We all bear marks of some kind. Some marks are glorified.
Some are shamed.
The word stigma refers to marks of disgrace.
Stigma is to universally identify someone, something, someplace – as a mark of disgrace.
Disgrace surrounds mental health illnesses.
An inability to compassion each other and ourselves makes us to see shame inside scars and beautiful minds. Our own hauntings cause us to shame the haunts of the other. Our darknesses are different shades, different nights, different seasons – and because they are different, we mark those as disgrace.
There’s so much grace.
What would it take for marks of disgrace to be re-named, re-membered, as marks of grace?
We see in terms of darkness and light, as if cloud and storm have never been a thing.
And when darkness invades the burning light in a body, a mind, a soul – and you find yourself a witness – what are our choices?
1. We shame the darkness.
2. We deny the darkness.
3. We embrace what once was light and has been invaded.
It is still light.
White-washing darkness with quick-fix suggestions only encourages stigma. Only results in reassuring a person that ‘they are dis-graced’ but ‘you can help them make victory over themselves’.
Our inability to accept ourselves makes us vulnerable to being unable to accept other people. Despite what we tell ourselves, this inability to accept is really an inability to truly love both ourselves and each other.
We all care in different ways, but it’s important that we understand the effect that stigma has on the way that we care.
See, what you see makes all the difference.
If you see disgrace, you’ll find yourself unable to compassion. You’ll attempt to fix the person you care about without acknowledging the light that lives in them, even now.
If you see grace? You’ll see the light inside them, even if they can’t. If you see this person marked by grace, you’ll travel with them into light more brilliant than you knew lived in either one of you.
The path into light always requires a trek through darkness. Trekking together, shame kind of fades,
and you find you’ve always been marks of grace.