How hard it really can be.
But if I talk about it, if I tell you my truth, it makes it worse.
Maybe you have some idea, maybe you have lived it too? Lived with that uncomfortable feeling that you need to hide that vulnerable part – the real you.
Every day, news headlines and blog posts and Facebook memes, lump us all together. Being who I am, who I was born to be, is now synonymous with some pretty awful labels.
I’m not. I’m not those things, but it doesn’t matter. So often I find myself on the wrong side of what society deems acceptable.
I typically hide my views, my opinions and my pain.
Because, yes, it causes pain.
Why is it acceptable, in this day and age, for everyone to be anything they want to be — except like me?
I want to be found acceptable as much as anyone else longs for that.
I walked back to my desk a dozen times last week and whispered conversations ended rapidly.
It’s not that you will change me.
The opinion of the masses can’t.
Its something inherent and deep and immobile. I can no more change it, than you could your eye color.
It’s just that I wish I could get you to know who I really am. Not just the filtered version, but all of me.
I can love you, just as you are, who you are, the color you are, the belief you hold and just.. right where you are. Can’t you do the same?
If only you could know more about me: my heart that loves like yours, my family that is normal (as much as anyones can be) my fun side, my tearful side, what makes me laugh, or breaks my heart, or the injustices that make me angry.
Whenever the “truth” about me is exposed (as happened at a close friend’s birthday party last weekend) a subtle but distinct and uncomfortable shift takes place in those around me. Questions, goading, teasing and even a bit of harassing. I guess we don’t really accept all our differences in this country, huh?
For the further we tip the scales in favor of one, we fling the other right off the scale. And some of us find that we have been flung into the slimey abyss of intolerance and prejudice..the abyss our country claims it has moved away from.
The abyss is there. Make no mistake. It hasn’t improved, it just moved a little to the right.
Today, you will make your assumptions based on what you know of “people like” me and I will walk into a voting booth and do my thing.
I will remain silent about all of it today it on Facebook and silent at my place of work. Because your opinion of me makes me the enemy…one of them.
Stereotypes and prejudice ripping wide the gap.
Because today, yesterday, tomorrow?
I am a Christian. A white, conservative, Jesus lovin’, people lovin’, life lovin’, church attending, Christian.
And that’s harder to be than you might think.
Today? Vote. Vote your heart. As will I.
But when its over? Love. Love well. With all your heart.
That’s my plan because, regardless of what you may have heard, not “all” of us have a hidden hate agenda. Not “all” of us want walls, or wars, or harm to our neighbors. We just want to fix whats broken, to help where we can, to save our children and yours, to bring light and awareness into the darkness.
Probably much like you.
I just do it through the lens of faith in God.
The only thing I really know is this – if we don’t stop labeling people and start loving them? On both sides? No one wins today. We all lose. And America stays broken.
Its going to take all of us, and the ripple effect of loving well, to fix the divide we have deepened over these last months.
Are you willing to be a healer?
This morning I can say “I am. Bring on the healing!”
And regardless of what the day brings, I’ll still be saying it when the sun sets.
Bring on the healing.