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Dissolving Stigmas: "I Don't Know" being the most powerful statement.


"Stigma is a mark of disgrace associated with a particular person, quality, or circumstance. It can also be defined as a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something. For example, the stigma of mental illness, the stigma of poverty, or the social stigma attached to receiving welfare"


Growing up we are often told what is good or bad- right or wrong- what is to be feared what is not to be feared etc..... these beliefs and categorized constructs have created a bias and barriers to getting to understand the things that we categorize as such. AS we grow older, we just begin to see these stigmas as truth without exploring the core reason these stigmas were created and if our beliefs around them are even "true".


When i think of the word "stigma" I often think about 'stigmata'- which is said to be "marks corresponding to those left on Jesus’ body by the Crucifixion, said to have been impressed by divine favor"

In Latin and Greek- it is point marked by an instrument or dot

in medicine- it is a visible sign or characteristic of a disease. (from oxford dictionary)


If I am looking at the literal meaning of the word- it raises a very interesting perspective, that I am only now seeing as I am writing this- Stigmas were representative of a marking of either divine favor or a dis-ease- yet they have been represented in a way- that would lead us to believe that it is a "mark of bad". How has this transitioned and stirred away from the literal definition over the years? where did stigmas become a barrier of certain conditions that put a label on without further examination?


Growing up I was in a lot of the categories that relate to stigmas, poverty, alcoholic family, a schizophrenic uncle who lived with my grandma, mom and i, no father and whatever any of the biases that are formed around those circumstances. I was taught not to talk about (or maybe i already had a feeling of it being bad to talk about) these subjects, specifically alcohol- or at least the admitting of alcohol use in the way that it was.

I felt shame talking about these experiences i was having, and began shutting down at a young age- i could really only talk to friends that had similar circumstances, because then it wasn't shameful, but rather a connection point of understanding. Looking back, I now see that this is how groups in society are formed, and that is how the cycles continue to perpetuate.

Because I felt so much shame in talking about these circumstances when I was younger, It was difficult to ask for help as i grew older. Or maybe it was that I surrounded myself with people who had similar actions and therefore, seeing that I needed help, was very distorted, because it was the normal for my "group". When I did actually "get help" , it was then very difficult to talk about the exact circumstances that i needed help with- such as childhood traumas, sexual assault, suicide attempts- because most people were uncomfortable talking about these things themselves, they were never connected to my addictions- it was never made clear of the direct correlation between my early circumstances and experiences were the foundation of my actions later on in life. most people only wanted to address the symptom, because they were uncomfortable or didn't know how to talk about, or didn't see the connection between the two.

Stigmas were born from showing people what was in need of medical attention or what was in Divine Favor, but now, it has in fact, molded into a prejudice that perpetuates the symptoms of a disease. is this mainly due to people not wanting to look like they don't have their "shit together"?

is this because our society as a whole, likes to package up a mess and put a bow on it?

Is it because that if we address the stigma for what it REALLY means, that we would be forced to look at ourselves in way that we have never seen?


Back when my grandparents were younger, everything was about keeping up appearances- the perfect yard, home, white picket fence, dinner, wife, kids- clean, well kept and proper- not having the emotional awareness and psychological advances that we do today, to allow for a deeper understanding for alcoholic drinking, or drug using, or homelessness- This has perpetuated the thinking, that something is wrong with you if you are experiencing anyone of the "circumstances"

Was this born from needing to feel that 'they' had everything under control, in a time when they felt they had no control?

Was this given to the idea that if we sit still and look pretty that hardships would be easier? Or it could've been that it was it's own survival mechanism, fitting in with everyone else- because again, back then, community was part of surviving during times of war, maybe keeping up with the jones's meant being apart of survival or not.


how I see stigmas today, is the direct manifestations of unmet core needs and trauma that has yet to be looked at- often from times of war this has trickled down for us.

we have continued to perpetuate the stigmas in our own self, because we are afraid of becoming "stigmatized" - when in reality, we are that already without the label.

To begin dissolving the stigmas- i see THE ONLY way, is for people to open transparent conversations- which is what I aim to do- begin opening up about the fear around opening up- begin opening up about how you don't know how to open up- begin sharing that you are afraid and you don't know why-

begin by saying " I don't know how" or "I Don't know Why"- Vulnerable conversations call for vulnerable language.

none of us has YOUR answer, but in order to see the answers within you, you do need to start talking about everything and anything. This is the paradox, to begin dissolving the stigmas and to begin the deeper healing journey, demands a small opening of allowing others to see, that you don't have everything "together", and that you are not knowing how to move forward, which is VERY okay!! And when people say to us " i don't know how or why" we can respond with " that's ok, we can learn together". There comes a point when, staying shutdown and closed off, is more painful than risking the vulnerable actions and conversations. When we are sick (sometimes physically) and tired of failed relationships, jobs, unfulfilled life- we begin to soften. we begin to allow a new perspective to take place. We begin to see that the judgements made outside were judgements on ourselves, that maybe we weren't willing or aware on how to look at-

So now that there is awareness how will you soften? How will you allow for the judgements to be dissolved?

How will you bring forward more compassion in yourself?


And these are the thoughts and contemplations that I leave you with-


In love,

Elaine


 


If my writing has ever inspired or provoked a perspective shift I have an invitation for you! I am writing a memoir, and you get to be a part of the magic!


I have been prompted many times over the year to write a memoir, and now is that time. what I have found with writing my first book is that there is a profound magic and healing that takes place in the process- and instead of guiding you all through your own process, i am guiding you through my process- allowing my healing journey to reflect and inspire new ways OF HEALING FOR YOU.


I will be sharing my written memoir pages In Real Time before I upload to kindle vella

I will be sharing my raw, insights and how i work through them to show how you can work through yours as well.

Meditations

Card readings

Crystals, and more tools on how I use them to aid in my healing is openly and vulnerably available to you, if interested.


As a Society, we tend to want "what is polished" (as proposed earlier in writing) this is a chance to see the whole magic, not just the polished piece. I am hoping that this will allow for more people to fall in love with their own process, as I have learned to do this with mine


it takes at least a year of non-stop writing, If it is just a matter of fact book- This however is the layers of wisdom through the decades of wounds- and so this is quite a unique and amazing opportunity to go deeper into your path and get to read and support my journey as well! Here is the link to the community I created for this purpose:








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