When The Happiness Breaks Through

When the happiness breaks through

And the weight of heartache is lifted from my shoulders

My spirit begins to flutter

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I lay down my burdens

And for the first time in too long I’ve let you take them

This sensation is distantly familiar

Oh my does it feel good

You’ve been waiting here all along

but I just come to visit

and I know that should change

I’m tired of making myself feel unwelcome

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My spirit awoke, as cliché as that sounds

My soul feels light

And my inner most being has been lifted

For too long I’ve been trapped

Stuck under neath the weight of it all

And I shut down

Shut you out

The rain poured and I tried to make myself comfortable in these wet clothes

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But you’re my umbrella

In that one shade of yellow that I’ve always felt was too happy

Maybe that’s it

I’m afraid of being happy

Because happy means things could go wrong

Happy means I could crash

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But I already crashed

and never really got up

I only fell further and further into a hole of despair

Reaching for a hand I was not ready to take

Occasionally I’d crawl out only to fall back in

From the unbalanced weight of the boulder on my back

The boulder I let sit there, grasping tightly as you pulled, signaling for me to let go

All my life i’ve been told I’m too stubborn

But I don’t want to be stubborn with you

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This isn’t the first time I’ve been here

I want to say it’s different now

My breaking point was long ago

Yet I’ve continued to shatter

I don’t know how much further I can break

Before the pieces are too hard to put back together

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I hide under a mask of cynicism and small talk

This used to be a character I’d play

But we morphed into one on a dark day long ago

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Part of me always feels silly when we get here

Why hadn’t I done this sooner?

I know the truth but I let the pain over take me

I’ve been running on sarcasm and anger for far too long

Contemplating things that aren’t what I want, aren’t who I am

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Now I rejoice

Praise you till my throat dries and my tears run empty

For the first time in a long time happiness is appealing

Loving and being loved is desired, no needed

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I want to say this will last forever

I want to believe I’ll continue to show up

I’m tired of being a guest within my own soul

There’s some cobwebs to clear sure, I won’t pretend like there isn’t

But when you break through

I want to delight in your name

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Unconditional

Unconditional love is something that I find hard to wrap my head around.

I don’t think most people truly love each other unconditionally. I wouldn’t fault someone for “conditional love,” it isn’t easy to love someone no matter what they do.

In church we use the phrase “God’s unconditional love” a lot. I believe he is truly the only one who can have unconditional love. In Sunday school over the summer we discussed this subject and we were told to come up with words that we believe unconditional love should be. One of mine was tenacious. I threw it out there not thinking much about it, but now I keep coming back to that word. Love should be tenacious. It should be unwavering and we should persevere through the hardships.

The easy thing to do is give up, except when it’s the hard thing. I don’t believe you should have to have unconditional love for someone who is abusive, and although I’ve never been in that type of situation from what I understand it isn’t always easy to walk away. I have a door-slam mentality when it comes to relationships sometimes. When things begin to go awry and people hurt me I want to get them out of my life as soon as possible. That isn’t the healthy or mature thing to do though. That kind of love is conditional. That love isn’t unwavering or preserving.

I think I have a fascination with unconditional love because it’s so rare. The closest thing to unrestricted love is some parent-child relationships. I say some because there are always those awful parents who kick their kids out for being LGBTQ+, getting pregnant, or are abusive.

Parents who whole-heartedly love their children no matter what are so beautiful to me. I hope I can be that open and loving towards any future children I have. I honestly think my parents would love me no matter what. I have a sibling who has tested that belief time and time again over the past few years and they have continued to stick by their side. As frustrating and painful as it can be, it has taught me a lot of lessons about relationships.

Unconditional love is something I will continue to strive for in all my relationships. Continue to love boldly, whole-heartedly, and unconditionally!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

P.S. The whole time I wrote this, I couldn’t help but sing “Unconditionally” by Katy Perry😉

 

“Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

Come just as you are to me
Don’t need apologies
Know that you are worthy
I’ll take your bad days with your good
Walk through the storm I would
I do it all because I love you, I love you”

Hope Amongst the Chaos

I have hope among the chaos.

The American people may have voted for racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, and general bigotry, but I still have hope.

I have  hope in those who have responded with civil disobedience, strength and love. I have faith in those who led protests, and marches, and used their voices to speak up against injustice. Together we are strong, but contrary to popular belief you can be strong on your own.

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You can live in a red state, in the south, or in conservative family and still hold your progressive values. You are allowed to speak up amongst family, friends, and peers to let them know their choices have consequences. Those people will never see their wrong-doings if no one points them out. Be kind, loving, and educate rather than reprimand.

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Giving up will not fix anything. This situation may make us feel like the end is near, but it’s only near if we don’t do anything. I will not give up. I will not stop being loud and opinionated. I will not stand by and let myself or my fellow human beings be assaulted with words or violence. Do something, anything, but I beg you please don’t stand still.

I have hope in God that he will lead me to the right opportunities and people to be able to make a difference and help others. I have hope that God will continue to love and accept all people, no matter how his followers respond to others in this world. I think we should look at this as a wake up call rather than a curse. I knew hate and bigotry was alive and well in America,but I had no idea just how many people would be driven by the irrational fear of people who are different from them.

In the words of Michelle Obama, “When they go low, we go high.” Respond to others with love, compassion, and respect. Stand up for yourself and others who are discriminated against. I’m not going to tell you everything is going to be okay or it isn’t going to be that bad, because I don’t know that and definitely wouldn’t assume that, but I still have hope.

Have hope amongst the chaos,

Alyssa

Political Correctness & Respect

There’s a couple of words/phrases that I hate in the English language and one of those is “political correctness,”  “politically correct,” or “PC culture.” This probably stems from me living Texas and 99.9% of people I’ve heard use this phrase have said it in way that  complains about society moving towards respecting everyone, and mocks the idea of avoiding offensive language. I will never understand why someone would not change the words they use to make others comfortable or to respect them.

I believe in respecting all people. Respect peoples pronouns, and gender, and sexuality, even if you don’t think you “should have to” or don’t believe it’s “real.” (That’s another post in its own.) Don’t use racist and/or derogatory terms to refer to a people group. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t respect others with your words. It seems as black and white to me as not walking up to someone you find unattractive and saying, “hey, you’re ugly.” That is uncalled for and so is being “anti- PC culture,” and continuing to use language that hurts other people.

The biggest argument I have seen against political correctness is that some see it as a form of censorship and is “anti-free speech.” I couldn’t disagree more. Using those kind of excuses only dismisses those who have been discriminated against, and those who are trying respect others and progress in society. I personally  don’t want anyone to call me a dyke or fag just because I’m a lesbian. If another LGBTQIAP+ person I’m close to does it as a joke it’s okay with me because I like that kind of banter and humor, but it you are heterosexual or a stranger, I would be offended. That kind of speech is used to oppress a people group I belong to and I’m not okay with it. Just like I’m not okay with someone using hateful and derogatory  words to tyrannize someone else. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences, and some of those consequences hurt other people, and continue to systematically oppress people groups.

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I also mostly see white people complaining about political correctness. Is your freedom and power in America not enough for you? I’m white, and I’m going to call out other white people and say, how some of you treat your fellow Americans, and fellow human beings is wrong and it needs to stop. Some of it stems from racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia – you name it, but I also think a lot of it stems from laziness. Some straight people are too lazy to learn about pronouns and sexualities that aren’t as common. Some white people refuse to stop using racist terms, or supporting organizations with racist names and values because, “back in my day nobody cared; everyone now is too sensitive,” and they have used them for so long it has become a part of their daily vocabulary.Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon
I don’t agree that people are too sensitive now. We are moving towards a culture that has greater respect for one another – even though we are from that kind of society. I watched a great video on political correctness and respect awhile ago that inspired this post. In that video Franchesca Ramsey describes political correctness as, “Avoiding words that exclude, marginalize, or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.” I love that definition, and I think it hits the nail on the head. Personally I want to love, respect, and empower everyone around me. I want all people to feel special and worthy no matter what society tells.

I have used the word respect a lot in this post, because that’s what I believe this boils down to. Respect. If you truly loved and respected others, you would take the time to better yourself and learn the kind of language to avoid. One  bible verse I like is Proverbs 2o:27, ” A person’s words are the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being” Essentially we should use our words to respect others and show not only God’s love, but also what our hearts look like. Even if you aren’t religious, good morals preach to show your love and to be “pretty on the inside.” Treat others with love and dignity, when speaking to them or about them. Celebrate diversity, while respecting those who are discriminated against, and validate their hardships.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

Reconciling Queerness and Religion

It’s no secret that many major religions have strong negative feelings toward the LGBTQ+ community. I’ve been going to Christian churches my whole life and have witnessed the homophobia and transphobia first hand. I’ve heard the term “abomination” thrown around more times than I can remember, but yet I still believe in a loving God who accepts all people.

When I first began to question my sexuality I pushed the idea of being something other than straight as far back in my mind as I could. Now I wasn’t homophobic, I’ve always accepted LGBT people and thought they deserved equality just like everyone else, but the idea of me being gay made me incredibly uncomfortable. Being in the south I know more people against “gay marriage” than for it, I know more republicans than democrats, more misogynists than feminists. All these hateful things were alive in well in the church I had spent five years at. I would sit in my Sunday school class angry at everyone around me. They were 99% white , all super conservative, and nasty towards anyone who wasn’t a white, middle class, cisgender, straight person. Still with all of this in front of me, my relationship with God wasn’t vanishing. I have felt the Holy Spirit around me on multiple occasions, and have seen miracles take place. If I felt tremendous love for my Savior and everyone around me, why didn’t everyone else feel that way?

It took me a while to come to the conclusion that people are always going to use religion as an excuse for their bigotry. I haven’t studied any other religion in great depth besides Christianity, so I’m not going to pretend to be an experts on them, but lots of hateful people will use their holy book to be a bigot. They will take verses and paragraphs out of context to make it seem like the Bible, or any other holy book, is saying it’s okay to hate someone else based off things they cannot change.

I think one of the most important bible verses is Matthew 22:37-39, ” love the Lord your God will all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second thing is this, love your neighbor as yourself. There are no greater commandments than these.”  If there are no greater commands than to love your neighbors then why as Christians are we being hateful and discriminatory towards other people?

I understand why people don’t like religion or specifically Christians, but we don’t all believe in bigoted values. I have left that horrible church, and now go somewhere that is much more accepting of all people. Where they don’t discriminate against you for sexuality, race, or gender. While I have met a few people here that seem like they would fit in better back at my old church, the majority of people have been loving and kind.

Being a “Gay Christian” doesn’t need to be ironic, or an oxymoron. There are queer people of every religion, and in every church, whether others realize it or not. Be kind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Don’t use religion as an excuse to persecute others. Being LGBT and a religious is perfectly valid, and we need more queer people in the church. I believe the Bible is about justice, and love, so that’s how I try to live my life. Loving others and pursuing justice for all people.

– Alyssa

 

 

 

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