Monday, May 13, 2013

Round Peg in a Square Hole?

I think that life gives most of us, if not all of us a turn or two at feeling like we're different, and not in a happy sort of way.  The expression that we often hear is "Feeling like a round peg in a square hole."  Now you must admit that doesn't sound very comfortable.  You could roll from side to side but never feel the comfort of a safe snug fit.

What makes you feel different or left out?  Do you have lots of health problems?  Do have you lots of financial woes, possibly because you have lots of health problems?  Do you perceive things differently than your peers?  I believe Albert Einstein struggled with that challenge for most of his life. 

After Kindergarten in California we moved to Utah.  I HATED Utah.  It got cold, there was no beach, and I didn't have a single friend in first grade.  Then to make things worse I got sick, sicker, and sickest.  I spent six months of that first school year sick, and in and out of the hospital.  I had red measles, three day measles, and German measles.  (If I were German I would be annoyed to think that they had named such a miserable illness after my nationality).  I had mumps on one side and then the other.  With each illness my asthma made the condition much worse.  So I was also in and out of the hospital many times for oxygen.

Can you imagine facing death frequently caused me to be a little different than the other children?  It was common for me to awaken in the middle of the night gasping for air.  There was nothing that could be pills, no inhalants.  When my asthma was at its worst off I would go to the hospital for oxygen.

Today we think of asthma rather casually.  After all there are ever so many treatments available now for the condition. 

Why do I choose to remember something that could be so unpleasant?  I learned much about empathy, tolerance, and unconditional love during those trying times.  I understand very well what it feels like to be different, strange, not like everybody else.

Now I'm a 56 year old widow.  When I go to activities in my church the other widows are usually in their late 60's or older.  Once again I am in a position that could be (and usually is) very negative.  I miss my darling so very, very much! 

Yet it was my darling that taught me how to face this situation.  If he could speak to me now I know that he would say, "Happy Not Crappy CJ."  What that means in our family is that the circumstances of life do not determine our happiness...we determine our happiness.  In addition he would add, "Please do not remember me with tears and sorrow.  Remember me in all things joyful and enriching."

How about you?  Do you ever feel different, and not in a positive way?  Remember we all feel different, or odd at some point in our lives.  One trick that helps me is to focus on others.  If I think about them I'm not feeling sorry for myself, or focusing on my "oddness."  If you have any ideas or things that have helped you I would love to hear about them.


  1. CJ, as I'm reading your entire blog right now, I'm in tears. Your life and stories are so touching. Would you be willing to share this on my blog? I am searching for these stories to put into a collective work. Full of testimonials. I love your writing style. It's just so real.

  2. I often recall Gordon B. Hinckley's experience of when he was on the mission. His father told him, "Forget yourself, and get to work." I think that is definitely key. I do so much better at battling my own depression when I just get to work on doing what I know I was brought to this world to do. Read your patriarchal blessing daily. Remember who you are and really figure out what your mission is with the experiences you've been through in order to reach your full potential. The way I see it, through your writing, Caroljoy, you have just barely begun to tap into that. I'm excited to see how much further you will stretch yourself. Because I know you can.

    1. Dearest Ligia:

      Thank you for the loving kind words. Your reminder to read my Patriarchal Blessing is well received. I haven't read it for a long time. It is one of the greatest gifts of my life. Scriptures that were revealed TO ME, FOR ME! I had my Patriarchal Blessing reduced to a tiny size and I used to take it with me and read it in the Waiting Room in the Temple. It was amazing the things that were revealed to me in that sacred place for and about my life.

      Because of my fragile health I am not found in the temple very often. I will go back and again feel that reminder of my "divine nature."
      Thanks dear friend, CJ