Celebrate Our Differences

One of my very best friends in the whole world is my sister, Maria. I am actually best friends with all my siblings, but I am going to focus on Maria for this blog post. Growing up, people always asked us if we were twins. We are actually two years and one day apart, but we have always been close in size and looks. Being so close in age, we have always been really great friends. We had many of the same friends growing up and we were always partners in crime, so to say. We enjoyed hanging out with each other, even in high school. When we were really young, we chose to sleep together (in a twin bed), even though we each had our own room. Our poor mom would come in several times to tell us to stop giggling and get to sleep. We have always been the best of friends.

With saying all that, I want to tell you that we are really quite opposite in every way: Maria is loud and probably the funniest person I have ever met. I am quiet and more reserved. Maria is very outgoing and quite the daredevil. She has sky-dived; bungee jumped, and has done so many other things that I would never think about doing. I am more timid and happy to be safely on the ground observing. Maria’s room always has looked like a tornado just blew through, and I am what my dad would call a “Neat-Nick”. Maria is a very creative hair stylist, and I am a teacher. Maria is more business-minded and I am more maternal.

My side of the room while on vacation with Maria

 

Maria’s side!

How many times in life do we look for people who are just like us? We do this when looking for friends, people to work with, people to date…we like to find people who have common interests. That is not a bad thing to do, I realize, because we want to do things we enjoy with people who enjoy them as well. My point in telling you about Maria is to illustrate a point: We are so very opposite, yet we are the best of friends. Sometimes when we meet people who are so different from us, we mentally shut down and don’t allow them in. We can do this by making judgments and listening to society’s stereotypes. When we allow other people into our lives that have different habits and beliefs and personalities, we invite learning and growing onto our world. We actually open up a whole new world! It is exciting and it is an adventure in its own way.


If we are close minded and we pass on getting to know someone because they look different from us, or they follow a different spiritual path, or any number of other reasons, we are slighting them and ourselves. There is so much to learn and so much joy to experience from other people. When we encounter someone with a different personality, we can see life through their eyes and emotions…how fun is that!?!?

Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s celebrate our differences! Let’s look at life through the eyes of a person, sibling, or friend who sees the world in a different way than we do. Let’s be open to learning something new and enjoying the people life puts before us.

Because Together is Better,

Comments

  1. I am so glad to read a post about celebrating our differences. I am an only child, but I feel I am different to my friends. As I have grown into an adult, I have chosen to celebrate that. Thanks for your insight.

  2. I loved the photos that you you shared. My partner and I are so different in many ways, but our relationship still works after 12 years together 🙂

    http://www.lifestyleandimage.co.uk

  3. Deanna, I LOVED this post. For one, my kids are exactly 2 years and 1 day apart and they are truly the best of friends. Secondly, my best friend and I could not be less similar. When we travel, my side of the room looks like Maria’s :-). You are so right. We have so much to learn from those that are different from us.

  4. Ah, Deanna, I needed to read this today!! I’m getting to know someone (and am completely open to this becoming an amazing romance!) and I think he’s very very different from me. Younger for sure.

    I feel strengthened by reading this, and able to let go of the silly fears (a little, anyway) that are present.

    So grateful for this!

    xoxox
    Sue

  5. What a lovely post. Difference makes the world go round, right? But it’s so much easier to accept in family than in strangers. We should remember this when meeting someone new who we think we have nothing in common with.

  6. Sometimes I think we are so ingrained in our ways of being that we don’t even see people who are different from us, let alone allow them in. Thanks for sharing!

  7. That is a very cute picture of you and your sister. I am the complete opposite of all my siblings too. It is so important to celebrate each other’s differences. Imagine how boring the world would be if we were all the same

  8. I have always found that opposites make the best friends as their counter balance each other’s neuroticisms

  9. My sister is also my best friend too! I’m the loud one out of the two lol I’ve been with my hubby for almost 10 years and we are totally opposite from each other, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  10. Ok, I know and LOVE all those involved in this post. Maria is one of my all-time favorite people and, well, I married the other one, so……

    Gina – I just KNEW you would chime in with some not-to-inconspicuous jilted comment, which is why I love you too – right on cue! ANd BTW I feel ya!

    Funny, this week’s church service was about this very subject and basically challenged us with the same message: Embrace our differences. The good Lord made us different so that we all learn and grow through each other!

  11. Lol now thats cutee.. its like spot the difference. your both has chemistry! 🙂

  12. I love this blog! I can relate, my sister and I are complete opposites too. We have so much fun together… the very best of friends.

  13. Jim Striegel says:

    I admire your close knit family. You are very fortunate.

  14. Lisa Hodges says:

    I noticed that a lot of my son’s friends are very different from him and I think it’s a good balance. I tend to have a balance between people like me and some a bit more reserved.

  15. Jeff Brand says:

    Enjoyed reading your post very much. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Dov Shapira says:

    It is awesome that all the differences between you two never broke the loving bond.

  17. Love your article, especially the quote! It’s this inability, or maybe unwillingness, to accept others for who and what they are that is leading to so much division in this country and world.

    You are blessed to have siblings that you are so close with!

    • David, I agree with you 100%. We need to start with ourselves to change the world! Yes, I think I am very lucky to have such a great bunch of siblings! Thank you for your comment. -Deanna

  18. Maria, The Daring & Too Creative To Tidy says:

    Had I known my undies would be photographed and shared with your audience I might have kept them in my suitcase… Who am I fooling? I wouldn’t have done a damn thing differently.

    I dated a guy who was exactly like me once. Drove me bonkers! I married my complete opposite. Drove me to drink. I am certain there are plenty of grey, in-between types out there just waiting to be enjoyed.

    In truth, I love our differences. Not just yours and mine, Bonana, but all of ours. Most of my friends are nothing like me and I find them to be fascinating.

    Thanks for featuring me and my flaws and putting them under the category of unique. Positive blogging at its best.

    • Maria, I just love you! You always make me laugh and smile, and I celebrate our differences every day! You are such a fun sister…I am such a lucky, lucky girl! 🙂 -Deanna

  19. You know what they say….opposites attract! It’s wonderful that you both are so close! We should all appreciate each other for who we are! 🙂

  20. I love getting close to people that are different from me. There really is so much to be learned and its funny how much you can learn about yourself because of them.

    • Jason, you are so right in that we not only get to learn about other people but we also get to learn about ourselves…that is so empowering! Thank you for your wise words. -Deanna

  21. Well said. Don’t you find the TV ads for dating sites hilarious when they offer to match people up with others who are exactly the same ? I have a better idea for them .. Go for a nice dinner . Pour a Glass of Wine … Light some Candles … Listen to Good Music …Then put a Mirror in the Middle of the table so you can talk to someone who will always agree with you !

  22. Gina (the other sister) says:

    Hello to all the people smart enough to read my sister’s blog!

    I can attest to the major differences between my two sisters…hey I love them both with all my crusty heart! (It’s crusty now because I wasn’t in the article). I’m probably right in the middle of my two sisters personality, probably erring on the loud, daring side. So I can relate to each.

    I don’t know if I am as accepting of people out there in the world who are so different from me. It’s hard to find understanding and a common ground. My husband is very good at listening and trying to learn from someone else’s point of view. I need to follow his lead.

    Thanks for the great blog, as usual…
    With love & gratitude and a teaspoon of bitterness,
    Gina

    • Gina, you crack me up! I love your comment and I love that you throw a teaspoon of bitterness in there. Stay tuned, I think there is a blog post brewing about you! -Deanna

  23. Rick Villelli says:

    No doubt you two girls have totally divergent personalities, …..the suitcase photos are pretty good proof of that. But I’ve always focused on the strong undercurrent of kindness, love for others, and joyful souls you each possess. Love you girls to bits. -Bro

  24. This post cracked me up!!!! LOVE the pics =) Great message though, you are so right “It is not our differences that divide us” Food for thought.

  25. So true!…and you BOTH are so loveable! ♥

  26. Thank you so very much for the share! -Deanna

Trackbacks

  1. […] that Deanna Heiliger had also written a post about sisters (back on Feb. 22, 2014) – entitled Celebrate Our Differences. She talks about how very different sisters can be, yet how much they learn and grow by accepting […]

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