I will never understand what it’s like to be a little girl and turn on the TV and not see anyone who looks like me or my family, except for two shows a week after 8pm (if I’m lucky)
I will never understand what it’s like to walk into a store to buy a birthday card and not see anyone who looks like the person I’m buying it for in the drawings
I will never understand the feeling of going to work after washing and combing the hair I was born with and being told I have to go fix it because it doesn’t look professional
I will never understand the added fear of having a son - outside of the fear that he might fall and break something or the cops might hold him overnight for getting caught with pot (and we will laugh about it after and tell him it's fine, because it will be)
I will never understand being underrepresented on magazine covers and movies
I will never understand being called a terrorist because of how I look or because of my religion that I hardly even practice (who knows, maybe I'll get back into being Catholic one day)
What I do understand, is that I will never understand. That is okay and I am not meant to.
I also understand that to many, my voice is still listened to first - so when will I use it?
To use when people I love make remarks that don't serve us because they don’t want to admit that they’ll really just never fully understand.
To say that if you don’t understand that none of what’s going on in the world right now is NEW, but is only getting more exposed because of our technology, then it’s time to broaden our understanding of the people who are in pain and LOVE HARDER.
This has got to hit a point where more people who will never understand are going to say ENOUGH- I am not a stand for this.
I understand that sometimes it takes tragedy for people to get their shit together and that is how it works. But how many years do we need?
I understand that I need to turn off the news and actually TALK to the people that DO understand. To ask questions and be curious.
And I understand that it’s pretty damn simple to tell what feels right, fair and humane and what feels wrong and archaic.
So please, for love, try to understand just ONE person today through your assumptions.
It’s okay to not fully understand.
For every woman in my ancestry who got married young because you had to & not by choice - I will love myself more fully for you.
For every woman in my ancestry who wasn’t sure she could survive on her own - I will love myself & my independent adventures more fully for you.
For every woman in my ancestry who kept her dreams quiet because you put everyone else’s dreams first - I will love myself more fully for you.
And when I am graced by a man who loves himself more fully, who is determined to be a stand for a life he wants and knows is possible…
When I am graced by a man whose love builds on top of mine such that the only thing left to do is share it…
Whether it’s tomorrow, in two years, or in ten
I will love myself, and him, more fully - for you.
For your beliefs, your stories, and your dreams are in me.
And today, I let them go. So that I can love myself more fully - for me.
- Rachael Lynn 5/1/16
I had a beautiful conversation with a friend of mine yesterday. For the first time in 4 years, he had fallen in love with a girl, and experienced something with her that left him heartbroken.
This is the type of man who, when I met him, had the same walls up that I was personally familiar with. Who made jokes instead of expressing his feelings. The kind of man we all know hasn’t cried in years and considers that a badge of honor.
In a way, when we first met and I recognized what he was doing, I hurt for him. I remember being exactly all of those things. I remember how closed off I was to the kind of human connection that is possible when we let it be.
But as I sat with him, with his head in my lap because of the heart ache he was experiencing, I couldn’t have been more proud of him.
HE WAS FINALLY ALLOWING HIMSELF TO FEEL THE PAIN.
And something finally clicked for me.
WHEN YOU GIVE YOURSELF THE SPACE TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, AND TO LOVE YOURSELF DESPITE ALL THE SHIT YOU’VE DONE – YOU GIVE OTHER PEOPLE THE SPACE TO BE WHO THEY ARE WITHOUT JUDGEMENT OR ATTACHMENT.
You give men the space to reveal strong, intense, or difficult emotions without feeling ashamed.
You give friends the space to share the darkest parts of themselves without feeling judged.
THIS IS MY PURPOSE.
That is why I’m here. It’s why we’re all here – to experience human connection without judgement.
When I was younger I didn’t know how to harness this energy and not lose myself in it or the other person.
Especially with men – I thought that every time a guy said “you understand me like nobody else does” that clearly meant he was supposed to be in love with me.
Today I know we are IN LOVE – and love takes many different forms. He doesn’t have to be my boyfriend or my future husband for us to exist in a space of love together.
And I’m not here to fix or change anyone – only they are in control of that.
I’M JUST HERE TO LOVE THEM ANYWAYS.
Love is not selfless devotion to try and help someone out of their misery. We are not saviors or martyrs.
Because when you love yourself first, it’s much easier to know when it’s time to hold someone,and when it’s time to empower them to step into who they’re meant to be on their own.
LOVE IS WIDE OPEN FREEDOM TO EXIST EXACTLY AS YOU ARE.
Because when you love another person for exactly who they are, then and only then will they be inspired to grow into a better version of themselves.
And the greatest thing I can do to help them is challenge MYSELF to grow just a little bit every day – lead by example – and love them anyways.