I love this prompt.
And yet it is a challenge to write!
At the wonderful age of 9, I was diagnosed with a rare eye condition that is, as of yet, not correctable. As a result, I quickly became “different.” Growing up in small town America in small school USA, few of us had any secrets from one another – and being visually impaired to the extent that I am… not only did everyone know about it but very few knew how to work with it or react to it. I didn’t fall into the labels that often play into the high school environment – I was just me and just “different.”
My relationship with this disability has been varied. In one sense, I have allowed it to enrich my life, teach me lessons, and show me beauty in ways that I would not have otherwise known.
In other ways, it has proven a challenge – flirting, eye contact, driving, seeing my own beauty… not always so easy.
Throughout, I have learned to live life – to savor the moments and the experiences. Perhaps being given the label “different” in school served more a blessing as I have marched to music no one else can hear for years – traveling, living, parenting, working, loving…. Laughing, crying, evolving, and finding treasures as often as possible.
I have learned to see people with my heart instead of my eyes – a different kind of sight than what we are accustomed to considering. Living with eyes that don’t see like others has given me the chance to see with compassion, empathy, and love. And yet, it has also allowed me to experience the suffering of knowing that that which I see is often hidden or denied by the person themselves. The man that is selling his soul to live up to expectation; the woman who denies her ability to be loved in order to be safe; the people who have dreams that shine brightly but are not explored; and the love that dwells in hearts while fear rules the roost.
I don’t see what people want to show the world through their clothes, labels, cars, and houses… I see what they give the world in terms of themselves.
Beauty – if we strip away a person’s ability to see what society says is beautiful – we are left with beauty.
Think about it – if you can’t see – what do you find beautiful? Where is beauty?
We each have our differences – I could write a list of the characteristics of quirks I have that make me different – and yet, I would guess that the one that allows me to see beauty and might allow others to be beautiful themselves is, that I see with heart not eyes – I see with something that doesn’t care how much money that new outfit cost or how much money was spent on hair or cosmetics or tie. The heart sees the beauty that lies within.
This was written as a part of “reflections of 2010.”