Still I Rise
Day #4 Blog Prompt: Maya Angelou recites her poem “Still I Rise”
I’ve always admired Maya Angelou’s guts and passion. She said what she thought and never apologized for her opinions. Given the traumatic experiences of her childhood, it’s amazing that she fared so well. She was a shining example of the power of the human spirit. Our world is better because she shared her gifts. Rest in peace, Maya.
I get goosebumps every time I watch her reciting “Still I Rise”. Her voice and smile bring the meaning of the poem alive in ways that mere reading can never do. It inspires me to bring my best to every situation and ignore the naysayers.
When I think of “Still I Rise” in terms of migraine and headache disorders, I think of stigma. It’s easy to get lost lamenting the disadvantages we face due to stigma. It causes serious and unnecessary problems, making our lives much more challenging…as if facing a neurological disorder wasn’t challenge enough. We would do well to follow Maya’s example. She fought against racism, prejudice, poverty…all the things that work against individual achievement. She was determined to live a great life despite all the obstacles.
Where is our determination? Where is our fighting spirit, that essence that says, ‘Still I Rise”?
When will be ready to say, “I will not let stigma define me. I will rise above the stereotypes and live life with my head held high and my heart full of laughter.”
Perhaps we need a new set of affirmations to counter the stigma. Here’s a list to get you started. Can you think of others?
- I am determined to live the best life possible.
- I will smile, laugh, sing, and dance as much as possible.
- I will show kindness toward others, even when they are not kind to me.
- I will speak the truth, undaunted by those too blind to accept it.
- I will treat myself fairly and with the same gentleness as I treat others.
- I will not let this disease kill my joy.
- I will not listen to the ignorant, uninformed, or cynical opinions of others.
- I give myself permission to embrace life.
Here is Maya, one more time, with ‘Still I Rise”.
The 2014 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Dreaming of a World without Migraine and Headache Disorders. The 2014 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of American Headache & Migraine Association.