Week 6, Day 1 – Uniqueness

The choices for today were:

  1. We are often teased about or criticized for a quality that is seen as a weakness but is actually a strength. This strength may lead to our uniqueness. For instance, a sensitive person might become a gifted intuitive leader. Do listmaking to clarify the ways this has happened to you.
  2. Think of someone from your life, reading, or film who could be a role model for you based on their acceptance of their own uniqueness. What is their uniqueness? What is yours? Write about this in your journal.
  3. What would you call a book on uniqueness? What would the chapters be titled? What ideas would the book share with the readers?

It’s amazing what a nap and a grilled cheese sandwich will do. having been gone since what for me is the crack of dawn this morning (7:30 am), I came home, completed some errands and was bound and determined I was going to journal today if it was the last thing I did. But the last thing I wanted to do was write in my journal. All I wanted to do was take a nap. But it’s 8:30 pm you can take a nap now. Sure, I can. No, you can’t. Yes, I can. And the healthier side of me took control and I curled up in bed for what was either going to be a long nights sleep or a good nap. The nap won out as I woke up hungry. So after fixing myself a grilled cheese sandwich and a diet mountain dew, I could begin to think about what my being unique. Chewing my sandwich and sipping my soda gave me an opportunity to think about where I wanted to start with my thoughts on uniqueness. I thought about writing a book on uniqueness, but was not sure what I would call it. I think it would be Me, Just Me, Nobody Else But Me. then I started thinking about this song by Marvin Sapp, ok without looking it up I think that is who sang it – but it starts with you don’t know my story or the things that I’ve been through. You don’t know my pain, what I’ve had to go through to get here. see on the outside I might look like everybody else, kind of all snowflakes look alike, but once you get to know me better and as I get to know myself better, I have come to realize that I am unique. 

When I was doing my master’s work, one of my professors wrote something on the board that has stuck me with for more then 20 years now. She wrote, “You are each unique and precious individuals. There is not, never has been, never will be anyone exactly like you.” funny the things you remember and carry with you. It was one of the single most affirming things I have ever heard and I share it with people all the time.

I think if I was going to write this book, I might start with a chapter on what is unique. What does that word mean? What does it mean to the readers of the book? What are some things others have said about being unique? How do we know we are unique? On second thought, I think this first chapter would be called unique and precious. I think I might find a series of inspirational quotes about uniqueness and use them to write about uniqueness. The book would not be just about me being unique, which I am, or about what has been written about uniqueness, which it might as well, but what I have done in my life to help me tap into my uniqueness and what others could do to help them tap into theirs.  

On the cover of my book, I think I would have a picture of a clay jar with a precious treasure inside. This is me. I am this unique and precious treasure and the Creator has been protecting me all these years, allowing my uniqueness to fully develop, and bringing it out of its clay jar when it was time.

I have kind of been like this lump of clay that has slowly evolved into a diamond. Or a butterfly that has broken out of its cocoon. Coming into an understanding of my uniqueness is not necessarily unique, but what makes me unique is unique. And it is not even, what makes me unique that is unique, but that I am the one with that quality. For example, Janelle wrote about how a sensitive person can also be a genuine and intuitive leader. if that is true for her and it is true for me, which I think it is, but that my being a genuine and intuitive leader is unique to the way any other sensitive person is a genuine and intuitive person.

And I am unique in some other ways. Like I have a pointed ear and have always said I was part Vulcan. Ok, maybe not always, but since I was a child. know there might be some other people who have a pointed ear too, but they are not me and my guess is there pointed ear is not exactly the same as my pointed ear because it is their ear and not mine and their cells are not my cells, so even though they may look alike they are not and even my ear is always unique because the cells are different and growing and changing and evolving and so it is never the same ear twice.

And I am unique in that I know when someone wants to talk to me. Like today, there was this person at the conference I was at and I kept feeling like she wanted to tell me something, but wasn’t and then when we finally got the conversation going, she shared some deeply spiritual experiences with me and then seemed amazed that she was sharing this with a relative stranger. Ok, so technically we were not a stranger, because as Forest Gump would say we had introduced ourselves, but we really did not know much about each other. She probably knew more about me then I did her as my students and I had just talked with the group about how I teach and what it is like in the world of Dr J – lol –

And so sometimes, I am not even sure I recognize my own uniqueness. I mean sometimes I just do what I do without even thinking about the fact that anybody or very few people are doing what I am doing and just kind of assuming that everyone else is doing what I do and then I find out that they are not. Like really. Ok. Hmm. And so when my instructional design specialist shared with me last summer that how I teach is pretty unique – thanks Anna – maybe I should do a brown bag for some of the faculty – ok – cool, but is how I am teaching now really all that different –yes – and the questions raised by the faculty brought about an invitation to submit a session for this conference on teaching today and here in this larger forum I began to realize that I am far more unique then I had even realized I was. 

And so it was like wow. And on the way home I found myself thinking about what my teacher had said – there is not, never has been, never will be anybody just like you. Do you gurl. Then I heard myself preaching a line from one of my first sermons when I told those gathered that we are divine by design because we were designed by the Divine. We are Divine Originals. And as I say to some of my friends – werk that label. I guess I werked it today. Lol