Category Archives: gay rights

Judge Me Not

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We are so much more than the labels put on us or the numbers associated with our life. One’s salary, savings or lack there of. One’s house value. Years of education. Pants size, shirt size or dress size. One’s color should not put them automatically into a compartment. One’s gender should have nothing to do with how they fight, live their life or what type of partner feels most right to them. Who you are has nothing to do with the stats that may, or may not, be associated with your journey. Dear reader, can you sense how tired of judgement I am?

And yet, it’s a profoundly human reaction to judge others. To size them up and then render verdicts inside our mind about who they are and what they believe. I say the hell with that.

In starting this women’s empowerment clothing line, I’m continually coming up against other people’s ideas about what this company should be.  Often, I have to pull back, take stock of all the decisions that have brought me to this point, noting if I’ve stayed true to my core principles – No Judgement. So as I get judged, sized up and put into a box, I have a choice. Show up as my highest self or get down and dirty to prove my point.

Truth is, I don’t need to prove anything. Nor do you. Our clothing is for all women. Even women who aren’t sure if they want to associate as women. If you like it and speaks to you, wear it. If it doesn’t, that’s okay too. Just know this, I have no desire to judge either way. I know how judgement feels. I know what it feels like to have someone take one look at me and size me up, incorrectly.

It took decades to shed the labels that have been thrown on me. Even the positive ones. I don’t like anything that limits. I’m me. I fumble and bumble my way along trying, always, to be my most authentic, best self. And when the impulse arises to judge another, and it always does, I try to harness the impulse before it develops into full-blown analysis and conclusion. It gets easier. Bottom line, if I don’t know you and you don’t know me. It should always start as a clean slate. Let me show you who I am by action and deed. Truth never can stay hidden. So give it time. Then decide.

This women’s empowerment clothing line doesn’t exclude anyone. Because all women could use empowerment in one form or another. Don’t be fooled to think otherwise. And I will continue to create affirmations that speak to all women, and do my damnedest to offer clothing that works for all women. It has been one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever undertaken. It may sound easy, but manufacturers don’t cater to all women. So finding something that works with a size extra small all the way up the line, and looks beautiful and is made of good quality materials, has been enough to turn my hair silver. There is no right or wrong in my book, except for that of exclusion and judgement. And damn these manufucturers like to exclude.

So dear reader, let’s all do our part to make this world a better place by judging less and loving more. Start with you. You can’t offer to others what you can’t first offer to yourself. Try not to limit someone because of their gender, race or socioeconomic situation. Try not to judge yourself by these things as well. We are all evolving. We are all fumbling and bumbling along; some more gracefully than others, yes. But we’re all still on a journey just the same. So be open. Be kind.

Am I a single mother, twice divorced with a business bankruptcy sitting in my past? Am I a victim of rape? Do I fight like a girl? How many degrees do I hold or funds do I possess?  How do you classify me? You don’t. I’m a spiritually guided soul who is doing their best in this world. There is no label or box that could ever fit me. And that’s just the way I like it and God intended me to be. Most likely the same holds true for you.

Sane

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True North

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Breathe in. Breathe out. Dig deep, and go inward. Feel who you are. There is nothing better. Of this, I can assure you. When you are lost, within rests what will save you; it is your compass, and it belongs to no other. Due to such, if consulted it will guide you to your True North; not in the direction meant for another. That is their journey. Yours is yours.

We try so hard to fit into the molds cast by others; shapes and forms determined by those that surround us: friends, family, the media; all possessing preconceived notions as to what we should and should not be. You are a flexible being, but the boundaries that confine you, the outline that defines you – is for you to determine. Be bold, my friend. Hold fast to your true self. Try not to waver and cave to the ideas and opinions of others. You are not them. And they are not you. Seek no one’s approval but that of your own. And give it to yourself freely.

When teaching children to love who they are, I remind them that it is those who break boundaries held by the norm that also change the world. Nothing new is discovered unless we reach beyond the known. And it is there that new “knowns” and boundaries are established. I say, keep reaching. Never settle. And if you do, may it be with a deep sigh of contentment – knowing you are where you need to be.

My life is one in which I work hand in hand with something that is a bit beyond my understanding. But it is who I am, and every time I try to function differently, I lose my direction. When the crowd walks to the left, often I am meant to walk to the right. But I am not alone when I do, and for that I am most appreciative. Even in some of my hardest moments I have been given numerous signs that the unfolding, happening in this singular way, in this particular direction, is where I need to be. Sometimes we are meant to follow in the footsteps of another, sometimes we are not. Either way, make sure your steps are in harmony with your True North. It doesn’t matter if you are the first or someone has gone before you. It only matters that it be the direction in resonance with your inner compass.

If only we could hold this compass in the palm of our hand. We can not. But it is there. Within all of us, it is there. So sing loud, or sing soft, if it feels right to you. Wear your hair in shades of blue, or chestnut-brown if it suits you. Be only you, and live your days in harmony with the direction meant for you. Now with that in mind, let’s all walk on.

Sane

For the Love of God

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I’ve actually closed down for the night, and yet, there’s something bothering me. So with that, here I am. Sometimes people wonder about my religious beliefs. More accurately they wonder about my beliefs in Jesus and Christianity. Today I was asked if I believe in God. Well, I would like to tell you exactly what I believe and why it is my belief.

It’s easy to think that someone who refrains from adhering to a particular doctrine is anti-Christ. I am not. In fact, I feel Christ was one of the preeminent teachers of our time. I’ve also read the bible backwards and front, copiously. I’ve owned almost every version available, of which there are many, and at one time, had a Jesus fish on my car. This, after I gave my life to Christ at the age of twenty. Which was important as I struggled with drinking and needed direction at the time. As a humble gesture to this beautiful spirit to whom I felt so indebted, I did not drink alcohol during my twenty-first year of life. The first books ever written by me were Christian story books for children. So, you see, I am not one who frowns upon Christ.

I do frown upon hypocrisy. And as I grew into my soul, often that was what I saw. Unfortunately, that is often what I still see. If one is going to profess to follow a doctrine, all I ask is that they do so. Or, stop professing it. To me, there is no greater display of hypocrisy than the adulterer who sits without guilt in a church pew. Or one that talks of Jesus’s love and the need to treat others with honesty, then lies simply because they know they won’t get caught.

Regardless of where we sit, we know right from wrong. We know when we are being true to the greater part of ourselves and others, and when we are not. This is true if one is stranded on a remote island, this is true if sitting in a full congregation. But if the spoken guidance and camaraderie of a church is what works, then keep going. And keep working on honoring the God within. I would like to walk with even a thread of the integrity, in which the great teachers God sent our way had walked. If I even come close, I will be amazed. I do know this, I will not use someone. I will not harm them. I will treat them with as much love as I possess. I will do this because that is what dwells within me. At times I fail. But then I try again. I treat others as I would want to be treated. And when it doesn’t happen in return, I try to turn the other cheek. I try.

People need structure and so often they go to a church to find it. This is good. This is needed. The church says to love one another as you love yourself. And we know that deep down we would never intentionally hurt or lie to ourselves. So why then lie to another? Isn’t doing so blasphemous?

The Godliest amongst us are those that listen to their heart. And often the heart will guide us in the same ways as the fundamental rules of the church. There is no need for jealousy, gluttony, adultery or dishonesty. There is no need to harm another. We are all perfect. Accept one another. These are the tenants of the heart and of many churches. I merely say, let’s live them.

My mother once said something funny, yet quite profound. At least it was to me during my early years. I was taught that every day we were to pray and put on the armor of God; the breastplate of righteousness and so on. I asked my mother why she didn’t do this. She replied, “Because I never take it off.” And in many ways, that is the crux of my spirituality. I never stop praying, it is an internal dialogue that is constant within my heart and mind. I do not put a stop and a start to my spirituality. It just always – is.

As I make my way through this life, I do so not alone. God lives with me. This wondrous force that pulls the ocean waters gently to and fro, also moves me. And because of that close walk, I tend to pull away from people. Simply because I struggle with many of their actions. I do not feel God lives in a far off place. I feel God lives in every place. Like Santa, he knows when we are naughty and he knows when we are nice.  I feel Jesus wanted nothing more than to teach people to trust and to love. I just wish I saw more people doing that. Whether they sit in a church or by a stream, I do not care, I just wish I saw more people doing that.

Even my novels incorporate God. The struggle people have in today’s world to fully trust God is palpable; its real. The feeling of being lost in a topsy-turvy world is all around us. For every one that is standing steady there are three that’ve gone astray. My novels often touch on that. Not because I doubt God, but because it’s what I see. I often joke that if I walked into a church, I’d melt. This is my odd humor poking fun at how others view my perception of God. My perception just happens to encompass all things – because to me, God is all things.

So with that, I will say good night to you and to all those great teachers that have tried to help us mere mortals excel in walking in love while living on earth; to find heaven a bit more, and hell a bit less.

Sane

We The People

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I am not a Republican. Nor am I a Democrat. I am, however, an American. I am one of the many that form the ‘we’ in the line: We the people of the United States of America.

However, the ‘we’ is now a divided organization that much like a disease, is causing the slow death of the beautiful country, I call home. People lay claim to the notion of defending ‘we,’ all the while undermining one another. Currently, a great number are acting like that of ill behaved school children; lacking displayed wisdom, diplomacy and compassion.

It is not: We the people of the United States will fight and undercut each other until causing this great nation to be a sad spectacle in the eyes of all other countries on the globe; and until having done such irrevocable harm that we are no longer unified, and collapse. At which time as when in ruins, we will blame the other. Because surely its all their fault.

No, I’m quite certain that’s not how it went. I think it goes something like this: We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare

Nothing in this opening line, suggests that we should behave in the manner that is commonplace today. If my children were to behave like many of the adults I see as of late, I would be ashamed and so terribly disappointed. I would sit them down and ask why it is their way is better than anyone else’s. I would ask why they are not showing respect for others. Lastly, I would ask what they are doing to take into account the thoughts and needs of others, in addition to their own.

We have access to some of the best minds in the world. We could, if wanted, choose to use the energy wasted on attacking one another, to find a way to improve this country; serving the needs of all. I have no problem with wealth. I say, have at it. I also have no problem with a government that helps those in need. And I firmly believe we have the wherewithal to do both.

If I were an enemy of the United States, I would merely bide my time. Knowing soon, no use of weaponry against us would be necessary, as we are destroying ourselves. It seems most everyone has an agenda, and a firm, unyielding belief that their way is the only way, the better way.  We look down upon each other for having differing points of view, yet proudly claim we are the land of the free. You can not do both without also being an advocate of hypocrisy.  Adding to the sadness is that buried within all of this ugliness, are issues of importance and people trying to affect positive improvements.

I wish I had answers as to rebuilding this unbelievably beautiful country. But I don’t. I do know that within my lifetime, I may witness its collapse. As so many are simply too busy pointing fingers when we should be joining hands.

I feel a bit peevish at the moment. In a country with so many great people, we are showing our worst. No one wins with such ugliness and constant undermining. But while traveling this sad road to self-destruction, there are some of us that will remember the first word, and the most important word used when founding this  country: We.

Sane

Who Said I Have To Stop Eating Almonds In Bed?

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I’m going to express something that may seem mind altering and radical. I really don’t care what someone’s sexual preference is, and I really don’t understand why anyone else would care.

It’s only an issue, to the level that it is, as a result of people governing things they shouldn’t be governing. It’s an aspect of life that has been brutally invaded upon by others, regulated by others, and judged by others. And for the life of me, I don’t understand why. I don’t want anyone telling me I can or cannot own guns. Whether I do or do not own one isn’t anyone else’s concern. I don’t want anyone attempting to control what I do with my body; it is, after all, mine. And heaven help the person that tries to govern with whom I partner. After what I’ve been through – maybe I ought to consider women. Unfortunately, my inclination is toward men. However, it’s up to me, and should I ever choose to jump teams, then I want to retain the same rights I had when there was a lazy, lump of hairy testosterone in my bed.

I have to wonder if those same people who are doing the judging, would enjoy having their lives judged. I don’t want anyone prying into my personal business, telling me what I should and shouldn’t do. Then, as a result of their disapproval, restricting my rights as a person. With all that is going on in our world, with mankind suffering as it is, and our government dangling on the precipice of disaster, this topic still manages to pop up. And of course it will, because once fundamental rights have been stripped away, there is the fight to regain them. That is, of course, the American way. The reason so many came to this great country: freedom. And those that have had their rights infringed upon, I pray, never stop fighting. Odd, isn’t it, that we as a country fight to help other countries regain their freedom, all the while, judging and curtailing the freedoms of our own. Freedom is, by its very nature, means to be free.

Truthfully, I can’t fathom the fact that such preferences have been dissected to the extent that they have. I wonder, what if, other aspects of our lives were likewise dissected and judged. What if, once again, it was a moral crime to fall in love with (or God forbid marry), someone outside of one’s social class? The thought sounds preposterous now, and yet, not so long ago…it was common place. People weren’t allowed to live life freely due to someone else’s idea of what was acceptable. I say, hold hands with whomever you wish. I’m happy they have someone’s hand to hold. It would be a far nicer world if we all had a hand to hold.

I feel it is up to us to decide how to live our lives. I guess that’s a crazy notion, as so many seem to have a hard time letting others live freely. What we do in our homes is up to us. I don’t want to peek into your home, and I surely don’t want you peeking into mine. I can’t say you would be all that startled if you did. You would most likely find me perched behind my laptop, my feet resting on a foul-smelling dog. You might, if you time it just right, catch me eating almonds in bed. I hope eating almonds in bed doesn’t become the next focus of concern, and in doing so, it’s decided (because the rule makers weren’t born liking almonds), that I shouldn’t either. Because I really do enjoy them. And from what I can tell, it doesn’t impact anyone, except me.

If we are to pry into strangers lives and homes, then let us look for the things that matter. If a child is going hungry, let us feed them. If a child is being beaten, let us rescue them. If a family is impoverished, then why can’t we then stick our noses in, and help them? As Voltaire said, “Tend your own garden.”

Sane