Treasures Around Us

An interactive and impactful message to add to your own Mental Health journey or curriculum.

differences

Head Nods and Peace Signs

My pre pandemic summers were almost always greeted with my feet dangling from a tailgate; parked, safe, happy and carefree…watching head nods and peace signs. Let me set the record straight about us deadheads. Some escape. Some enhance. Some do both. Now, let me set another record straight. Differences in choices and lifestyles are not invitations to be a jerk.

Once upon a time, I tried out for show choir. It was not for personal growth. It was not to showcase a talent. I just wanted to be a part of something…and I sucked at sports. I still do. Once upon a time, I associated acceptance with adequacy. Once upon a time, I allowed someone else to decide if I could sing and dance with others.

Thank goodness, many treasures are uncovered with time. Maturity helps us choose what perceptions we decide to call truth. These truths become values we store in a personal vault that is unlocked when decisions are needed. I have made many.

Today, the person accepting is me. I accept my actions. I accept my words. I accept my imperfections. I accept that some of my traits are a condition…not a personality. That is because today, I dance on grass…not a stage and my auditions require nothing but a good mood. Dance with me, friends.

Crazy Talk

Crazy: when was it…how was it…that you last used that word? Did crazy describe a thought? Did crazy describe a thing? Did crazy describe a circumstance that threatened your comfort zone? Did crazy describe someone who, Heaven forbid, didn’t think or act the way you wanted them to? Is crazy a mental status? Our dictionaries say so. Is crazy a reaction to contrast? Our leaders say so.

We’re all crazy if crazy means different. That means you’re crazy. That means I’m crazy. Differences should strengthen relationships, not weaken them. But, strength requires sacrifice. Allow me to explain with a light hearted confession:

Parking lots…I don’t like them. They’re not the highest on the trigger list, but they almost always get the anxiety going. Anxiety is poor company. So, while I get front door service, my husband parks and walks alone. He walks alone with an empty hand that’s colder than mine because vestibules are heated. He walks alone by couples that are not separated by crazy. When we meet, he is kind. He always remains kind knowing that my illness hates his bucket list.

Does my crazy make me unlikeable or does it give me character? Is my husband crazy because he can overlook clutter or am I crazy because I can’t? Is he crazy for putting up with me or am I crazy for letting him?

When we define differences as crazy, we deny ourselves opportunities to interact. With that comes a risk of loss; the loss of more knowledge, the loss of more companionship. My daughter puts ketchup on her eggs and I think that’s gross. But, she will always be one of my favorite people.

Crazy is diverse. Crazy is crazy. If you open your mind, you may find something or someone that you don’t yet realize that you need. You need the person that walks alone in parking lots for you. You also need to accept the people that won’t. Crazy is diverse. Crazy is crazy. You need to love the person who puts their crazy aside to put yours first. You need to accept those who never will. That is their right.

My friend, you too have rights. You have the right to tolerate. You have the right to remove. You have the right to love. You have the right to practice caution. Above all, you have the right to live knowing with all of your heart that you are a treasure!