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.

 

 

Self-Love

Self-love isn’t about achieving self-perfection. It’s about recognizing your flaws and yet loving yourself anyways. It’s the ability to look in a mirror and not hate your rolls or thick thighs or that one patch of hair that never seems to lay flat. It’s being able to see yourself in a new light, one that highlights your inner beauty and incredible strengths. Self-love is the understanding that even in your lowest moments, you are still beautiful. And while this may be a difficult concept to fully grasp, it is one that I will strive for every day in every moment I’m alive. We must learn to love ourselves rather than rely on the world to do it for us because if that is the case, we will always be sorely disappointed. 

Rain

When the rain begins to fall, and the skies begin to darken, I think about my own mind. Depression threatens to intrude upon my happiness like the looming clouds threaten to choke out the light of the sun. The rain falls from the sky like tear drops down my cheeks as the last remaining rays of light slowly disappear. But then, something magical happens. The rain falls and falls, bringing with it sadness, but something else as well. There’s hope. Hope that the day will become brighter again. Hope that tomorrow will be better. Hope that this rain will wash away all of the cobwebs from your soul and give you a new sense of life, feeling, and belonging. And as you look outside your window, you realize that it is all true. The rain washes away all of the dust, pollen, and grime that cakes the world outside. But when the rain stops falling, and the clouds go away, don’t think about the mud that’s left behind. Rather, look upwards towards the sky as the sun begins to shine once more. A rainbow will appear even after the worst storm as a reminder that things will get better. They always get better. And as the flowers begin to soak in all the nutrients from their freshly watered soil, remember that growing is a process. Rain makes the flowers grow stronger, just like tears make the heart grow fonder. 

Writing is Hard

Sometimes writing is hard.

You sit down at your desk, laptop on, Microsoft Word open, and you slowly place your fingers on the keys.

“Okay,” you say to yourself. “Let’s write something good.”

Now if only it were that easy.

The seconds fly by. Seconds turn to minutes, which turn into hours, until you finally shut your computer and stand up with a sad sigh. Another day spent staring at a blank computer screen.

Where’s the inspiration? Where’s the magic? Why can’t words just appear on the page and inspire any and everyone who reads them?

If only writing were that simple.

Sometimes, writing is hard.

But one day, something magical DOES happen.

You sit down at that same desk with your same old laptop, Microsoft word open, and you write. You write and you write and then you write some more! Words turn to sentences which turn to paragraphs that go on to fill pages!

And as the seconds turn into hours, you finally stand up with a satisfied smile and think to yourself, “THIS is what I live for. This is why I write.”

Sometimes all it takes is one day, but sometimes it will take years.

All you need is little time and a whole lot of patience.

Sometimes writing is hard. But that will never mean that it is not worth it.

Monsters

Sleep. It is a beautiful thing. It’s a necessary part of life. However, sometimes sleep simply isn’t possible. There you are, lying in bed all cozy and warm as your eyes begin to slowly close. Your mind starts to drift off into dream land. Your body relaxes and your breathing steadies to a slow and even pace…but suddenly, it happens. Monsters. There they are, creeping up the edges of your bed. Slipping under your sheets, they slither and slide all the way up to your ears. As your mind begins to fall asleep, the monsters begin to whisper. Doubts. Worries. Fears. All of your anxieties race desperately around head, clouding your thoughts with images of depression, loneliness, and fear. You sit up; panic fills your heart. Are these the monsters from your childhood? The ones that hide in your closet? The ones that you always begged your parents to chase away? No. Sadly, these monsters are worse. Much worse. Why, you may ask? It’s simple, really. It’s because these monsters are real. Worry is the monster who will make you obsess over decisions and the choices you make. Doubt will make you feel as though you aren’t good enough. Fear will stop you from accomplishing your dreams. All of these monsters lead to the biggest monsters of all: depression and anxiety. These monsters will not only haunt you at night. They will hunt you down even when the sun is shining its brightest. These monsters are cruel. They can make even the happiest of days dark and gloomy. They’ll push you to the floor and then kick you while you’re down. But wait! What’s that over there? There’s a light. A light so faint that, at first, you almost miss it. But it’s there. Shining bright even in the midst of all this darkness. Hope. Love. Peace. These things are coming. These things can scare away even the worst of monsters. They get brighter and brighter until you are overwhelmed with sheer joy! The monsters have fled back to the deep, dark depths from wince they came! There is once again a feeling of peace and relief in your heart and soon you begin to drift off to the wonderful world of sleep. So what lessons can be taken from this? Some of life’s scariest monsters are the ones that live in the darkened corners of your mind. While worry, doubt, and fear are all apart of this crazy thing we call life, they should not be the only thing that consumes us. There is hope, there is love, and there is peace to be found. You just have to find that tiny speck of light in the distance. Don’t let your doubts, worries, and fears pull you into the suffocating world known as depression. There is a way out, but it’s up to you to find it. Reach out for it and hold on tight. Never let go of the love, the hope, and the peace, for it will guide you back to the light. Hold on to the promise of a better tomorrow, and never again let those monsters take control over your mind. So when the sun sets on a long day, and your mind slowly slips into a deep sleep, push away those monsters for good and never let them come crawling back again.