She is not Ugly…..She is just Scared
Posted by carolom on December 22, 2006
A large part of my work is in the homeless, health and housing sectors and I work with some wonderful, creative, interesting, often very wounded and not-yet-recovered teenage Mothers….young Women who are very early in the journey of self actualisation and in many cases living a life style of “children having children’…passing on generational, toxic patterns that often result in their own children entering the homeless-teenage-parenting realm just a few years down the track…..
We had a graduation day in our “Art of Change” personal development group the other day…It is a group that met monthly throughout 2006 and covered topics such as the power of the Mind, the law of attraction, using creativity and art for creating change.
One of the girls, a 19 year Mother of a 3 year old girl was sharing how she sees the world differently than she did a year ago and how her insight had made her more aware of others and “even animals”….
The young Women in the group are generally uneducated in the formal sense, often having left school as a young teenager…. but very much school-of-life young graduates, most having experienced sexual assault, violence, crime and abandonment in their childhood….
Therefore their use of language and metaphor is usually straight from the hip and a rich alternative to the ‘well spoken’ social interactions of other young Women who have had a more stable beginning in non abusive homes ……and were able to stay in the one school long enough to receive an education.
This particular participant was explaining how there are two abandoned /homeless kittens living in the bottom of her garden and how she has been making a decision as to whether or not to adopt them, having fed them for a month now and feeling confident that she is staying put in her state housing home.
She made a statement that spoke so much more than the thing she was immediately referring to.
She said that when she first saw the kittens they looked like they were “really f***ing ugly” (“f****g being an adjective, verb, joining word, pause and noun all in one sentence much of the time for these young Persephones)….
She then said “Now I realise they were not ugly…they were just ******g scared all the time and it made them look wierd”….
I thought about how so many of the people who came to the shelter over the years often had a very unappealing and unattractive vibration….pain and anger and loss and rage and grief and hopelessness…as staff we came to identify a particular smell that is connected to poverty and despair…it is like an aura of miasma mixed in with the poor hygeine and bad-breath sighs…it is a smell that can permeate a whole house and very unpleasant to be around.
She concluded her story saying “The kittens look beautiful now…they are happy and they know they are getting fed and someone cares for them…it’s amazing how they went from so ******ing ugly to ***** gorgeous!”
The human animal is not so different from the furry-animal kingdom in many ways and I was reminded about how a group of at-risk youths my partner was teaching in a high-need school transformed in an instant when they hired black tie suits and had a visit to the barbers to receive an award for a film project they had produced.
“The robes madeth the man” and it set up a whole new FEELING of pride, deservability and new-view of “Who I am”…
We just got the news this week that one of the boys has been accepted in to film school and this happened only because he had access to new opportunities that created a new FEELING of the world of film, cameras and stories instead of anger, rebellion, more anger and more rebellion. Disconection from love and Soul purpose can be a very ‘ugly’ thing…it creates wars, makes people hurt one another and at it’s most deepest felt….compels a person to take their own life….
I am very grateful that the young personal development graduate shared her story in the language she did because the words “She is not ugly she is scared” have inspired me to contemplate those words “Begin Within” and how feeling undeserving /fearful /unattractive /inferior on the inside will mirror back to us a distorted reality on the outside….the ultimate flaw in the Mirrorcle of Life….and send out a loud and clear message of self loathing and disconnection to the world around us.
Purrly our once homeless stray cat. A strange look in her eye remembering life on the streets as a homeless kitty…
Feeling sooo much more at peace and no longer scared….
And of course Love and acceptance and Friendship takes away that ugly, scared feeling….. heals every time….