There are moments in my life when I feel invisible. As a non-married, childless middle-aged adult, I often get left out of family and friends’ activities because I’m not a couple or have kids. As a female entrepreneur, my work is not considered a career; it’s considered biding my time until I find a ‘real’ job. And the money I spend is thought to be wasteful because in the eyes of others I have no reason to be spending money. And don’t even get me started when it comes to explaining to those who don’t understand that I have a chronic disease and have ‘bad days’ even though I may ‘look’ fine much of the time.
How many of you feel like this? You’re not alone and it can be very challenging especially around the holidays because they revolve around family. What I’ve come to realize is that no one can make me feel invisible. Only I can. So if you are feeling similarly, change the line of bullsh*t you’re telling yourself; I know I am trying to do that.
For this holiday season, I am shifting my thinking and changing the negative message I’ve told myself over and over. Although not easy to break the endless recording that’s been playing in my head since childhood, it’s about time I do it so as to step into my own light (spiritually and physically). Instead of feeling like I have to compare myself to others, be included in all activities or be told of all significant life events, I will keep moving forward with my life, in my own way, and not worry whether our paths cross or run parallel. I will focus on my journey, be grateful when included in theirs, and shake it off when not included in theirs.
Yes, I’m still that square peg desperately wanting to fit in that round hole. But as I get older I’m beginning to realize what a waste of time that struggle is. I’m much better off appreciating who I am and finding my own square hole to fit into. And, most importantly, family is all we have when push comes to shove. They love me and I love them unconditionally. At times we may not like each other, and that’s okay. We always love and support one another no matter what.
Unlike many people who focus on career equating success, I focus on giving back…another ‘square peg into the round hole’ characteristic of mine. Originating in the kabbalah in the teachings of the 16th century mystic Isaac Luria, Tikkun Olam tells us it is our duty to help repair and heal the world. I am grateful that in some small way, I am afforded the opportunity on a daily basis to fulfill my Tikkun Olam.
This Thanksgiving, and every day, I always take time to reflect on that for which I am grateful. Many things come to mind. I am grateful for:
- My health. I am so blessed. Yes, I have MS and I’ve had a litany of other issues, and I am well. So many other people I know are facing life-threatening challenges and all I can say is, “Thank You” to God for keeping me well.
- The many blessings that are bestowed upon me and those that I am able to impart upon others. Giving back and helping to make this world a better place is vital. Living a life that matters is what counts. When my time on Earth is complete, I hope I made a difference.
- My family and friends who accept, support, and love me for who I am. You know who you are so I won’t be specific.
- Our Armed Forces who keep us safe and fight for our freedom every day.
- All the philanthropists and volunteers who make the lives of those less fortunate a little bit easier.
- All the researchers and scientists out there trying to find cures for diseases from which so many suffer.
Being aware of these things helps me to change my negative self-talk and replace it with a positive message. I am someone who is living a life that matters by making a positive difference in the world – or so I hope. I am riding an incredible wave of this journey we call life and my blessings are immeasurable.
Thank you for being part of my journey.
Wishing you a health and joyous holiday season!
Be Present | Be Purposeful | Be Well