Stigma Can Hack At Us, But We Don’t Have To Lose Our Heads Over It

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A few days ago we wrote a blog-post entitled “Be A Tall Poppy.”  I had more than one person ask in comments and in person, what the —-! did that mean!

Why a poppy?  Why discriminate against the many other lovely but apparently unapplauded flora of the world?

What does it mean to “be a tall poppy?”

This referenced the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” of Anglosphere nations.  It tells us that culturally people who wear their accomplishments openly and indiscreetly invoke jealousy in others who then correctively cut the “tall poppy’s” down.

No offense to other buds around the globe, but when we say, “Be a tall poppy,” we say be yourself without the “discretion” of hiding your beauty – flaws and desired traits included.

We probably can’t change cultural opinion much if we don’t work with our own feelings of possible social rejection of making these changes in ourselves.  Being a tall poppy means that we will not be reduced by stigma and other forces; we stand tall and live.

In our blog-post Paging A Testimony, Nancy told us about her discomfort with the response of others to the way her improving health demonstrates itself and changes the dynamics of their relationship.  The balance of energy, power and involvement between her and others is in flux.  Her courage of prevailing through can be coined with, “Nancy is a tall poppy.”

Way to go Nancy!  Stand.  Cowing to those negative emotions is the same as cutting the poppy’s head off and stem left short.  Feel the tension, but stand.  Be present with your emotional responses.  Stand tall.

Self-Care Tip #279 – Be present with your emotional responses.  Stand tall.

The Price of Manure

In yesterday’s post I asked “What has happened in the space between you and the ones you love?”  A reader responded,

Think of being loved but not being able to be touched. …Rituals above spontaneity. Of having Lysol applied to everything you touch. Lysol applied to children’s legs and shoes. Not being able to hug your kids after work until after a bath and your inside-clothes on. The tirades. Most things literal and not humorous. Any cabinet or freezer needing to be as stuffed as possible.
As a young person it seemed very personal and hurtful. …All the lost years….  After all those years now on the mend.

It doesn’t matter how old we are, it takes courage to live.  There are many astounding parts of this story, but today I draw attention to “the lost years.”

I don’t know if any of you readers saw the episode last week from the musical comedy, Glee.  It irreverently tossed together a potato salad of high impact emotions.  (Delicious potato salad!)  The best part was as usual the great Jane Lynch.  That woman is brilliant.  She shows us anger, resentment, and personalization through spitting words.  She contrasts this against her thick velvet love for her older disabled sister. Sue Sylvester (Lynch’s on-screen character) has festered the insults she absorbed on her sister’s behalf, ever since she first realized her sister was different.  It was only until her sister, with a still-waters affect told Sue that she didn’t care what others said about her.  Her disabled sister was whole inside.  Sue started to heal too.

Being present with our dark history, can summarily be our gain.  Especially if in the end we found love, became connected with our journey and with others, and forgave.  It becomes rather an education of sorts.

When I was struggling with my ambivalence about vocational choices, my dad told me, “Education is never a loss.”  I plunged forward with that as a talisman.  

Education is never a loss.  Even our school of suffering?  Look at it as a currency of sorts.  It’s all perspective.  Even manure helps you know.  We had to pay $100 the other day for a truckload of chicken-poo for our farm trees.

Self Care Tip #73 – Find the value in your suffering.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  Do you agree or not?  Please tell me your story.