Last month I spent a lot of time on Instagram promoting Rare Disease Day, 28th February. I also wrote two posts, one about my rare condition and one about my daughter’s. How lucky are we to be so different and have two rare conditions in one family. (hint of sarcasm!)
In fact we don’t have a normal family situation either. I live in a house with four adults and three young children which makes life pretty interesting. The other two adults besides me and my husband, are my older children from a previous marriage. They have yet to leave home and make their own life.
Sometimes I wonder why we have to be so different, why we have so many issues to deal with. I read blogs, lots of them and I see so many ‘normal’ families, enjoying life as it should be. I wish we could be like that. Then I realise that if I think like that I will never be happy. Sometimes being different is okay.
Then I found this story from one of my favourite authors, Paulo Coelho.
Beauty exists not in sameness but in difference.
Who could imagine a giraffe without its long neck or a cactus without its spines?
The irregularity of the mountain peaks that surround us is what makes them so imposing. If we tried to make them all the same, they would no longer command our respect.
It is the imperfect that astonishes and attracts us.
When we look at a cedar tree, we don’t think: ‘The branches should be all the same length.’
We think: ‘How strong it is.’
When we see a snake, we never say: ‘He is crawling along the ground, while I am walking with head erect.’
We think: ‘He might be small, but his skin is colourful, his movements elegant, and he is more powerful than me.’
When the camel crosses the desert and takes us to the place we want to reach, we never say: ‘He’s humpbacked and has ugly teeth.’
We think: ‘He deserves my love for his loyalty and help. Without him, I would never be able to explore the world.’
A sunset is always more beautiful when it is covered with irregularly shaped clouds, because only then can it reflect the many colours out of which dreams and poetry are made.
Pity those who think: ‘I am not beautiful. That’s why Love has not knocked at my door.’
In fact, Love did knock, but when they opened the door, they weren’t prepared to welcome Love in.
They were too busy trying to make themselves beautiful first, when, in fact, they were fine as they were.
They were trying to imitate others, when Love was looking for something original.
They were trying to reflect what came from outside, forgetting that the brightest light comes from within.
taken from A Manuscript Found in Accra, Paulo Coelho
We may be different, we may not lead the same lives as others, but inside we have light and love.