“Why me?” “Why me, Lord?” “Why, does this always happen to me?”
Questions that I seem to ask myself regularly that leave me wondering who I really am.
Am I a child of God or am I a unicorn?
I know, a unicorn seems really strange, but there are days that I feel like a unicorn.
An oddity because of the unusual, unheard of and rare that seems to envelop me like a mystical blanket.
Yes, there are times I feel like I might as well have a horn growing out of my head!
Let me explain why, so you will understand.
I am that one person in a thousand that the unusual afflicts.
I put pine nuts on my salad, and I have Pine Nut Syndrome.
I chop hot peppers from my garden, and I end up with Hunan Hand.
I get stung by a wasp, and I suffer a “large local reaction” that takes days to get any relief after shots and medical treatment.
I go to spend the day at the beach, and the salt water turns my body into a honeycomb of hives.
I attempt to spend the day by the pool to enjoy the sun, and I end up with photosensitivity that leaves a rash of tiny red dots along my exposed skin.
I take a simple aspirin for a headache and end up in the ER with anaphylaxis.
All true stories- all real things that are not figments of my imagination. (Actually, I wish they were because it would make my life easier.)
Instead, I’ve learned to forgo many delights and conveniences and spend days anxiously anticipating what will happen next.
What’s the next weird thing that will befall me?
And when it happens, I’m back to questioning- “why me?” and feeling like a unicorn.
I do realize that this side of heaven, I will never know why these weird things happen to me, but what I can do now is explore what drives my response. Uncover who I really am and what motivates me.
I recently learned that I am a Six (6) on the Enneagram- a "Loyalist or Loyal Skeptic." If you know anything about the Enneagram, it is an ancient personality assessment based on psychology and spiritual foundations that uncover your unique personality, acknowledging motivations that drive us and the areas of sin that we are most vulnerable. It shows how our greatest strengths can also be our most significant weaknesses.
I’ve learned that a Loyalist is all about thinking and planning. We are a devil’s advocate, and we tend to think in worst-case scenarios. Safety and security are our goals and fear motivates us. Thus, anxiety is a constant companion, and we question ourselves and others endlessly.
For a Six like myself to have super strange things transpire frequently -it is no wonder I struggle and dread what's around the next corner.
At our best, Loyalists are stable, self-reliant, hard-working, responsible, trustworthy and loyal to a fault. We can, when willing to step out in faith and take a risk, courageously champion for ourselves and others.
We all have our good and bad qualities, but without knowing how our personalities shape how we see ourselves and see the world we become trapped in a cycle of repeating habits, mistakes and even chanting the same questions over and over again; reacting to the world like a broken record.
So, I'm starting to see myself a little differently. Beginning to explore who I really am, what motivates me and how my weaknesses influence how I perceive and react to the world.
I also recently learned that unicorns are mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible. Now, these references to “unicorns” aren’t the My Pretty Pony varieties with sparkles in their hair but, references to “re’em” (which some translations say unicorn, wild oxen or a rhinoceros type animal.) Regardless of the name, they all refer to a horned creature that is fierce and strong.
“God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a re’em (unicorn).” ~ Numbers 23:22
“But you have made me as strong as a re’em (unicorn.) You have anointed me with the finest oil.” ~Psalm 92:10
I kinda like the unicorn image.
Maybe seeing myself as a unicorn isn't so bad after all. It is in times of testing, pain, suffering, and uncertainties that perseverance grows- turning rare and unusual into a robust and unique creature- that lacks for nothing.
(If you are interested in learning about the Enneagram and what your personality number is I would recommend, The Road Back To You: An Ennagram Journey of Self-Discovery by Ian Cron & Suzanne Stabile plus there is an on-line test @ www.exploreyourtype.com)
Father, help us to embrace the “unicorn moments” and appreciate the good and the bad that you have placed in our lives. May we realize both are to our ultimate growth and benefit!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-4