“Paint yourself a picture of what you wish you looked like. Maybe then they just might feel an ounce of your pain. Come into focus. Step out of the shadows. It’s a losing battle. There’s no need to be ashamed. ‘Cause they don’t even know you, all they see is scars. They don’t see the angel living in your heart. Let them find the real you buried deep within. Let them know with all you’ve got that you are not your skin. And when they start to judge you, show them your true colors and do on to others as you’d have done to you. Just rise above this. Kill them with your kindness. Ignorance is blindness. They’re the ones that stand to lose.” – Sixx AM
This meme popped up on my feed today and then washed across my soul, because if I’ve learned anything on this blessed and broken road, it’s this: It’s not our or outward appearances that make us either ugly or beautiful ~ IT’S OUR SOULS THAT DO! Perhaps you’ve already ready my second post, “SUMMER OF 1979: “Under My Scars“, where in one fateful moment a very cruel little girl who didn’t even know my name called me a “spic” in front of a gymnasium full of my peers and literally changed the direction of my life and self-esteem forever.
You see, I was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where the darker, olive toned skins were the norm and my Native American / Italian coloring blended right in with everyone else’s. But I digress. “The day of the spic and Spann” was the day I began to despise myself and the dark brown skin I wore, and dare I remember the countless hours of my youth spent in a bathtub crying secretly to myself while literally trying to erase my beautiful color with my mom’s kitchen pot scrubbers! Yup, I absolutely fucking did that!
Meanwhile here I am 40 years later and yes, I’ve finally made peace with the reflection I see in the mirror, the one that had gone missing during so many points of my life and during the darkest years of my life disappeared completely. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t find my image or paint the picture of myself I so desperately needed to connect with.
Well those days are over and guess what? Turns out I’m pretty freaking gorgeous! And no, I’m not being vein, let promise you that! I’m talking about who I really am. Inside. Outside. Brown skin. Tired skin. Worn skin. Inked up skin. Thick days. Skinny days. Happy days. Sad days. Grieving days. Angry days. “Damn, guess I screwed THAT up pretty good, but oh well, the world didn’t end, so I’ll forgive myself now and get over it” kind of days.
The scars under my skin eventually became the catalyst for all of the best parts of who I am … beautifully and wondrously formed … and I couldn’t be any prouder of either my scars or my skin if I tried! They delightfully shroud a fiercely courageous yet delicately empathetic soul that is connected to every point of light I’ve intersected with. I am perfectly imperfect and so are we ALL “beautiful disasters” in our own right. Beauty truly is in the eye of The Beholder my friends, and any eyes judging our books based solely on their covers do not deserve to read them! And oh, one last thing. That girl from the fifth grade? Her name was Lisa and wow did she miss out on getting to know one super cool chic. That would be me! I have long since forgiven her for all the years those careless words of hers carved from deepest parts of my psyche and if I ever see her one day maybe I should thank her. But let me tell you this: That ignorant girl would have been damn lucky to have had the privilege of knowing me! Spic. Lol! Thank you and drive through please. That is all.