Today, Let’s Be About the Love

This post is inspired by the transition of Caitlyn Jenner, but it is much broader than that. It’s about all of us.

why can't we all just get along

I want to issue you a challenge.

I want you to try and live one day without gossip, without judgement, and without excluding others. I want you to do one nice thing for someone today without expecting anything in return. Ok, maybe that’s a couple challenges.

I am thinking out loud today on this topic because I think it’s important. As I’m sure you are all aware, Bruce Jenner made a public transition to Caitlyn this week. I think it is courageous, heart-warming, and important. A lot of people share my sentiments. A lot of people don’t.

Maybe I’m sensitive to it because I have experienced backlash from being an addict, but my brain and my heart really struggle to make sense of the hateful and shaming behavior that one human being can impose on another. Rather than take the time to sit and listen to what people have to say, it is easier to operate from a pedestal of ignorance and misinformation. It is easier to misdirect a person’s true fear and vulnerability by creating a smoke screen of insults and bigotry. Rather than being open-minded to something we are not familiar with, we cast stones. It’s just easier.

Taking the time to be vulnerable, even with ourselves, is hard. To admit that something makes us uncomfortable is easy, but then instead of taking time to figure out why, we try and escape the feeling altogether. We sneer, we dismiss, we ignore. I understand it and I abhor it.

My confusion also comes from what part the decisions other people make about how to live their lives has to do with me.

Caitlyn Jenner has nothing to do with me. She is not me. She has no idea who I am. She is simply trying to be true to herself. As quoted in Vanity Fair, “If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself.'” Her statement makes me wonder how many other people in this world are wondering the same thing.

Why is it so difficult to let people be who they are? Why are we always trying to change and control them (an exercise in futility)? Why can’t we all just get along??

I have learned through personal experience that you may not agree with my feelings at any particular time, but that does not mean that they are not valid. What I am feeling is what I am experiencing at that moment. It is my truth.

Dismissing the feelings of others, be them fleeting or from birth, is denying their authenticity as a human being. Some feelings, such as my anger at my husband for eating all my snacks (?!), may change, but some feelings, such as the deeply-rooted identification as the opposite gender, may not. The point is to always validate the feelings of others. It is their truth.

How do I know that what these persecuted groups say is true?

Because they say it.

Because they feel it.

Because what person — make that hundreds and thousands of people — would choose to live a life that can be so full of pain and intolerance?

One of the best and most moving accounts I have read about the issue of transgenderism is from a letter from a mom to her son. Before we rush to judge, I wish we all would just spend a little more time learning about the things that make us uncomfortable or issues we aren’t completely familiar with.

My intent is not to offend anyone with this post, but only to express my dissatisfaction with the way that we treat each other. I am not immune to this type of behavior and for that reason I am also participating in this challenge.

Try, just for today, to be about the love.

 

P.S. I am aware of the irony of this post. To draw attention to and potentially judge those who judge others based on what they think is right. I admit that I struggle with this paradox and for now the only justification I can come up with is the fact that I have seen so much more growth and happiness from love than I have from hate. To me, the benefits of a world free from judgement, shame, and hate is a much brighter one.

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17 Comments

  1. June 4, 2015 / 8:31 am

    Well said! This morning someone shared a snarky meme on Facebook about Caitlyn Jenner and I became angry and frustrated with that person. I unfollowed them and thought about how disappointed I was that people feel it’s OK to belittle another human being. Then I realized that being angry with or judging them was just perpetuating the problem. I said a quick prayer asking for that person’s mind and heart to be opened to feelings and ideas that are unfamiliar and to be more accepting. This goes for me too, I need that reminder everyday myself. Here’s to more love today!
    Keli recently posted…The real reason I started blogging.My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 9, 2015 / 9:24 am

      More love everyday!

  2. Mudita
    June 4, 2015 / 10:37 am

    Wow! I loved that letter to Jacob. Truly amazing, and it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing it, and sharing how families can struggle through the confusion and come out ok when guided by love, not fear.

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 9, 2015 / 9:24 am

      I know. It’s so amazing.

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 9, 2015 / 9:21 am

      We definitely do. Thanks for reading!

  3. June 4, 2015 / 11:49 am

    I love these types of posts. I love love. You know what I have come to learn? That the opposite of love is fear, not hate. Most people withhold love because they’re afraid of the unknown. Either the potential pain of the unknown or the discomfort of uncharted territory. Fear holds people back from what we need the very most: communion. Fear isolates us, and that’s where hate breeds–in the dark, cold corners of our scared hearts.
    Suzy recently posted…Things About Me That Will Make You Feel Better About YourselfMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 9, 2015 / 9:22 am

      Fear is the at the center of so many things. I definitely agree with that.

  4. June 4, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    yes I agree, I don’t feel it’s any of my business. to me it is about being authentic, and whenever a person has the courage to be who they want to be, well great for them! nobody is perfect so why judge? it’s not anywhere near my business. I suppose I’m allowed to have my personal opinions but honestly, I don’t. I don’t feel offended or affected because I’m open minded and have friends of all backgrounds. it’s all about the heart inside – good heart, you’re my kind of person.
    danielle recently posted…Life in ColorMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 9, 2015 / 9:25 am

      Thanks Danielle! I just want everyone to be friends!

  5. June 4, 2015 / 8:34 pm

    Well said, girlfriend. There are probably 100 books about why people judge, pretend to be someone they’re not, etc. It’s hard to be ourselves if we worry about what other people think of us. Loving the challenge(s) for today. Or for life…?
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Try This Thursday 6/4 – compression socksMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 9, 2015 / 9:26 am

      Definitely. It’s so frustrating to me when people are so hateful. I hope I can try and be loving every day 🙂

  6. June 4, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    I struggle so much with that paradox too! Judging those who judge…it’s a little mad. We really did have the same idea today 🙂 i think that’s why we’re friends. And I’m proud to be yours. This is beautiful.
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch recently posted…What Is Bravery?My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 9, 2015 / 9:26 am

      Thanks girl! So was yours!

  7. June 4, 2015 / 10:47 pm

    I agree with all you’ve said here, especially this… “I have learned through personal experience that you may not agree with my feelings at any particular time, but that does not mean that they are not valid. What I am feeling is what I am experiencing at that moment. It is my truth.”
    I also wrote a post on Bruce and found myself becoming heated at another blogger’s article that expressed a different view. Then I realized that I was wrong for not respecting that writer’s opinion. She was not being hateful or cruel, just expounding on what I thought was a narrow-minded, judgmental view on the topic. But her view is hers, and she has a right to it… Just as Bruce has a right to his new appearance. Thank you for saying, “Let’s Be About Love.”
    Well done, Erin.
    Rica @ Yoga Mat Monkey recently posted…Comment on Do This and Fail…3 Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your Success by Rica LewisMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 9, 2015 / 9:29 am

      Thanks Rica! It’s tough to see something I don’t agree with and then judge that as wrong, yet that’s the same thing I have an issue with people doing. It’s confounding. I’m glad you were able to take a step back and realize that everyone has their own view.

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