I saw this Rudolph meme the other day and it got me thinking . . .
Rudolph was one bad ass mo’fo.
Seriously. I’ve always loved the movie and watch it every year with my family. Over the years, my Dad and I have taken the time to break down the characters and different scenes in the movie. For instance, talking about how his Dad is pretty much a jerk because he criticizes his son for being different, how at one point Santa’s gloves are REALLY dirty, how at one point Yukon Cornelius couldn’t have moved in the way that he did because he would have had to fly over a huge gap and how Santa goes from being pretty skinny to fat in the matter of 20 seconds.
During the movie, Rudolph puts up with a lot!! Sure, he has his moments where he breaks down and runs away – but he ends up coming back. At the end of the day, was humble enough to save Christmas and not throw it back in everybody’s face.
I think that the spoonie community (aka all the chronically fabulous patients out there) can take a lesson from good old Rudy. Sure, we’re different, we each have our own afflictions to deal with. Some are outwardly shown, others may not be. But the point is, chronic conditions make us a little bit different from the rest. We have to pace ourselves, we’re not able to do everything we’d like to do, we’re on tons of different medications, we frequent doctors offices and hospitals like it’s our job . . . a lot of times we don’t get to play in the reindeer games either!!!
We have ups and downs, we meet caring people who think we’re cute, we meet people who ridicule us for being different and there are many times we want to run away from it all!
BUT, it’s important to remember, that just because we’re different, doesn’t mean we can’t still play an important role! Everybody laughed at Rudolph, called him names and basically never gave him a chance. But, who was the one to save Christmas?
Was it Fireball, Rudolph’s friend who was just like all the other reindeer?
Was it Comet, Rudolph’s jerk coach who excluded him because he’s different?
NOPE. IT WAS RUDOLPH! The very thing that everyone criticized him for was what saved Christmas.
Ok, so I’m not saying your RA, Lupus, Fibro or Lyme is going to save Christmas (or maybe it will?! That’d be an awesome Hallmark or Lifetime movie), but we have to take a play from Rudolph and realize that just because we have an affliction doesn’t mean we’re out of the game. I know I’ve said it many times before, but we truly need to look for the blessings within our storms.
Every battle that we encounter in our life can either break us or we can use it to elevate us. Rudolph, at first, was ashamed by his nose. He didn’t want to burden anyone and ended up running away. BUT, once he meets others who are like him and have afflictions as well, he starts to realize that just because he’s different doesn’t make him any less special.
Many of us have found each other online through different hashtags (like #spoonie or #chroniclife) and we’ve come together to realize that each of us, although very different, are struggling just the same. No one in life has it easy. No one in life is free from pain or sorrow. No one in life is better than the rest. By realizing that our differences make us special, we can start to tap into our full potential. Use your difference to help make a positive impact. Maybe it’s by sharing your health journey to help inspire others or to even just connect with others to allow them to realize they’re not alone. There are so many different ways we can use our ‘red nose’ to help make a difference. We might not end up saving Christmas for millions of little girls and boys, but we can help make a positive impact in some way.
So at the end of the day, there will be jerks in life (just like in Rudolph – FYI I found this post pretty funny and I love how it ends with “Enjoy watching this holiday classic this year, and take a lesson from it. Don’t be a jerk this Christmas, because someone will always outshine you!”) who will criticize the things that make you different. But remember, those differences are what make you YOU and you AMAZING. So embrace your differences, allow yourself to shine and have a positive effect on this world.
And because Rudolph is awesome, I leave you with this cute little reindeer dance break.
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!