For as long as I have been a writer, I cannot recall a time where I have had so many things I have wanted to write about. I intended to sit down and pound out post after post, addressing issue after issue. The problem with all of these things flooding my mind is I have ended up in a mental and emotional overload. My heart hurts and my mind hurts. It’s become a constant battle to remember to respond in love rather than in anger.
We are driven by anger these days it seems. In some cases, rightly so. Rage at the injustices being thrown at the undeserving. At people who refuse to open their minds and leave their clouded judgements and rhetoric behind. But often, said anger is derived merely from a difference of opinion. Over the idea someone seeing differently than you is an affront to your entire being.
As it says in my bio, I’m not afraid of controversy. I never have been. But it doesn’t mean I don’t tire of what controversy brings. Discussing these difficult topics means a lot of mental and emotional preparation for the backlash that could come. It means girding my loins and removing myself from what I’ve posted. Sometimes, there’s no response at all. People simply ignore it because they don’t like what I am saying.
I’ve been fortunate in so far my blog has remained free of attacks. Free of people taking what I am saying as a means to verbally try to tear me down.
Like many people I know, I’m getting weary when it comes to simply asking people to listen. Not asking them to change their minds, or to turn their worlds upside down, but to recognize the human beings on the other sides. To stop vilifying actions and causes and instead see the people who are part of it.
I’ve been struggling on where I should begin as well. There is so much out there. So much that needs to be talked about, that needs to be written about, that needs to be changed. This overload renders me into a state of writer’s block. It’s like running around a circular room trying to find the corners.
But I can’t keep putting much of this off. Some of you who follow my blog, or my Facebook page, are likely going to unfollow me. Some of you may even hate me. And that’s okay, because I’m not going to stop just for fear of how you’ll react. Our world is so divisive today, eliminating the vibrant colours and shades of grey, opting instead for mere black and white. The only way we are ever going to move past this is if we can listen–listen to the people who believe and think differently, and have thoughtful, open conversation.
Because here’s the thing: you can disagree with people and still get along. You can have fundamental differences in beliefs, in politics, in social issues, in religion, and in theology, yet still get along and respect each other. Some of the most positive influences in my life are people I vehemently disagree with.
Today, I want to challenge you.
I want to challenge you to step out of your comfort zones, climb out of your box, and open your mind.
I want you to be willing to listen to and consider what people who believe differently than you are saying. I’m asking you to look on your ‘enemies’ with compassion, to recognize and understand where they are coming from.
And if you don’t want to, that’s fine. I can’t make you. I can’t make you listen to the words I’m going to say, respect the things I’m saying, or even accept them.
But this whole mental overload? It’s going to come out, and it’s going to be filled with scary things–topics I seem to shy away from. Because they need to be talked about. Because, if I’m ever going to pursue a life where my fight is to help young women, I need to not be afraid to speak.
My heart is about to break open, and I hope you’ll all be willing to sift through the pieces with me.