Monday, November 12, 2012

Embracing Our Uniqueness

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend time with a new group of friends, a community of faith looking to change themselves and make a positive difference in the world around them. One of the exercises we participated in was an extension of their discussion last week about what makes us unique. So we gathered in a circle with a ball of yarn and took turns sharing things that were unique about ourselves and the unique characteristics of the people around us.

As I watched the ball of yarn travel throughout the group, I searched my brain for a unique fact about myself. I thought I had one that really personifies who I am when I realized that most of the group was aiming for lightheartedness in their facts and mine was way too serious. So I started searching my brain again for something I do, something I have, that makes me unique.

Read 4 hours a day? - too obsessive, not unique
Write a blog? - not unique, practically everyone does it
Nurture a special needs child? - people do it every day
Volunteer? - millions of volunteer hours are logged each year
Runner? - they'd look at me and not believe it
Addicted to Smallville? - kinda sad, not unique
Extra toe on one foot? - sadly, not true

Finally, as the yarn ball flew through the air and towards my face I made my decision.

My name is Melissa and I am unique because I can make a lamp out of old records.

Wow.  That's life-changing stuff right there.

And it made me wonder, why are we so quick to name off great qualities another person possesses, the wonderful things that make them the beautiful people we enjoy spending time with but have a hard time  with just a teeny bit of self-promotion? I saw it all around the group as folks were generous in the praise of their friends but hemmed and hawed when they had to name a unique quality about themselves.

So tell me, what makes you unique? Can you quickly name a special fact about yourself without feeling like a braggart? Do you struggle with self-promotion? Why do you think so may of us have difficulty embracing our uniqueness? 

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