While this blog is primarily about joyously living a beautiful life, I want, no NEED to call a timeout and call attention to something else. Something bigger, something braver, so that we can all go forth in in beauty, together, after embracing ugliness together in order to heal, and stopping it for the future of us, the future of others. I believe that being bold, being brave, being strong when you can, standing up for others and for yourself, whether you are male or female, a child or an adult, IS Beautiful.
We are all seeing #METOO. Bravo. Bravo to everyone who is being as brave as they can be by posting it, and you know what? Bravo to everyone who can not find it in themselves to post it, or does not wish to-but they FEEL it. None of you are alone, and I commend all of you. Every single one of you.
This post is for ALL OF US. It is for the women and girls, and the men and boys who have been violated in any way, shape or form at any point in their lives. Whether you stood strong, or collapsed internally or externally. Whether you found your voice then, or felt too shattered to. It is ALL OF US. I stand by you. I am here for you.
I have read posts from friends who stated that they did not want to speak up because they felt that their experience was too trivial or not big enough. Darlings, if it made you feel any type of way that was not a positive one, you do not need to feel marginalized, you do not need to make excuses or try to rationalize or explain anything away.
I have heard stories from family members and friends over the years about any number of men saying things that made them feel fearful and shudder, implying things, giving looks, giving touches, to the more extreme ends.(You will note that in this post I am not going into specifics-this is to be as gentle as possible about a rough subject and to not further trigger those who have been incredibly traumatized)One of the things that stands out to me is not just the twisted, misguided, damaged individuals who saw innocence in any form and went after it, but these two things: Nasty Monsters have no limits of age or gender in those they want to victimize, and so SO MANY of ALL OF US end up feeling alone, guilty, or crazy.
So many young ladies were/are taught to be nice, be polite, be a GOOD GIRL, be nice to Johnny next door, do what your elders tell you to do.....so many young men are belittled and told to man up, BE A GOOD BOY, men don't get harassed or molested and told other terrible things....I CALL BULL.
Please, my Darlings, know THIS to be absolute truth: IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! You did not ask for it, you did nothing wrong. I love you, you are worthy, and I am here for you. If you know me, call me, text me, come by, and if you don't, email me, message me, reach out.
SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT, for yourself, for ALL OF US.
If someone makes a comment, call them out. Say hey that's not okay to say. No, I don't think you need to inquire whether or not they would want someone to speak to their daughter, sister, mother like that.....because maybe they are a Nasty Monster and they would. Say NO. Be as loud as you feel you need to be.
If you see something, DO something. If you suspect something, say something, ask further, DO something.
NO ONE has any autonomy over what happens to your body or anyone else's. ALL OF US are to be respected and loved. ALL OF US DESERVE love, patience, respect, and to be listened to.
TEACH your sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, neighbor children, students-teach all of them, that they deserve nothing less. Teach them that they are STRONG and they can speak up and speak out against anything. Teach them that manners, kindness and class are lovely, but that NO-they do not have to hug people against their will, no-they do not have to sit quietly while a stranger, person on the internet, odd(or beloved)family member or Mom's new boyfriend steps out of line(even with a look). Teach them that they can come to you, that you will believe them, stand by them, and be a force to be reckoned with for them. Teach them to find their Voice. This is ALL OF US.
Life is long, life is beautiful, and I want us all to be able to enjoy it. I love you.