The Gift of Being Different

Robert May, a Canadian man, was facing the worst Christmas of his life. Sitting in a small, drafty apartment, with his wife dying of cancer, and his four-year-old daughter crying on his lap, he faced her question: Why couldn’t her mother come home? Why wasn’t she like other mothers?

Bob’s life had always been difficult. As a child, he’d been frequently bullied by other boys. He’d been too small to compete in sports. He was often called terrible names. He was always different. He never seemed to fit in.

After completing college, he found his life greatly improved. He got a job as a copywriter for the T Eaton Stores. He married a woman named Evelyn, and they had a little girl. His brief period of happiness, though, ended with Evelyn’s cancer, which took away their savings.

Now he and his little daughter lived in a two-room apartment in a poor area of Toronto. His wife died days before Christmas in 1938. He couldn’t afford a present for his little girl, but he was determined to give her something. So he made a story book, his autobiography in disguised form.

This was the story of a reindeer who was laughed at by all the other reindeer for his big shiny nose.

Bob finished the story in time to give it to his daughter on Christmas Day.

The general manager of the store where he worked heard about the storybook and gave Bob a nominal fee to buy the rights to print it. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was distributed to children visiting Santa Clause in the T. Eaton stores. By 1946 they’d distributed more than 6 million copies.

A major publisher asked to buy the rights to print an updated version. The CEO of Eaton’s returned all the rights to Bob, and the book became a best seller. Bob, remarried with a growing family became wealthy.

Then his brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to the story. Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, recorded it, and it was released in 1949. The song sold more records than any Christmas song but “White Christmas.”

Bob, the misfit, who in an act of love, created a gift from his heart for his little girl, found that gift returning to him again and again. And he learned that, just as Rudolph did, that being different can be a blessing.

He shared that lesson with the world. And every one of us can celebrate our differences. Thanks, Bob. Your gift continues to give.

Holly: The Bach Flower Remedy for Love

Unconditional love, the positive energy expressed by the Holly Bach Remedy, is the most natural emotion. Your animal companions know that; they express forgiveness and forgetting with every breath of their beings. Humans, however, find this more difficult. Part of our problem is that we learn early on that no one will forgive our anger.

As children, we are punished for the spontaneous expression of anger (did you ever tell your parents that you hated them?). Schools reinforce the lesson, and by the time we’re adults, we’re convinced that anger has the danger potential of volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.

If anger is violent, destructive, and self-destructive, it’s usually because we’ve held it in for too long. That’s why it’s important to express.

When someone’s spent a long time being depressed, feeling and expressing anger is a giant step on the road of recovery. When we’re angry, energy is moving, and sometimes this emotion washes away blockages and resistance and leads to healing.

I believe in accepting anger, learning to handle it, and allowing it.


Pretend you have a friend, Sam, who continually talks about himself and never wants to hear about your life. You’ve known him a long time, and you think that tuning him out can preserve your friendship (and, despite this issue, you do have one). Sometimes an evening with him leaves you angry, and you may wait a while before seeing him again.

Your anger accumulates, and you tell other friends that you can hardly bear to be around Sam. Finally, after a day when everything went wrong, you have dinner with him. He begins to tell you what a terrible day he had, and you explode. You never speak to him after that, but who needs that kind of friendship?

If you’d acknowledged the anger sooner and decided to address it, could have handled the situation in a way that was less hurtful both to you and to Sam.


From the time we told our parents we hated them (or didn’t tell them but thought it), most of us have used anger to shield ourselves from our disappointment, hurt, and vulnerability.

The spirit guide, Seth (channeled by the late Jane Roberts) said that anger can bring us back to love. Have you ever had a fight with someone you loved that resulted in a tearful reconciliation and the feeling that you loved this person more than ever? Your decision not to hold onto your anger was a statement that you wanted reconciliation.

To make sure that the person doesn’t hear the anger, you need to speak the love—and strongly.


I can best deal with my anger when I realize that my main problem isn’t how others treat me but how I treat myself. When I’m cut off from the source of love, which is myself, it’s easy to find evidence in the external world that others love me imperfectly.

I also take Holly. All of us can benefit from its healing energies. In its positive state, Holly represents being in harmony with oneself and others, taking joy in the happiness of others, and being an expression of unconditional love.

Dr. Bach said: “Holly protects us from everything that is not Universal Love. Holly opens the heart and unites us with Divine Love.”

Many people bring the holly plant indoors during the Christmas season to symbolize Christ’s rebirth. We need not be Christian to honor the Holly flower as a means for resurrecting in each of us the spirit of love and divine communion, which is our birthright.

This blog post is excerpted from Bach Flower Remedies: A User-friendly Guide. You can click on the cover to the left for more information. It’s available at Amazon.