I Refuse To Hate

Today my heart is breaking. As I sit here watching the live video footage of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, tears are streaming down my face. The hate, the anger, and the violence that is taking place right in front of me is enough to bring me to my knees. Here’s the thing; I am usually not the kind of person who shares my political beliefs online. I am not typically known as the one who goes on rants about our government or the people of this nation. However, today I cannot remain silent any longer.

Let me start off by saying one thing that may offend some people: Black Lives Matter. This statement alone has caused so much controversy in the past months. By stating that black lives matter, I am not saying that everyone else’s lives don’t. I am not saying that black lives are more important than white lives or that anyone should be considered above anyone else. My point is simple. The Black Lives Matter movement is not here to offend, belittle, or degrade you. It is simply to make a point. People in the black community have suffered from many injustices that I will never be able to understand. I have never had to endure racist comments in the grocery store line. I’ve never had to be fearful for my life during a routine traffic stop. I never had to grow up in a world that was plotted against me. I am a white female, and whether you believe it or not, I admit to the fact that I have always been blessed with white privilege. When I say that I support the Black Lives Matter movement, what I am saying is that I recognize the injustices that black people in our nation are suffering from today. Slavery may be gone, segregation may be illegal, but racism is still alive and well, and by supporting rallies like the one happening today, we are only lighting their fire and giving them the fuel they need to continue on in this ignorant and hateful mindset.

The thing that breaks my heart more than anything is to know that many of the people supporting this movement publically proclaim to be Christian. It’s sick, it’s twisted, and (excuse my language) truly fucked up that people who preach love and acceptance would use such vulgar and demeaning words and actions towards people of color. In 1 John 3:15, it is written that “everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” John 15 verses 12-15 state “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” 1 John 4:7-8 reads “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Now let me say something that is really going to offend some of you. If you support this movement, this hateful, and nasty protest, then you are not a Christian. God calls us to love everyone. He doesn’t say pick and choose the people that you want to love or judge others based on the color of their skin, no, nowhere in the Bible does it say any of that! God COMMANDS us to love everyone. Period, end of story. There are no excuses that anyone could make that would ever make any of this okay. Hating someone simply for the color of their skin or for the country in which they were born will never be okay. No excuse will ever be good enough.

There is so much more I could say, but let me limit it down to one final statement. I refuse to hate. It really is that simple. If everyone in both our nation and world could come together and rally around this one simple concept, our world would be a much better place. If we could all just look past our prejudices, if would could just learn to appreciate people for who they are, if we could stop using religion, color of skin, and origin of birth as a way to categorize ourselves into who’s the best and who’s not, then just think of how much better life would be! Just imagine a world where everyone could come together in peace and love and acceptance, a world in which no one would ever have to face racial or religious injustices ever again. Sadly, in light of today’s recent events, I can see that our world is far from that reality. However, we should not give up hope. Although I may never live to see a world where everyone is equal, I will spend the rest of my life spreading love to insure that my children will, and I pray that each and every one of you who read this today will do the same.

 

 

The Human Doormat

Please excuse me while I go on a quick rant.

As an introvert, I have a huge problem. I have become a human doormat.

One of the most difficult things for me to do is stand up for myself. I say yes to everyone and everything, even if it will only hurt me in the long run. When someone criticizes me, I sit there and take it. I apologize for everything, even when something isn’t my fault. This is my problem. This is the issue that I must face everyday. I am constantly letting people put me down, walk all over me, and treat me as if I am not important.

Well, not anymore. Today is the day that I learn to stand up for myself. I am so sick and tired of people always trying to tell me what I’m doing wrong. Why can’t someone, just for once, point out something good about me? Why can no one see the side of me that strives to please and works hard to help as many people as I can? I am not worthless. I am not someone who should simply be taken for granted. I will no longer let people take advantage of me and then leave me hanging when I try to get some help in return.

So often, people like me go unnoticed and unappreciated. If you’re reading this right now and thinking, “hey, that sounds like me!”, then listen up. Stop what you’re doing. Stop letting people take advantage of you. People like us have an problem. We don’t like saying the word no to anyone. We let people walk all over us. We listen to other people’s problems and offer up helpful advice, but never have anyone who will do the same for us. We are thankful for everything that we are given, but we never receive the same gratitude from the people that we help.

Here’s the thing: It’s wrong; It’s unfair; It’s time for it to stop. If we don’t stand up for ourselves now, then when will we? For so long, people like us have been used and then thrown away like everyday, ordinary trash. People run to us when they need something, and then leave almost as soon as they came. Although it is wrong for people to treat us like that, it is actually us who is partly to blame. After years of never standing up for ourselves, people have just come to take that as who we are. Because we never complain, they continue to do it. For once, if I could actually build up the courage to take my life into my own hands and stand up for my own rights as a person, then maybe, just maybe, people will begin to actually treat me as if I’m a human.

So here we are. We are people. We are human beings. We have feelings, wants, desires, hopes and dreams! Why should we let other people walk all over us? Why should we be taken for granted? It’s time to stop. It’s time to take action and start putting our feet down and saying no. No longer will I let anyone else tell me who I am or what I need to be. I know who I am. I am a child of God. I was created in his image and so were you! God put us on this earth and he gave us all a purpose. If we are constantly living in someone else’s shadow, then how will we ever become who God truly wants us to be?

Today is my day. Today is your day. Today is OUR day. We will be silent no longer. It is time for us to stand up for ourselves. Everyone has a voice, and it’s time that ours are heard.

I am not an doormat, and neither are you.

Introversion Chose Me

What does it honestly mean to be an introvert?

Does it mean that someone is depressed or anti-social? Or maybe it means that they are stuck-up and rude?

Recently I was asked why I had chosen to become an introvert. Wait. Go back and reread that part again. Why had I “chosen” to become an introvert? Let me take this moment to explain something to anyone who may be reading this. As an introvert, I often enjoy spending my time alone, whether it be reading books or just simply relaxing on the couch. I love to take long walks by myself in order to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Writing is the most efficient way for me to communicate my thoughts and feelings because I have a hard time expressing myself verbally without talking too fast, stuttering, or stumbling over my words.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have a wonderfully small group of incredibly close friends, and I could honestly not be any happier. When I am with my close friends, I can talk and chat and laugh and joke around….all of the “extroverted” things that most people do not think I am capable of.

What most people don’t realize is that introversion is not something that someone just all of a sudden “chooses” to be. It’s a part of who I am and I cannot simply change that. Being an introvert in no way means that I am depressed. I am perfectly happy with my life and myself. Of course, I have some insecurities about myself, but then again, who doesn’t! Being an introvert simply means that I find solitude in being alone. I don’t need huge groups of friends to make me feel better about myself. I never feel the need to attend crazy and raging parties in order to have a good time. My tiny tight-knit group of friends and maybe a small outing every now and then is truly all I need to feel happy and satisfied. After a fun “get-together”, there may be a couple of days where you don’t hear from me, but that’s only because I need some alone time to refuel. And you know what? That is perfectly okay.

I will not apologize to anyone for being an introvert. I will not apologize to anyone for embracing who I truly am. Don’t criticize me or belittle me for who I am. Just because I choose not to make small talk, attend parties, or speak out does not mean that I can’t. Trust me. When I need to express my feelings to someone, or I have to attend a party and make awful small talk with people that I hardly even know, I can do it with no problems whatsoever. However, don’t expect it to be a regular thing. I may not enjoy small talk, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy talking about my passions. If you could actually take the time to get to know me, you might discover that there is more to me than meets the eye.

One of my favorite quotes about being an introvert is simply this: “The funny thing about introverts is once they feel comfortable with you, they can be the funniest, most enjoyable people to be around. It’s like a secret they feel comfortable sharing with you. Except that the secret it their personality.”

I am an introvert. I did not “choose” to be this way, nor do I wish that I wasn’t like this. I am happy being just the way I am. God made me with his perfect design, and God does not make any mistakes. So if anyone ever wants to know why I am an introvert, the person to ask is not me. I do not know why God made me this way, but I am not one to complain. I did not choose introversion; Introversion chose me.

I am an introvert, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.