An office secretary once talked to me about my vitiligo. She told me that her daughter was recently diagnosed and was battling with it…even depressed about it – the change and how uncertain it all was. Then I remember her saying, “Well, yours is actually really pretty.” And I thought, really?? Wow and Ouch…all at the same time. What a loaded comment.
Was this just a mother expressing a slightly over critical observation about her daughter? Maybe the newness of her daughter’s change was unsettling the image she has always held in her mind. Could this simply be the equivalent of remarking that your adult child has gained some weight since you last saw them? (And them rolling their eyes while they take off their coat and walk away. Lol)
Would she, however, be capable of masking these inward thoughts with outward expressions of support and encouragement for her worried offspring? Or would her daughter sense the fear in her mother’s heart and struggle even further?
I mentioned in one of my first blog entries that our life journeys are not one-man shows and monologues. We share our experiences with every single person that crosses our lives – family, friends, and strangers alike – whether we try to or not.
So this is what I offer to mom (and others experiencing similar challenges)…
Beauty is skin deeper. I remember my uncertainties, my fears of changes that were beyond my control. I had to learn to embrace them. It’s an ongoing journey. Honestly, who likes change that much? There’s not a year that goes by when I don’t notice some change in my skin – a lightening, a darkening, a new scratch, and badly healed cut, or an extra pound (or five).
Just be OPEN. Keep your heart and mind open to explore difference at a deeper level than surface. Keep your eyes open to observe where your loved one struggles. And open your mouth to reaffirm them – who they are, all that they can be, and remind them that they have love and support in their corner.
Her beauty is not a blemish.
His beauty is not a blemish.
My beauty is not a blemish.