Stigma

syigmaIn Mexico, there are these fish that have colonized the freshwater caves along Sierra del Abra. They were lost. They found themselves living in complete darkness. But they didn’t die.
Instead, they thrived. They adapted. They lost their pigmentation, their sight, eventually even their eyes. With survival, they became hideous…
I’ve rarely thought about what I once was. But I wonder if a ray of light were to make it into the cave, would I be able to see it? Or feel it? Would I gravitate to its warmth? And if I did, would I become less hideous?

In an undisclosed, suppressed fear, we are all victims of being branded, labeled, marked for something that we may very well really be; but due to lack of self-esteem, we bury this stain, this blemish that only serves a fragment of ourselves. Yes… I use the word ‘serve’ because nothing in the world happens to us for a reason. However reproachful it may be, such things have their purpose.

For fear of shame or even disgrace, most of us simply get carried away to what we see would be fitting to the rest of the world. For fear of being alone, we hide this hideous side so others may continuously accept the pleasant side of ourselves. Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside is manifested on the outside.

I traveled this path possibly most of my life, where glimpses of awkwardness and weirdness would surface; yet retreating and shrinking is all I ever did. In the most insane logic, I meant to keep peace by shrivelling the part of me what others may deem unacceptable.

Hideous is a strong word. But I remember when being with other people and we catch someone ‘odd’, I go along with their ‘eewww’. =/

After many moons in this path that has seemed to have been going in circles, a dramatic change in my life and lifestyle brought out the hideousness.

I chose a different path.
I became alone.
Folks I used to hang out with suddenly treated me as a non-existent ghost.
I became a favourite topic for gossip.
Did I say I became alone??!

This was the hardest part of all. Alone and loneliness were like inseparable partners plaguing my soul. Yoga… call me crazy, but yoga was my only friend then. I literally poured myself into my practice. Things happen for a reason, right? So as moons pass again and again, things begin to shift. Slowly… which felt like forever! Yet I remained adamant with my new path. I continued to change. And this transformation gave the greatest gift I can ever have… I learned to love myself.

The love began to grow more and more. My heart met joy. With self love, I received yet another gift… freedom.

Hideous I may be to some, okay, maybe we’ll use the word odd or different, there are folks who can appreciate this quirkiness and peculiarity: like-minded and like-hearted souls who value beauty in madness. The more you approve of yourself, the less you need others’ approval.

The stigma is still around. It doesn’t make me feel small anymore. It is one of my battle scars. I love how it scarred me to be who I am now. Unconventional yet true. Eccentric but authentic.

If you are always trying to be normal,
you will never know how amazing you can be.”~ Maya Angelou

Namaste. =)

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