Speak Love

18 days ago my 13 year old nephew, Justin took his own life. The way those words hurt to say or to write, rip through my heart and leave me in a dazed state. He had these sparkly eyes and this laugh that would make you laugh in spite of yourself. I keep expecting any day that he will come up those steps saying “Aunt Steph, you know what happened?”, or be sending his an uncle a text starting at 4pm “What’s for dinner?”. No one will ever replace him, and that part of my heart is just for him.

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Walking through extreme grief, you start to look inward for things you need to speak out about.

Bullying took my nephew away from me. He was the 2nd of 3 kids that have taken their life on the island I live on, because they were bullied for being different from the norm. I am different from the norm myself, but I am old enough to know that you can walk away from those that speak out against you. These kids feel like they can’t walk away or that they are walking alone in this journey.

First instinct is to blame the bullies. They do hold some of the blame, but it goes deeper than that. These bullies are being raised by parents. Maybe these parents don’t believe their child could say these hurtful things, or do these things that hurt people to the core of who they are. Maybe these parents do know, and they feel lost in the world, not sure where to turn.

In a world full of hate everywhere, its our responsibility as humans to speak love. We sensationalize hate, as a society we are failing each other, and the next generation. Turning on the TV every day to see another shooting at a school or everything that is wrong in the world is depressing. The heaviness of this hate is falling on the youngest in the world, and they can’t process the complexity of these emotions without support from us.

This must be a concentrated effort by all. It should be the most important fight in our life. As Parents, Educators, Mental Health Professionals, and Human Beings we need to combat this hate that is filling the schools and minds of our young people. The hardest part of this is admitting we are doing it wrong. Every time we say “I hate..” or any version of that phrase we are putting negativity out into the world. We need to recognize what this is doing to our youth. This is teaching them hate.

So my challenge to anyone that might be reading this. For your part in this concentrated effort to stop bullying and letting these kids know they are not alone, is just simply to start making the beauty and good in the world more important than hate. Really speak with an extreme amount of love so we can change the tide, and make no mistake about it, we CAN change the tide of hate speak. Every water drop coming together will make a flood. Love each other. Love those that are different than you, try to understand their differences, respect them, and let the way they see the world become part of who you are.

For my part, I am going to continue the fight for transgender rights that my nephew started. I am going to demand that we have a place for these kids (the bullied and the bullies) to get the help they need, this means continue my fight for mental health services. I will tell my daughter every day things that I love about her, about the world, about our life together. I will let her know she is not alone, I will give her options for people to speak with. I will do anything to protect her and all children.

How will you make a difference? How will you speak love into the world instead of hate?

 

The world is a contradiction

I supremely dislike drawing judgement on anyone, especially when I don’t know their life, their circumstances, or the demons they fight on a regular basis.

It seems that is what our world is built on right now though is judgement. Some of the examples I have witnessed:

“We shouldn’t let those refugees into our country, we have enough homeless on the streets of our own.” So, my question is this, what are you doing to help with the homeless situation of those around you then? If this is one of your strong convictions and you stand behind it as a point of contention then surely you are doing everything you can to make sure that all the homeless people in your own country are being looked after, even in a small way, because your point becomes invalid as you drive right by homeless people never giving a second thought to them except for to use them as a pawn in a game you are trying to win.

“I can’t stand the racism in this country (any country) and don’t understand how it continues this day in age.” Which, by the way is my stance on the subject. If you say these things though and then continue to say racist things yourself, tell racist jokes, or call people down for their lifestyle or the way they live because of their race. Racism continues this day in age because people refuse to give up their belief that they aren’t the issue. I have taught my child that people are not inherently different no matter the color of their skin, their abilities, their beliefs, but I also live it myself.

“I refuse to pay for others to get healthcare, welfare, etc.” This one I hear A LOT from different people. What happens though when its someone you love that needs these services? Do you want others to be helping them to live a decent life and get the help they need that for whatever reason they are not capable of getting at that time, or are you going to be able to bank roll all their medical procedures, housing, bills, etc. for them by yourself?

Of course the biggest contradiction in the world right now is the American Election. It’s a hot button issue that really is making the world stare in disbelief at what is going on. This is the part you want to stop reading if you are a huge Trump supporter and get angry easily. You have been warned.

Trump wants to make America Great Again, implying that America was great at a determined time in the past (I am an American living in Canada.) my question to this is when was America great last? A time of reference would be great. Is it when immigration laws were not as strict as they are now? Is it when the economy was so horrible and the bottom was dropping out? Or is it like way back when slaves were still allowed? or maybe all the way back to the beginning when everyone was an immigrant to the US? If any of these apply then everything coming out of his mouth about how he is going to make it great again is a contradiction of his own slogan.

The one that gets me the most right now and the one I am seriously the most curious about. “Why are you voting for Trump?” “Because Hillary is a thief, liar, breaks the law” “No but why are you voting for Trump, what does he stand for that you stand for too?”

Is it because he likes to talk badly about women? A list of offensive comments towards women can be found here with their sources.

Is it because he like to make fun of people with disabilities? Video of him doing just that.

Is it that he wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out? He contradicts himself. 

How can these things just be forgotten? How can any of these things be explained away?

The biggest thing of all for me is that he has never had any political experience. When did this become something you just sweep under the rug?

Would you want someone doing surgery on you that isn’t even a Dr.? Would you pay someone thousands of dollars to build you a home if they had never picked up a hammer?

In the same vein though, your reason for voting for Hillary Clinton or any of the other candidates should not be because “its better then Trump”. Find the candidate that speaks what you believe. Don’t cop out and vote for someone because the other one is worse.

In the end we have to do something to change the way the world is going, because its becoming scary to even let my 11 year old go to the park on her own.

Everyone should have beliefs (no not my beliefs their own!), things they proudly stand behind, issues that they fight for, and also respect people. Don’t be a contradiction, the world is full of them and it is just breeding hate with no real answers.

The way of the world, and my place in it.

A lot of things brought me here to write today. The state of the world, it being 6 years since my sister passed away, my best friend moving away, and I watched “The curious case of Benjamin Button”.

The last line of the movie always gets to me. “Some people, were born to sit by a river. Some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people, dance.”

I guess we don’t ever really know what exactly we were born for until it comes to the end. Maybe we aren’t just born for one purpose but for many, but some things will define us. I wonder how people will define me at the end of my life? Maybe its that each person you meet in your life will define you as something different.

I believe all things happen for a reason, and all people are put into our life for a reason. It is because I believe these things that I know the story of my sisters life came to an end. She was defined, she served her purpose for her life story, and she has taught me more about loving, living, and laughing in life in the past 6 years since she has passed away then I ever thought possible. If I had to define her, I would say she was born to be the strength we all needed to grow up, the perfect person to bring us our own bit of heaven, Nevaeh, and to teach us that life doesn’t always have a tomorrow.

The way things are in the world, with negative media on every screen, it is hard to dream ahead because it seems so scary. There are wars, there is murder, there is senseless acts of violence, and there is so much hatred. I won’t let that define who I am as a person though. I won’t be afraid to live my life and to keep spreading joy and love into the world. I will smile at strangers, I will say hello and how are you, I will give hugs, and encouragement and I will believe that I can make a difference. In doing these things a little bit of the ugliness in the world will be killed, and hopefully I will teach my daughter that you don’t stop trying, or fighting for a better tomorrow. You do what you can and even the small things matter. I will always be educated but I will not be fearful for more then a fleeting moment.

With all that has changed in my life recently in a rapid amount of time. I think that I am holding up fairly well. I can see clearly how all these life events are defining who I am, and helping me to become stronger. My best friend moving away (she moved 5 hours away) has taught me that relationships will change, and those definitions will change as well. She has set off on a journey to define her life, change her life, and better herself. I won’t and wouldn’t ever stand in her way. She has taught me about life, and will continue to do so as I see her journey un-fold. Our friendship will weather the storm, but it will never be the same as what it was before. Distance between people changes relationships, not in a bad way, but in a necessary way.

The emotions that all of these things have stirred up inside me are clearly defined though. I miss my whole family and the distance between us still remains like a big open sore that won’t heal even after 13 years of living in Canada, it almost feels like this loop where I am constantly having to choose again and again. Somedays I long for those Sunday mornings that my Dad would make us all waffles and my sisters and I would play with our barbies and life was simple because I didn’t know much of the world then. I didn’t know loss, I didn’t know responsibility, and I could just be.

I know I need to stop thinking of my life as what was, and what is, and just think of it as this blessing I have been given.

I know every day I am working on defining the person I am, and the person I will be.

 

Crazy Family Introductions

First is me, I am the crazy wife. Almost 36 years old Things I love: Sunshine, Flip Flops, Doggies, Being a Mom, Interesting/Exotic foods, Baking, Cooking, Socializing, Blogging Things I don’t like: Anxiety, Depression, Being Cold, Snow, Black Liquorice, and people … Continue reading