This was one of the first things I heard when I was diagnosed with lupus.
“Lupies are like snowflakes – no two are alike.”
It’s turned out to be a truly wise statement, in myriad ways. And it’s good to revisit it once in awhile, because sometimes we compare ourselves and our life with illness to others with similar challenges. And, when we do, we might be inclined to be jealous or proud or sad or overly frustrated.
So, a gentle and friendly reminder: No two snowflakes are alike!
Now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have anything in common. I learn volumes from my fellow chronic illness sufferers. The people in my lupus support group helped me tremendously, especially in the coping category. But, I remember, too, that our experiences are different simply because we are different people – and the disease (lupus) behaves differently in each one of us.
The reminder of not being exactly like every other [fill in the blank] patient is also helpful when we try to find and learn more about our condition. All the manifestations of a particular disease might not be present in everyone who has it, and all of the side effect of medications used to treat it may not manifest themselves in everyone, either. Time and again, I go back to my main doctor for “the scoop” on how information relates directly to me. I urge each patient to do this, too, and to not be scared by the “horror stories” we hear from others’ experiences.
God knows us each by name and loves us each as His beloved child. He’s an “equal opportunity” parent, in that He loves each of us equally – but has created in each of us people with individual lives, gifts, and talents. Realizing that we are unique is the first step toward recognizing those gifts and talents and finding ways to put them to use. And that uniqueness extends to our physical lives and the illness and pain we might have.
Snowflakes might originate from someplace cold, and when they’re clumped together in piles and banks, they might be inconvenient. But if you look closely, they are absolutely amazing and beautiful.
Next time you find yourself down or displeased by how you look or how you feel, think of the snowflake and its uniqueness and beauty. That’s you, too!
Blessings for the day,