Today, I am struggling to find stillness + calm to gather my thoughts. Struggling to find normalcy + to understand.
I am not one to voice my political opinion publicly, yet it just feels wrong to step over today and pretend that I don’t feel the immense emotional weight.
I woke feeling heart broken, not for myself personally, but for our country as a whole. I stand for diversity and inclusiveness and love and freedom. I believe we are people, not parties. That this isn’t a game, a race or a screaming match between parties. This is about people. To everyone who feels unheard, fearful and forgotten by the election results – know, that you are loved. Our skin color, sexual preference, disabilities or where we were born are not reasons that we should be made to feel unsafe and unwelcome. My heart feels so heavy at the weight of this being a reality.
It was hard to get up this morning. To get out of bed, get dressed, make coffee and do anything with focus. I took the day to sit with my thoughts and feelings and really FEEL them before voicing anything. There were a lot of tears and a lot of confusion. BUT as I scrolled through the social space today I was encouraged by all of you who have made this a moment to stand up for positivity, love and dedication to keep moving forward. It’s inspiring and reminds me to continue to love well, fight for others, and stay active.
We’re in this extraordinary thing called life together. Despite where we stand politically, we’re humans first. We are people first. So let’s show our humanity as vibrantly as we possibly can. Remember that this may not be heartbreaking for you personally, but that it may affect someone you love much differently than it personally affects you.
There has been a fire lit inside my heart: to recognize that it’s not just about how this election and the decisions in our country just affect me, but to realize that people everywhere deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and love. Love is stronger than hate.
It starts with me. It starts with us. By being examples to our peers, to our children, to our elders, by showing them with our actions and telling them with our words. Every single person deserves to be treated with respect and equality, and I will not stop fighting for that right.
I am a woman.
I am middle eastern.
I am a female business owner.
I am a daughter of an immigrant.
I am someone who has endured sexual harassment.
Because I was raised in a primarily white, affluent community – I think that people assume I don’t identify with the minorities I am a part of. Because I don’t outwardly voice how much these parts of me define my identity, I think that people assume they don’t make me who I am.
I am not a political journalist, I am not 100% politically correct and I am not an expert.
But I am A PERSON with valid thoughts and feelings that I’m sure are shared by many people.
Every time something controversial has happened that I feel compelled to write about, I talk myself out of sharing. Why? Because I have so many thoughts that I can’t seem to synthesize into one coherent piece. I don’t view myself as an expert; therefore I fear that my words are not important. I don’t want to add to the noise. I don’t want to make others feel wrong or angry. I don’t want someone to come back and tell me all the ways they interpreted my words differently than I meant them. And, I don’t want to be shot down + challenged on the ideas that I am not an expert on.
What I do want to accomplish in sharing these thoughts is to connect and inspire.
Connect with like-minds and non-like-minds so that we can begin to listen to one another and grow.
Inspire growth and positivity within our entire community to unite once again, people to people.
I want you to know as a minority: YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE IMPORTANT. YOU BELONG.
I want you to know as a non-minority, that this isn’t just about you. This affects people more vulnerable than you and be sensitive than that.
I want to tell you that I do in fact, identify with each part of me that makes me, me. That I do stand up for people in more vulnerable communities than my own, I do stand up for women, I do stand up for equality.
Challenge yourself to see beyond yourself and what affects you, but to instead to relate to one another and understand that all of our feelings are valid and worthy.
WE must be the change, we must show acceptance, humility and love towards all people. And again, understand that today’s decision may affect someone differently than it affects you – be supportive and understanding. Moving forward, now more than ever we need to focus on: being positive, hopeful, helpful, thoughtful and optimistic! Starting within ourselves, digging in deep and realizing that we are all people. To address the things in life we want to change, we must find a way to get involved and make it happen! We are capable of accomplishing greatness, in microscopic ways in our daily lives and also in giant ways on a big scale. But we must have hope and we must do our part.
In the words of our incredible First Lady, Michelle Obama:
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”