Sometimes we get caught up in labels and groups like "family, neighbor, Christian (or other religious group)," or this time of year, political party. These labels were meant to unite but instead they seem to divide. They separate one group from the rest. They give people a sense of belonging while excluding others.
In my attempt to grow and be inclusive, I starting asking questions about the language we use. Even he and she are labels that are too limited for some people to feel included. I do not have all the answers to the issue of inclusion but I am open to the conversation. If the tables were different, if I didn't have a family or didn't feel like a specific gender or religion, wouldn't I still deserve the basic human need of acceptance and love? The answer is always yes!
I think of all the brave people out there that are bold enough to say,"this is who I am! and this is what I believe." This strength is something to celebrate! But we shouldn't need amazing strength to be able to be true to ourself. So how do we start the change? How do we open the conversation and our hearts to accepting everyone as they are, no matter what?
I do not have the answers. This is part of my heart's challenge as I open to embrace everyone even while knowing there will be some that will not do the same. I simply want to start the conversation. I want to remind people we are all the same at our core, no matter what labels we choose to use or not use. And we all deserve love and acceptance.
I'm grateful to truly believe that humanity is a family. I'm grateful to believe that our hearts are big enough to embrace everyone. I'm grateful to know that we do not have to share the same beliefs or labels to love each other. I'm grateful to have a big heart. I'm grateful that it is tender and I can feel others' pain because I truly believe that it makes me a kinder person. I'm grateful to believe there are more people out there like me and that we can make a difference by choosing love. And I'm grateful to know that it is a choice and everyone can choose love and acceptance.
What will you choose? Do you agree with every member of your family? How do you find the ability to show them love even when you disagree? How can you give that same courtesy and basic need to every member of society?
May today unite us by our hearts, if nothing else. May we find that love is a common ground and may that be enough to embrace as family. Have a beautiful day!