the gift of being different [VIDEO]

The gift of being different.

Here’s a little life update and my reflections on breaking free from the old “compare and despair” paradigm and learning to embrace the gifts (and challenges) of being different.

I trust that you’ll get something of value that you can apply to your unique life experience.

“Comparison is the death of joy” ~ Mark Twain

Acceptance and love are the keys to peace.

Now that I’ve shared what’s coming up for me… I’d love to hear from you!

  • What’s resonating for you in this conversation?
  • Where in your life do you compare yourself?
  • How can you practice embracing the contrast and loving who you are more fully?

Looking forward to reading your reflections in the comments below.

With love and deep reverence to your journey,

Richele

Richele tree

15 thoughts on “the gift of being different [VIDEO]

  1. Jennifer Downs

    Thanks for your warm hearted sharing and for being so honest. Parenting is indeed a challenge and gift all wrapped up together. It is nice to see that you are choosing to be with your boy and to work out the partnership with your delightful husband.
    Being a Mom and creating the home with baby is an amazing thing. It is enough.
    And how nice for you to send out a personal note to your fan base, keeping us in your orbit.
    I am a Mom and now a Grandmom. The challenges and gifts keep on coming!
    Much love and gratitude

    Reply
  2. Bambi Good

    Every ounce of who you are and how you want to share deeply and honestly comes across in your gift to us, the gift of your self. May you continue to grow as much as you continue to give, and may your love for Jacob and everyone whom you consider your community continue to thrive.

    Reply
  3. jen

    Richele, I’m sending you and your family so much love. Being a mom is hard enough without having extra challenges! I totally GET the idea of “mourning the loss of normal”. It is so easy to compare yourself to others but we both know that is a losing game. You are strong for reaching out and for choosing to be a stay at home mom. It is HARD! Little Jacob is so lucky to have such amazing parents. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  4. Betsey

    Richele thank you so much for your beautiful sharing. It is truly lovely to hear you share your life. I relate in so many ways and interestingly, I also have a comparison “monster”. There are so many times when I am watching myself or even my son and I compare myself and him to others.

    In January however, I decided I was DONE. DONE. DONE. That pattern does not exist with me DONE. So in my transfiguration. I am conscious to see only the Christ self in myself and others. It is still a new experience and still shows up, but I am catching myself more and more.

    I am with you sister!!

    Reply
  5. Laya

    We humans love the diversity of the forest fauna. We love colors, shapes and sounds in other species. We love the many colors of the sunrise and sunset…..the more unique the better!~ Let’s embrace difference as the most interesting thing in the world and a gift to us all.

    Reply
  6. Emily

    Thank you do much for sharing all of this. I’ve thought of you all recently and am so glad you’re embracing the path you’re on.

    This year has called for some serious focus on myself and my family, and while in many ways I still have a long way to go in showing love to myself by taking time for self care, I am able to love myself and cut down on comparisons by being present and taking one day at a time.

    And mama, you already have your shit together, for sure :-). 

    Reply
  7. Theo

    Richele, it is without exception always good to hear your voice because it always comes from deep within your beautiful heart.
    I appreciate your challenges, although mine are different.
    I’ve just returned from a weekend of meditation and Buddhist learning. The stillness and silence were so refreshing, and yet I found that my mind continued in it unhealthy interest in comparing me to others and finding the faults within me. How deep these horrible habits are embedded! I continue to work on releasing the tyranny of my minds negative activities and find that it helps me forgive myself and others. And here is a comparison that I will make only because I want you to know how amazing you are! I can only hope that I can one day be as genuine, loving and compassionate as you are right now. Your son is very fortunate. He will become a wonderful person with so much love surrounding him. You are loved by many and I add my support to your path.

    Reply
  8. Cait

    Richele,
    If anyone can handle raising a child with developmental delays, it is you, and your supportive husband. Trust me, you have your shit together. I can tell because you feel brave enough to share with us when you feel like you don’t. That is something I’ve struggled with all my life. I struggle with the idea of failure, and I take each one of my mistakes very personally. It’s so hard for me to show others when my shit is not at its most together, and I really admire you for that skill. I’ll work on that, and I wish you all the best as you continue settling into a new chapter in your life.

    I’m with ya Lady,

    Reply
  9. Katy

    Becoming a parent is such a discovery of oneself and the endless reservoir of love you have for your child. Through my work, I’ve met many parents of children who are different and I have been moved by the strength that their love gives to them — as I am moved by your expression of acceptance and strength. Thanks for sharing, Richele.

    Reply
  10. Mary

    Hi Richele,
    So lovely to hear about the changes in your life and thanks so much for your update. I have struggled all my life with comparing myself to others and finding myself wanting, and the universe brought a spotlight to this by giving me a child who was ‘different’. Now that I’m teaching in a school for children who are ‘different’ I have many opportunities to notice comparing in action. It seems true to me is that comparing, or rather noticing the ‘other’, has a very useful function and supports learning. It’s the judging that’s coupled with the noticing that feels harmful, the deciding that one is more or less than another because they are different. Peer pressure and societal pressure for conformity can feel so strong sometimes, pushing us to go along with ideas constructed about what is right or best. Yet we know that love is not constructed, it flows, and who we are is a gift to the world so our differences are a gift. My practice is to notice my judgements, notice what thoughts I am having in response to noticing differences, and then taking a breath or 2 or 3 and connecting with what is true and noticing whether my thought is in alignment with that truth and then letting the judgement go, over and over again.
    On a more practical note, one thing that helped me was to connect with others whose children had similar differences to my son. Getting together with them helped me to have a place where I could drop defenses and get practical information to help with navigating the world and advocating for my son.
    I’ve noticed that judgement is so automatic in me that sometimes I despair. Can I ever let go of this habit? So practicing compassion for myself is key, opening myself to love and grace.
    Thank you so much for your post and for your love. Sitting with this and writing has moved something in me. You and your beautiful son ARE GIFTS TO THIS WORLD!!!
    Love, love, love

    Reply
  11. Ginger

    Dear Richele,
    What a lioness you are, watching over your cub with such love and wisdom — and taking care of yourself as well. Thank you for this deep sharing. I and your many admirers send you love. The older I grow, the more I think there is no “normal.” We humans are all over the place, it’s messy and it’s FINE. Pope Francis has called for this to be a Year of Mercy, and you are extending mercy to your child, your family and yourself. I wholly support you in going in this direction. Comparisons do not do anyone good. So much wiser to accept and love where you are. Jacob is lucky to have great, loving parents. By the way, my first child was a premmie and had a serious surgery the day she was born, and the doctor told me that she would always be undersized, compared to others her age. Yet today, she stands taller than her mother. So you never know! Hugs to you, dear friend.

    Reply
  12. Skye

    You are wise and radiant as always. This New Years, when I checked in for intensions for the upcoming year I kept returning to a gut knowing that I am called to just be. So, this is my year of no “self improvement.” Now that I’m committed to this experiment, I’ve noticed how often I rush into problem solving, researching mode. I get very hooked on the idea that there is some perfect version of myself or my life that I only need to work hard at creating. It’s exhausting! Thank you for your reminder we can choose acceptance, and for sharing your story. Sending love and wishes for peace and play and deep sleep.

    Reply
  13. Gina

    Richele-

    Thank you so much for your honest sharing. It sounds like you are awake and alive to all the beauty that life brings, even when it arrives in a form that is different than your expectations. You and Lucas are such wonderful parents who are willing to look inside in order to parent your little guy the best that you can. I can totally relate to the realization that I cannot take care of others until I take care of myself. I am trusting the divine in all who I love so that I give them their space to have their own journey—-free of my expectations of them.

    Congrats on a beautiful time of your life with your little boy and with your husband who is on the same journey. Thank you for keeping in touch. I look forward to staying connected.

    Reply
  14. Nancy Eason

    Hello Richele,

    I watched your video days ago and have been thinking about how I wanted to respond as you brought up so many important issues around comparing oneself. I can well imagine how especially difficult it is for you right now as the parent of a very young child and being bombarded with conversations about growth and changes and others’ insecurities in “how their child is”. It sounds as if you’ve found a good place for you and your family in appreciating just what you need and how to relate that to others. Here’s hoping you’ll be able to surround yourself with positive elements and keep cultivating the things that help stimulate the differences.
    Personally, comparing myself to others is much less of an issue today as in years past. That is not to say that it doesn’t ever happen; it reappears from time to time. I’m on a new journey in a new phase of the lifespan and so new issues have cropped up. It’s a matter of digging into that toolbox of learned skills and cleaning off the rust!
    Thank you for sharing and asking for input as well. Enjoy your time of settling in and resting up!

    Reply
  15. Lorie E.

    You are a beautiful person, Richele. Thanks for sharing this video. I can completely relate to comparing yourself with others. It’s a terrible feeling and makes you feel lacking in some way or not good enough. Instead, we should be celebrating our differences as that is what makes us uniquely wonderful.

    I’m certain Jacob will be just fine, especially with you as his mom. Wishing you and your family all the best! Thanks again for sharing!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *