December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

So here's the deal guys "reflect and manifest" is kind of as hippie as I'm willing to get. In psych class the other night we had a discussion about what things will be changing in the next DSM and one o the things that supposedly getting the axe is narcissism supposedly because it's just so common. Of course we all got a good chuckle out of that but then my teacher said "It's because of you guys, the 'self esteem' generation. Your parents were all told that they had to tell you you were wonderful and special, so you all think you are".

I know this makes my psych teacher sound like a grumpy old man that says things like "back in my day, a trophy meant you won, not just that your parents signed you up to stand on the field and pick your nose," but she's really not. I happen to know she has a daughter my age and a son in high school and she's pretty darn nice.

Regardless of all those things, there are the things I think of that make me me. Sometimes they're special and sometimes they're the norm, depends in the community (see that tie in to the last post? Yeah, I'm that good) so here's my best offer.

I'm a doer. Sure, homework, housework, errands, they all get put off, but big things like moving, changing jobs, traveling, I don't have any qualms jumping into head first. Sometimes I get a little anxious after I've made a decision, but I never back down. I'm not much for telling people to make the situation they're in work or to settle. If things suck, if you hate your job, your apartment, your significant other, change something. Change doesn't always have to mean moving on to something new, (though sometimes that's certainly necessary) sometimes it just means telling someone what isn't working, standing up for yourself or buying new throw pillows. I don't feel good unless I'm actively working towards some newer, better version of me and my life. Which means often I don't feel like I'm doing enough. Which leads to...

I have an over developed sense of empathy. I don't watch the news both because I dont have tv and because it tends to make me cry. I can't deal with war. I don't care who is killing who, whether the "good guys" or the "bad guys" are ahead. I just dont get it. I can't get filled with rage, only sadness and heartbreak. My religion is not one that requires me to have faith in god but I do have faith in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. I don't understand violence. I can't imagine what motivates people to kill.

My empathy also makes me the type of person that makes me want to jump up and join every cause all the time. There is just so much damn hurt and suffering in this world it overwhelms me. I work 45 hours a week with teenage addicts while going to school to be a social worker and I still think I'm not doing nearly enough.

I don't know if my tendency to urge everyone towards change or my ability to feel hurt on behalf of anyone lights other people up. I can't tell you they're always productive. Both those things certainly aren't always beautiful. All I know is I make an effort I live my life like I have some control over where it goes and with the intention of doing my part to ease a little of the suffering around me.