I'm feeling like darkness is permeating the air, and my soul is gasping for light. The only way I know how to combat the negativity is by trying to spread positivity. And kindness. And love.
So here goes.
You are a stranger to me. But you are hurting and scared, and don't know what to expect from a land where suddenly the phrase “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” seems nothing but a mockery of your plight. You have lived out the story of many generations of people, inside of America, and beyond her borders. You are stronger than anyone I can imagine. I see you. I hold you in my heart. I send light into your children's eyes so they can find peace from the nightmares they have left behind and can be distanced from the new fears that are beginning to grow. You have worth.
You are a stranger to me. But I have family who have walked in your shoes-- people who love people because they connect at the soul-level. Because your partner makes you stronger. Because your love creates beauty inside of you. Because you recognize each other. But you are scared and hurt because the country that has just made it okay to get lawfully married and have equal rights as a united couple, seems to be taking a step backward. You are stronger than anyone I can imagine. I see you. I hold you in my heart. Where selfless love and kindness go, what does it matter to others whether it's between two men or two women or one of each? I send light into your heart so that you can laugh with the person you love most and see hope reflected back in their eyes. You have worth.
You are a stranger to me. But I know skin tone does not define you. Neither does your place of birth, your living situation, nor your ancestry. You feel threatened because of your experiences in a nation that proclaims to hold justice and equality dear to its heart. But you are more than a label. More than a statistic. More than a crude name. You are a human. You create your own definitions through the use of your integrity, kindness, choices, and actions. You are stronger than anyone I can imagine. I see you. I hold you in my thoughts. I stand beside you on your continued quest for true equality. You have worth.
You are a stranger to me. But I, too, am a woman. You are mad and hurt that devastating occurrences in your life or in the lives of people you know can potentially be ridiculed and permitted, due to "position" and "power." You are scared that if anything happens to you or, heaven forbid, to your child (or anyone at all), that you won't have a voice to protect you. That you won't have a say over what happens with your body. And you may not be able to survive being forced to keep nature on it's course. You are stronger than anyone I can imagine. I see you. I send peace into your heart because who am I to take emergency choices away from anyone. No matter how you arrived at certain crossroads in your life, you have a voice. You have worth.
You are a stranger to me. We have different stories written across our lives. We are of different faiths, heritage, cultures, and beliefs. You are uncertain of what to expect when we cross paths because so many times strangers ignore each other. So, I will show you. I will look you in the eyes, and I will smile. I will offer you an open mind and a peaceful heart. I will find your merit in how you treat others-- in how you protect, lift up, guide, heal, and act-- and not in how you are dressed, which politician you backed, what your profession is, who you love, or anything else. I will listen to your thoughts and, whether I agree or disagree, I will understand that you have the right to your beliefs. All I ask in return is that you act with integrity and respect. It's a simple as that. I will see you. And we will be strong together. Because we have to be. And it's time we all recognize each other's worth.