Marching today was a very emotional experience. I'm so grateful and proud to live in a country where we have the right to peacefully gather and raise our voices. Learning to use my voice has not come easily for me. I fought to get here, to live in my skin, to believe it's okay to take up space, to speak up for myself. Let's be real, I'm still fighting those ghosts. Today I linked arms with one of my dearest confidants and we sang Woody's words as we walked.... This land is your land, this land is my land.... I broke down in near ugly cry twice.
The first time was upon arriving. I felt a surge of safety, of knowing that those gathered share my hope of protecting girls and women from the lifelong suffering of sexual abuse. I'm not sure I can explain it better, but as a survivor, the feeling that you are safe and heard, understood, seen and cared for... well, those feelings are few and far between. I was overcome. And today I had the courage to raise my voice for myself, and those like me. I felt valued. Today I marched so my daughter won't have to be a statistic like me.
The second moment where I was overcome with tears was due to the enormous weight of grief I feel for the divisions among us as citizens. I know you all likely tire of hearing me speak of kindness. But I quite honestly cannot and will not stop. Amidst friendships and families, on both sides we are losing sight of the people, the hearts, the stories, the lives, the WORTH of the humans around us. If we call ourselves people of kindness, we must show it without prejudice. No making fun of people who think or vote differently than us. There is no room for that. If we call ourselves people of Love, we must rise above the temptation to return hate with hate. It starts with each one of us. I can't really iterate the deepness of my grief over this. Today I marched for kindness, for all of us. I'm so very grateful I could take part in the gathering.