I have a confession to make. Quite often in my life, I feel the need to be special. Yes, at my age, I still dream of being special and influential. I dream of being loved or just being liked by other people. I still enjoy being praised for a job well done and yes, I even enjoy a complement. I also enjoy receiving physical affection from those I care about. Children are not the only ones who like to be kissed, cuddled and fussed over. I am very fortunate that Sunny and Nikki give me little feathered cuddles, beaky kisses. and greet me with happy chirps when I walk through the door.
When I was a child, I would dream about being liked and recognized as a great person. I was the only one in my class who had both a hearing and visual impairment, but I wanted to show everyone that I could still be great despite my physical challenges.
As I teenager, I dreamt about being a hero and making a difference. I am sad to admit that my motivation for greatness was for my own personal pleasure. I always felt like I was standing in the shadows and I wanted so badly to stand in the light. I wanted to be valuable and viewed myself as a kind of diamond in the rough.
I think all of us want to have an interesting story to share with the world. I did and a lot of times I still do. I am the youngest of three girls and my eldest sister was often hailed as a legend and inspiration. Like me, she has a hearing and visual impairment, but the oldest child always goes first and she did everything before me. I grew up hearing about how wonderful she was from teachers and would be greeted with phrases like “I don’t know you, but I know your sister. She is a amazing.” After hearing that, I wanted to be amazing too.
In my twenties, I become more competitive trying to make my mark. It was during my twenties when I become very serious about my music and wanted to be recognized as a pianist and composer. I wanted to get ahead, and I still wanted so much for others to like me. I have learned that getting people to like me or what I do isn’t that easy. However, ticking people off is a piece of cake!
Even at the age of 34, I sometimes still find myself wishing to be special and when this happens, I stop dead in my tracks because I don’t want to get caught in that vicious cycle again. To run after this idea of being special is foolish because while we think that achieving it will bring us piece, it really does not. It is a trick, an illusion, much like many of the commercials we see on television that convince us to buy stuff we really do not need.
Yes, we all experience this need to be special at some point in our lives. Being special is linked to wanting to be loved and everyone wants to be loved. But I have noticed how the things of this world change and if we cling to the things of this world, we will never find peace. We must seek something or more specifically Someone who is unchanging and remains constant in our lives and this Someone is beyond this physical world.
It is amazing how many people have come in and out of my life and how my dreams and life circumstances have changed throughout the years. As a child I dreamt of being accepted and liked by everyone. As a teen and as a young adult, I dreamt of challenging the conventional ideas held by our society and making a difference in the world. And now as I emerge into a fuller adulthood, my goal is be to know, love and serve God and to demonstrate Christ’s love through acts of kindness and service to others. My dream is to become a saint and to go to heaven. To achieve these things will be very difficult, but in the end it will be well worth the effort.
I often still recall the words my mother said when I was a young: It all adds up in the end. Yes, God has last word in the end, not the world and for the last couple years, I have been asking our Lord for His much needed assistance:
Lord, help me to see myself as you see me, not as the world sees me and help me to become the person that You created me to be.
Perhaps we all should stop concerning ourselves with being special to the world and focus more on the reality that we are already special to God. We are all so small compared to Him and yet He loves us so much. Compared to the infinite power and wisdom of God, we are a bunch of airheads and yet He loves each one of us. To him we are so precious, so precious that He came down into our own existence and died for every one of us. If that cannot make each one of us feel special, I do not know what else can. It is the perfect love story.
After leaving this world, I wish to be remembered, recognized and loved by none other than the one who is responsible for my existence in the first place, the one who died for me so that I could live forever with Him. I hope that what I do in this world does not matter so much to those who live in this world, but to He and all those who live in Heaven because in the end, that is where I want to be.