What does it mean to truly see—not with your eyes, but personal enlightenment?
How does one achieve moments of enlightenment? Through pain? Success? Being of service?
Mariagrazia Buttitta and I explore what it means to “see” in our latest podcast episode. Mariagrazia was born with a rare condition, cone dystrophy, which has caused her to be ultra sensitive to light and has made her nearly completely blind. For many years, Mariagrazia was deemed “slow,” “mentally challenged,” “disabled,” and in some cases she was seen as a pariah.
But with the help of her family and her commitment to getting up when she gets knocked down (with the help of coping skills and her friend Casper the Walking Cane), Mariagrazia has turned what some would see as a liability into an asset. And she shows us what it means to see, even without the use of her eyes.
This one is especially poignant for me, having met Mariagrazia at her lowest in 2013 and now getting the chance to watch her blossom into a graduate school (clinical mental health counseling) student, and an advocate for mental health and reducing stigma against blindness and low vision. The interview isn’t all serious either—we laugh, we learn some Italian, and we talk spirit animals :)