Something wonderful happened this year. I know that you haven’t heard many people say that recently, but I have good reason: this is the year you (and a lot of other nice people) dropped a lot of their unnecessary biases against others, as well as their own harmful biases against themselves. What a win!
This year, many people found themselves shedding years and layers of entitlement, undue hostility, and apathy, becoming “woke” to all sorts of truths: like the realization that black lives deserved to be lived fully, happily, healthily, and safely without systematic attempts to undercut their families, dreams, rights and their futures. Others learned that the bodies of trans people were not to be discarded, and that their inner lives were to be respected and appreciated, rather than feared. I am so proud of my community, and the growing number of allies-- thank you, beloveds.
And since LGBTQ issues are being discussed, I would be remiss if I didn’t say hello to the folks still struggling, being forced into closets they didn’t choose due to threat of violence, ignorance, and harm. We see you, we love you, and we hope to continue showing others the power in their ability to love others who are different than themselves. Kindness can be such a little thing, with such large and positive events. Good karma is always good to have, especially in abundance. If you choose to do right by other people, your life literally can improve in measurable ways.
According to a Licensed Clinical Social Work with Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in California:
“While being kind benefits us socially, there are also biological reasons why kindness improves our mental health. Our brains reward us when we do kind things. If you comfort someone who has lost a loved one, your brain may release oxytocin, a hormone that helps us bond with others. Oxytocin makes us more trusting, generous, and friendly. Additionally, kind actions signal our brains to release serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals involved in creating “helper’s high” and lessening pain, depression, and anxiety.”
Know your character-- tune into yourself. Truthfully, most of the ways that we are daily happen in small, specific ways. Therapists like myself believe that cognitively, the thoughts we have, or better yet, the thoughts we choose to focus on, determine how we feel about ourselves and our experiences. That, of course, determines what our next action will be, whether it is harmful to self or others, or helpful and positive. Over time, we develop some patterns that can be pretty noticeable. If you think certain negative thoughts about yourself, that can definitely influence your perceptions of others in a major way. We should all check in with our thoughts to make sure of a few things:
Are my thoughts speaking a spirit of hopefulness or harshness? Am I helping in a humane way?
Are my thoughts my own, or am I echoing statements recycled by other people who may not share my values, or might judge others?
Are my thoughts kind to me, myself, personally? Am I encouraging myself in the direction of my own dreams, rooted in purpose? Or am I distracted, focusing on the differences between yourself and others in an unhealthy way?
Allow yourself to get real. “Realness,” as we say in the LGBTQ+ community, is the authenticity and unquestionable presentation of one’s self and persona. "To be real," we were all born loving. We are made of love, and our purpose is love. Reminding ourselves of those facts with keep us from violating others living and loving authentically and fearlessly.
Who are we to work together, and function as one, focusing on unity, community, all of those feel good words? Well, it would be you living your highest purpose, being your best version of yourself, enjoying life at the highest vibrations. Passion for life cannot take place without love being at the heart, the center. I am glad that you’ve expanded in your heart a space to hear and empathize with me. You are limitless love in action, and you are loved.