Freedom for All

While the majority of my posts are advocating for LGBT equality or for a change in the way children are treated, my goal is the same amongst all humans. No human should endure atrocities from their government. All of us should be free and equal.

On this vein there are so many different artifacts I could show you, but I will pick the latest one that I saw. So I share it with you, and in turn, you share it with others, and so on. Here is the video called “I Am A Ukranian:”

Sunlight by David Stokes

Sing it Loud!

Do not cast a shadow on someone else’s sunlight. Rather, help it shine brighter.
~Tabby Chapman

On my journey through this world, I sometimes like to imagine, in parables or metaphors, what this life is like.

There’s this game I played at a fair, once. It involves a twisted up thick wire that conducts electricity and a wand around it that the player must move through the twists and turns without touching the wire. If you do, it closes a circuit and causes an audible buzz to occur. It takes a very steady hand. The first few times I played it, I often found myself holding my breath with a tinge of fear that I might make the wire go “BZZZZ.” I discovered that the more nervous and calculated I was, the harder it was to keep my hand steady and the higher it made my chances of hitting the wire.

To apply this story to my life, I’ve had moments and situations where I felt my relationships with others were so close to ringing that BZZZ sound that I treaded cautiously and carefully, hoping that my unsteady hand wouldn’t betray me. But in the end, it is my caution that triggers my unsteady hand, and I ended up creating the demise of my situation one way or another.

I’m learning from this! I’m learning to evaluate without fear of rejection or isolation. Otherwise, being too cautious or lacking solid judgement of character has had too many consequences for me that I’d rather not endure again. Instead, I’m looking for the solid middle ground… being secure in myself enough to be able to say that I won’t require anyone to be any different around me but I will choose to remove myself if the situation calls for it, or the friendship itself.

What I’m working on is evaluating every situation and every relationship based on how we reciprocate and how our energies mesh together. I am working on trusting my internal instincts and seeing all the facts I can see and making evaluations based on those, rather than tricking myself into believing that the facts are inconsequential and I am immune to another person’s slug slime.

I am also working on loving deeply, no matter the relationship I have. I’m working on being in the present moment, having a deep awe and love for the human beings I am with, honoring their experiences and their journey through life as much as I honor my own.

In the past, I might have judged someone for their behaviors or possibly even attempted to force them to stop their behaviors because it triggered too much for me and I wasn’t able to experience myself in their presence. Now, I find myself taking a step back from those types of situations and observing the players (myself and the other person) and witnessing that person on their journey and extending feelings of love from myself outward. I have a commitment to myself to never cast a shadow over someone else’s sunlight. I’d rather extend it whenever possible.

Say Anything

If I could say anything, anything what would it be?
A good question for our destined reality
I would tell you that I love you
Even when it didn’t show.
I would tell you that I love you, baby,
By now I hope you know.

If you could go anywhere, anywhere what would you see?
Take a step in any direction, it’s make believe
If your mind is always moving
It’s hard to get your heart up off the ground
Yeah, your mind was always moving
But your thoughts never made a sound

And we won’t break if we let go.
You and I already know
We were bound to be set free eventually.
So, here we are now
You can say anything

If I could have it go any way, any way it’d go like this
Take it back to a couple years yesterday to our first kiss
In that moment I loved you,
This isn’t how I ever saw it going down.
In that moment I loved you,
I wish I knew then what I know now.

We won’t break if we let go.
You and I already know
We were bound to be set free eventually.
So, here we are now
You can say anything
You can say anything

You should you listen to your heart
(you should listen to you your heart)
It’s gonna tell you what you need
(it’s gonna tell you what you need)
Take care of yourself
(take care of yourself)
And don’t you worry about me
(don’t you worry about me)

You should you listen to your heart
(you should listen to you your heart)
It’s gonna tell you what you need
(it’s gonna tell you what you need)
Take care of yourself
(take care of yourself)
And don’t you worry about me
(don’t you worry about me)

We won’t break if we let go.
You and I already know
We were bound to be set free eventually.
Well, here we are now
You can say anything [x4]
Always say anything

Declaration of Independence

Why I shifted my energy and focus from LGBT Equality to Children

It’s been about a year since I had an epiphany that changed my life. I was sitting on my couch, reading an article about a lesbian who was beaten by her brother, and I fired up my Word Processor and began to write out my thoughts about the events. I wrote for miles, I’m pretty sure.

I put my potential blog post down for a few minutes to grab some water and came back to my couch and sat and thought for a while, as I usually do after I write a blog post, before I send it off to my editor.
I asked myself “What do I want that I don’t have? Will writing this article achieve that? Do I truly not have it?”

My initial response was, “I want equality, of course. I want lesbians to be treated equally no matter whom they love. Since there are about five people who read my blog and most of them are like-minded, I am not so sure that writing this article does achieve this equality, but perhaps one day someone who is not-so-like-minded will stumble upon the article and SEE THE LIGHT AMEN. Do I truly not have it?”

And so I thought about it more.

“Well, what IS equality?” My earliest understanding of the word came from primary school where we studied the Declaration of Independence, authored by Thomas Jefferson, who, interestingly, was only one year younger than me when he wrote the following:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;

I realized that somehow, over the years, my focus shifted from “created” to “treated” and I began to focus on people who weren’t ‘treating’ other people equally, demanding that they change their ways… or… or… or… bad things may happen! To humanity. Crimes, I tell you! Crimes!

So I sat there and thought about the word “equality” and how I learned about it and how I viewed it up until that point. I realized that my focus had been so shifted to controlling other people’s behaviors that I had not really seen the real message of the Declaration of Independence as it is intended today. We are CREATED equal.

Interesting, right? We are all, men and women, created in the same way. Egg. Meet Sperm. It’s the earliest recorded form of the television show ‘Bachelorette’ at it’s finest. Millions of little spermies set out on a journey to be the one single li’l dude to get the egg. By the journey’s end, maybe six or so are left. And finally, one makes it in. This is the case no matter what color we are, what sexual orientation we are, what class we are, and what gender we are. We are all created equal.

Okay, that’s a different understanding. So, what does that mean?

Well, since I was not created any differently than people out there who ‘treated’ LGBT people as less-than-equal, there was only one conclusion I could logically reach.

I. Am. Equal. Regardless of how I am treated, that does not change my equality. I was created equal. I am equal.

This conclusion changed my life forever. And it changed my view on the general ‘fight’ for equality, ranging from gender-based issues, to sexual orientation issues, to child-rearing issues.

So, as I looked out into the world and looked for the voiceless people who ARE equal, even if others do not treat them as such, my heart landed on the often over-looked subject matter of children. Growing up in a “might is right” philosophy of educating children, it was very clear to me that some people believe children are to be ‘seen’ and ‘not heard’; that they should all have manners and know the rules of life; that they should act like they’re 20 when it comes to social rules and stop acting like they’re older than they are all at the same time.

This issue isn’t about equality per se. It’s about perspective.

For children to experience a sense of equality it is important to facilitate their voices in whatever way they need—fostering creativity is good and healthy and lovely.

And this requires a shift in perspective. It’s NOT something you can get in a book, from a friend, from a mom, or even from having your own children. You will only gain this understanding once you come to terms that ALL people are CREATED equal. ALL of them. Even the toddler who just realized that the color ‘red’ that twists up from that tube looks extraordinarily beautiful on this surface over here. Not only that but it feels so cool and soft and slippery when she puts it on her hands and rubs it on her face. Or when he scribbles over the television with it because that feels even more different than the wall did and it’s so smooth and oh, look, he needs to push a little harder on the smooth surface than on the rougher surface and ‘aww man, no more red… I’ll get a different one.’ It requires a shift in perspective to understand that this is not a child acting out, it’s a child exploring textures and actions and colors and feelings and experiencing life and taking in data and growing neurons and learning.

And that is no more than what you do as a parent when you wake up and snuggle with your child and take a big breath in and smell the sweet baby smell and feel the warmth against your chest and listen to the cooing and the crying and try to find out what will appease the baby this time. You are exploring textures and actions and colors and feelings and experiencing life and taking in data and growing neurons and learning.

All men, all women, all children are created equal. My being-ness is equal, so there’s no need to fight for something I already have. I just had to want open myself up to see it that way. It is through this understanding that I hope to affect the world; acting in synch with my true free self. I hope to inspire adults and children alike to do the same.

When Two of my Advocacies Collide

Someone sent me this video today. I pulled it up on the screen and went to grab a cup of coffee to watch it before I approved it to be on my Facebook Timeline (I’m a bit picky that way).

Good Lord. That’s my new phrase now. But anyway, Good Lord! This video brought tears to my eyes. I just can’t. You have to. Watch it. I dare you not to bubble up with emotion in some way. What an ordeal.

Via Upworthy