….as others see us?
When I look in the mirror, I find that stray roll around my hip , a wobbly (Gramma Amelia) arm, a pimple hiding on my chin, a not so pretty face. Chip, however, sees the opposite. He sees that roll and it reminds him of when I was pregnant. me as beautiful. He sees frizzy hair and remembers my childhood pictures. He knows the scars on my knees tell a tale. He loves me and I love him even with the imperfections. Why is that?
I have wanted to write this post for some time. I see how many of us look at ourselves and each other and are uncomfortable with who we really are. As a mother, you look at your children and see them build their lives, their own personas and, God willing, a strength that will get them through life. A strength that will let them be who they are and be OK with it. As Amelia tells me when I am doing Zumba moves in the kitchen in my own little world, “Mom, you be you”. Yup. I think I can do that. I wish we all could do that without judgment from others. With the tragic passing of Robin Williams the thoughts and message seem a little more urgent.
Robin Williams epitomized the you be you mentally. Have you listened what millions of people have said about him? How he changed their lives, made them laugh and gave of himself all the while battling the demons he had within. He too could not see himself as other people viewed him. Some of the characters he played had that special way but Robin Williams, the man, did not.
It is so tragic that depression is such a crippling disease yet dismissed so easily. We have all, at one time or another said, “I am so depressed”. How cavalier. Do we see in others the signs that could help us decipher if it is more than that? A deeper level? A friend of mine lost her husband to suicide and she has belabored the fact that it happened. Did I not see? Did I not know what he was feeling? Most likely not and that is not her fault. It is a far cry from a feeling of depression to taking one’s own life. I really think if someone wants to do that, they will. I’m sure we can help. I think as a society we are uncomfortable with the discussion of depression and suicide. We keep it at bay until it comes close. Then, we’re not sure what to do with it.
We need to teach ourselves first that we are ok as we are and the blemishes and imperfections that we see are seldom viewed by others in the same light. Then we need to teach each other. Say hello to a stranger, smile at them, help them. I’m not saying that it can save someone or make then see themselves better but it sure as hell can’t hurt.