Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Words of Wisdom from Maya Angelou #MHAMBC

Day 4 of the migraine awareness blog challenge is to watch/read a famous poem called "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou and write about whatever it stirs within. I have included the YouTube link at the bottom of this post but personally found the music playing during her reading to be distracting so I've included the actual words below.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. 
I love this poem because it reminds me just how common harsh judgement is. No matter what your situation, what decisions you are making, what you are doing with your life, people will always have something to say about it. Living with two invisible chronic pain conditions (chronic migraines and fibromyalgia) I am continually confronted with comments that show a lack of understanding or complete disbelief in what I'm going through.

There is nothing I can say to convince the nonbelievers, no way I can make the haters understand. No amount of words or tears can do justice to the experience of it all. My job is rise above it. I must find a way to let go of the snide jabs, disapproving looks, sarcastic, naive and misinformed comments. I must make the choices that are right for me because I am the only one with all the information. The only way for me to live my best is if I am not living to please other people.

This isn't an easy thing to do, especially for women. Thankfully, with every passing year it gets easier. 

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