Last weekend my husband and I went to see The Greatest Showman. I loved the music and smiled nearly the entire movie. There was one song that really got my attention. It was performed by the “misfit” characters in the circus show.
I am not a stranger to the dark
“Hide away,” they say
“‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts”
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
“Run away,” they say
“No one’ll love you as you are”
These words can be applied to everyone’s lives at one time or another. No one is perfect. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves.
It might be a physical feature, like my thick, wavy hair that gets too frizzy (the straightener is my friend!) or the lines on my face as I age.
Or it can be an attitude or behavior we’d like to change. I eat pretty healthy, but do I eat healthy enough? Do I exercise enough? Am I smart enough? Pretty enough? Am I enough?
Or that imperfection could be a physical or mental illness. Like my anxiety and panic attacks.
Those hardships help shape us into the people we are. It’s what makes us, us. We’re all different, and that truly is what makes this life so rich, interesting, and beautiful.
Our trials, sorrow, and pain, (also our joys and successes) bless us with compassion and kindness.
There’s no doubt in my mind that because of what my family and I have been through with mental illness, I’m more empathetic than I would’ve been otherwise.
My mom had anorexia and depression, and my daughters and I have struggled with anxiety. I know how hard it is to watch a loved one deal with a mental health condition. And I know how scary and lonely it feels to experience panic symptoms and not want to tell anyone because of embarrassment and shame.
I’ve been there, I know.
We’re on this earth to share our gifts and talents, to love, and to help others. Going through difficult times is part of learning who we are and who we want to be.
Accept and embrace your whole self, including — especially including — your differences. You’re a gift to this world. Exactly the way you are.