This post was inspired by a series of events. Last week or so I read a blog post written by someone whose work I follow. I’ve always known that we have a difference of opinion in some areas of life. In the name of tolerance, I agree to disagree and have left it at that. This particular post, however, pushed my limits (buttons) to the point that I wanted to hit the unsubscribe, unfriend, and delete button. Then I had an Ah-Hah moment.
This person was not afraid to be his authentic self. His opinion had not changed, nor had mine. What triggered my response was that he stated his opinion in a very caustic way, literally calling everyone who held a different view “stupid”. I realize that he wrote it in such a controversial way to incite reaction and comments – those he received held the same viewpoint. The “Ah-Hah” was that he was willing to be himself no matter what, regardless of whether or not he would lose readers. While I dislike his method and view, I will give credit for the fact that he held true to his opinionated belief and was not afraid to express it.
The second event was the tattoo Scott Stratten just had inked on his forearm. It reads “My life is my message M.K. Gandhi” It’s such a powerful statement that nothing else really needs to be said. I love Scott’s ability to lead an authentic life.
The last event, was one of my favorites. Yesterday I marched in the annual San Diego Pride Parade, and spent the rest of the day enjoying the Festival. It wasn’t the first time and it definitely won’t be the last. I have several friends who are members of the LGBT community. I don’t think of my friends in terms of gender/ethnicity or sexual preference, in this case, the latter was the theme of the day. What pains me so greatly is that so many people feel that they have to hide who they are because of the open condemnation, prejudice and hatred of some.
I can’t think of anything worse than being forced to live a lie and conform to what others think you should be. As a parent, I can’t imagine saying the things I have heard some parents say when their child “comes out”. As a sister, aunt, cousin, friend, I cannot imagine changing my love for someone because of who they are. When I am at Pride, I look around and see the same things I see at any other event – I see friends, family, moms, dads, children, people holding hands, and people who love each other and ask only to be accepted for who they are, and to be afforded the same freedom that the heterosexual community enjoys.
That I believe in equality for all from the bottom of my heart is not something I will ever hide or apologize for. I celebrate the diversity that makes all of us who we are and that allows each of us to share our unique gifts with the world.
Are you living an authentic life? If not, what holds you back?by