Mali wrote a great post about taking a good look in the mirror, and who it is we see. We often listen to the propaganda of the media, the judgements of society and the lies we tell ourselves. Her post reminded me of my own blog and my assertion that being childless does not make me less of a person. Yet society does seem to have an expectation that I actually am less. After all, the media bombards us with images of the perfect little family: mom, dad, baby (or 2, but not more than 3!), dog, SUV. Those of us who don't seem to fit into that little mold are sometimes left wondering where we fit in, because there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of space made or thought for those of us who, whether due to circumstance or choice, don't fall into the "perfect little family" category.
Sometimes we are passively excluded, in the sense that we are not even considered. At others, we are an anonamility - according to urbandictionary.com, an anonymous anomality, a non-person that does not correspond with an expected image. At still other times we are persona non grata, Latin, literally meaning "an unwelcome person."
It is so unfortunate that so many people lack the ability to look beyond what we wear and what we have and what we do, to see who we actually ARE, or to make the effort to be compassionate or to empathize at all with others; to see what we do have to offer rather than what we can't produce (or in some cases choose not to). It is something that I made a conscious decision to work on in myself a very long time ago. Sadly, that decision was born out of a desire not to be like a woman who was (and is) incapable of even considering possibilities that don't exist in her mind. Even more sadly, that woman is my mother. She means well, but cannot see beyond her own assumptions and expectations. I made a decision long ago never to be that way; rather I decided to try very hard to be unconditionally loving and accepting of people, to try not to be judgemental, and to try to find the good in people even if it meant looking very hard! I told myself that I would be the kind of mother that I always wanted and needed (and sometimes still do!), but didn't have. I would be different.
I still try, though not as a mom, since I didn't have that opportunity, but with people in general. And some days I have to try very hard, because some people do not make it easy to love them. If only more people were capable of looking into the mirror and seeing beyond their own grimmacing faces, perhaps all our lives would be a little different. But I can't do a thing about everyone else, I can just continue to try... even if it's not in the way I always thought I would.