I’m not stupid. I know we live in a shallow, vain, subjective world. We exist in a society that judges us based on our outer appearance, because most often that’s all we can see. Image is everything. We are presented an image by everyone we meet, and we present an image to everyone that crosses our path. I have a mask I wear depending on the situation and circumstances. When I go to apply for a job, I want to present myself as qualified, acceptable, and capable of fulfilling the requirements of that position, so I dress the part and put on the appropriate mask. When I am running a 5k, I don’t show up in heels and sporting a tiara, although that might be a hilarious run. While I maintain the true essence of my personality at work or play, I choose the image I want to portray. I post pictures of what is important to me. I don’t post pictures of what I don’t think portrays the right image. But we are so much more than the masks we wear or the images we choose to display. Yet, how often do we hurt each other because our small minds can’t move beyond the shallow, the vain, the image, or the mask?
Having two handicapped parents taught me at a very early age to see beyond the outward appearance, deeper than the disease, the defects, the imperfections to realize there’s a soul behind the eyes. My father wasn’t just a blind man. He was a human being; often times, a terrible, hateful, angry and evil human being, but human nonetheless. My mother behind her MS was also a human being. She was someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s wife, someone’s mother, not just a woman whose body didn’t work anymore. I can remember as a child holding my father’s glass eye in my hand and resenting it, because that seemed to be all the world could see, how they defined him, how they felt sorry for him and placated to his dysfunction, and he preyed on it, used it to cover his sins, to hide the black soul he carried. I hated the world because they couldn’t see him; all they saw was a blind man. I saw a devil. I saw the anger, the hate, the pervert, the conman, the hustler. The world pitied him, made excuses for him, but I saw his soul. Behind my mother I saw a broken spirit, a dull soul that was gray it allowed her to turn a blind eye, sewed her mouth shut, and too weak to protect her children. I learned to see souls very early in life.
Now, as a single woman in a vain world, every day I see the masks, wear the masks, and recognize the masks for what they are. I am inundated with comments on my appearance, and they’re nice to receive. Who doesn’t want to be told they’re pretty, or their eyes are pretty, or their smile is pretty? It’s better than being told you’re hideous or dull. But, can’t they see ME? Do they know how strong I am, what I’ve accomplished in my life? How my soul that had been so damaged and abused has survived, thrived, and overcome in spite of the circumstances, the tragedies, and the hate? Can’t they see the abundance of love, compassion, and hope that radiates from this broken vessel?
I try so hard to see behind people’s masks when I meet them, get to know the human soul inside them, and decide if I want them in my life. There are MANY, many people I meet that I immediately close out and throw up a wall, defending myself, and keeping them out of my life, out of my company, out of my circle because I see glimpse the devil behind their masks. I don’t listen to what people say. I watch what people do, see how they treat others, take a glance at the trail behind them to see if their path is filled with destruction or love, and listen to my gut. The worst ones often have the sweetest words, prettiest faces, most beautiful bodies, and crocodile tears. They are often damsels in distress or victims of circumstances, but in reality they’re a black plague, the ones causing the strife and drama everywhere they go. I don’t have time for all that. But, I can also see sometimes an imperfect mask, a dysfunctional life, a broken appearance, but inside…. I have glimpse some souls so beautiful, so radiant, so amazing that I sometimes can’t hold back the emotion that wells inside me. They’re often broken, a mess, judged by the world around them – but I see them, I see beyond who they even think they are and see them for who they have the potential to become, what they’re capable to achieve – not because of their looks, their education, their money, their status, their means… but because I know what kind of fight a survivor has, what kind of imagination stirs within a dreamer, what kind of drive resides inside an innovator, a strategist, a clever mind. I know the power of compassion. I know the strength of love.
Fuck their world and their vanity. Fuck the shallow people who can love someone because of their imperfections. I LOVE perfect imperfections. I LOVE scars and the stories behind them. I LOVE watching people pick themselves up from the mistakes they’ve made. I LOVE seeing souls radiate – they’re beautiful.
I woke up this morning feeling beautiful and sexy. I may not have my 20-year old body anymore (it’s now full of scars, marks, imperfections, jiggly thighs, and trace evidence of a life lived, mistakes made, and miracles), but the beautiful soul pulsating just beneath my skin is absolutely radiant. If anyone can’t see that when they look at me, they’re a blind idiot and don’t deserve to be in the same universe.
Till next time,