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 PerryūüėČ

 

“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”

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People Don’t Have to Like You

Like most people I used to care a lot about  what others think about me.

Now not so much.

I want people close to me to like what I’m doing and the choices I make, but at the end of the day only my opinion and God’s opinion of me¬†really matters in my eyes. Being liked is nice, but not everyone is gonna like you. There are quite a few people I don’t care for¬†or don’t want to be around, and it’s okay for someone else not to like me.

Around those¬†I’m not really close to I can be withdrawn and quiet. I’m an introvert, but I’m often¬†loud and animated¬†around people I know well. When I do let my opinionated and sarcastic attitude through some people don’t like it, and that’s okay. There are¬†people who don’t understand¬†sarcasm and think those whose it are just being rude, and others simply don’t like it. People¬†¬†have permission to not like you, it doesn’t make them a bad person, or mean, their personality just doesn’t mesh well with yours and thats okay.

On the other hand, you don’t have to like everyone you meet. It’s okay to meet someone once and know you won’t be best fiends. Every once in a while you’ll meet someone you don’t care for at first and end of being friends later, but it doesn’t happen very often. I usually know if I’m going to really get along with someone within five minutes of meeting them. I try to continue to give people a chance, but I can be picky when it comes to friends. I get annoyed easily and can be pessimistic. I like to think I just know what I want¬†and don’t want in a friend. I’ve had too many friendships that I was giving more than I was getting or I cared about the person much more than they cared about me, and I don’t want to do that again.

Now when I can tell someone isn’t into being around me, I don’t sweat it. That’s their opinion and I think they’re just missing out. If someone doesn’t like me, I probably wouldn’t like them either. There’s 7.5 billion people on this planet if one doesn’t like you, you’re gonna be okay.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

Six Days

We are six days into the nightmare that is a Tr*mp presidency.

Here’s some of what has happened:

  1. He began to repeal the ACA which will lead to an estimated 43,000 deaths annually
  2. He overturned the progress Obama made with the Standing Rock pipeline – in other words he doesn’t care¬†about indigenous people or the basic human right of access to clean water
  3. Stated he is not going to release his tax returns
  4. Attacked the National Parks for their tweets and told them to stop tweeting – or¬†censoring what he doesn’t want to hear
  5. Moved forward with his plan to build a wall between the US and Mexico

 

Unfortunately there’s been more and probably will be more before I even post this. My go-to emotion isn’t sadness, but I am sad, so very sad. I’m sad for myself, I’m sad for my family and neighbors, I’m sad for America. Currently I am not proud to be an American, and the terrible thing is, that statement offends more people than anything he has done so far as President or has said/done in the past.

I’m horrified at what our government has done in the days since the inauguration. On the other hand, I am extremely happy to see the response from some of our fellow Americans. The Women’s march was amazing to say the least, and so inspiring. So many celebrities are taking a stance and encouraging others to do the same. I wanted to go so bad, but I had a doctors appointment that took over a month to schedule so I couldn’t miss it. Even here in conservative Texas we had some large marches, which made me so happy. The march obviously wasn’t enough, but it was a good start. It’s okay to be upset, I know I am, but doing nothing is not okay.

You can go here to let your senators know that the secretary of education pick isn’t¬†okay, because someone who has never been to public school and didn’t¬†send her kids to public school, shouldn’t be in charge of our education system. You can call your senators and let them know on the phone or show up in person, which here in Texas, that is making Senator Ted Cruz very angry.

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If you’re scared, angry, or upset, so am I. He’s gonna do some bad things, I mean he’s already done some bad things, but the only response you can control is your own. Be kind and loving to other people. Stand up for not only your rights, but also those who’s voice isn’t as loud as yours. Giving up is not an option; stand strong!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

P.S. Here are some places you can donate to if you feel so inclined

Planned Parenthood

The Trevor Project

GLSEN

Standing Rock

ACLU

 

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

 

 

 

(Featured Image Credit)

It’s Okay to be a Stereotype

It’s okay to be a stereotype.

It’s okay to be a masculine lesbian, who never wants to wear make up and keeps their hair short. It’s okay to be an effeminate gay guy, who paints his nails, and has a high pitched voice.

Being a stereotype doesn’t make you less original or “basic.” If you fit a stereotype for your sexuality or gender that isn’t always a bad thing. There are stereotypes for a reason. However¬†it isn’t okay to put someone in a category based off their gender, sexuality, race, or religion. Don’t let heterosexual people tell you that you’re “too gay” or “too feminine” or “too masculine,” because there is no such thing.

On the contrary it’s okay to not fit stereotypes. If you’re a super feminine gay girl or a super masculine gay guy that’s cool too! The most important thing is to be true to yourself, and live an authentic life. Don’t let others dictate your personality or gender expression because it makes them uncomfortable or doesn’t fit their definitions of what you should be.

I think the most beautiful part about life is that we’re all different, and we should embrace that. We come from different cultures, families, and religions, but the thing that connects everyone¬†is that we’re all human just trying to figure life out.

I’m defiantly more feminine than the stereotypical lesbian. I wear makeup, and on special occasions or to church I’ll wear a dress, but I can have a more masculine side as well. I’m outspoken and opinionated which are traits that aren’t often aligned with women. All my life I’ve been taught by society to be quiet; seen and not heard. That a man’s opinion has more weight than mine, and I should be of service to any male that asks something of me. I was quite young when I decided that the patriarchal life wasn’t for me.¬†I’m going to be as opinionated, and obnoxious as I want, because being anything else would mean I’m not being true to myself.

I think one of the most important things I’ve learned in life is to be me ,without caring about outside opinions. Be who you¬†authentically are,¬†and don’t care about others opinions.

Lots of love,

Alyssa