Feeling Safe to Be Ourselves

I wrote this poem called “Small Steps” around 25 years ago. I want to share it and some thoughts about it now – because it feels more necessary than ever (at least than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime).

Small Steps

Do you know what one of the smallest steps in the world is?
It is the step from
“I accept and embrace my full sexuality
as a natural, beautiful part of myself.”
“I love myself exactly as I am, unconditionally.”
From that step to other steps, such as
“I expect to be treated respectfully.”
“I deserve to have full human rights.”
“I have excellent boundaries.”
“I can easily and honestly communicate
my needs, wants, and desires.”
“I deserve to be alive.”
“I am happy to be alive.”
“I am happy that you are alive.”
“You deserve to be alive.”
“You deserve to have full human rights.”
“I can love you exactly as you are.”
“I accept and embrace your sexuality
as a natural, beautiful part of you.”
there are only small hops, skips and little jumps.

The Big Leap is from
where we are now
“I accept and embrace my full sexuality
as a natural, beautiful part of myself.”
that’s a Big Leap that would benefit all of us
to take.

I wish so badly that I could say something deeply profound here. Something that could make people understand that by shaming anyone else for their sexuality – or for their gender, color, age, relationships, or any other quality or characteristic – only makes all of us more vulnerable, not only to shame, but also to dangerous levels of dehumanization, violence, and cruelty in our world.

We have so much fear and judgment around sexuality (our own and that of others), sexual power, sexual connection, sexual expression – unless it’s exploitative, commercialized, controlled, and/or inter-mixed with violence, then it seems to be celebrated. Sexuality is normal and natural! Sexual pleasure is normal and natural and good! Our sexuality is a sacred part of ourselves.

As a society, why are we so judgmental and afraid? What difference does it make to anyone else what type of adult, consenting relationships other people choose to have? What difference does it make to anyone how someone else chooses to dress or to express themselves? Love is love is love is love – and everyone deserves love and respect and dignity and basic human kindness, civil rights, and human rights. Why is that so hard for some people to understand and accept? (these are rhetorical questions – please don’t answer them in my comments)

In 2023, it is shocking to me that as a society, we are becoming less tolerant of diversity, less inclusive, less compassionate, and less free. How is this happening? Why is this happening?

Rights for which people fought long and hard, even sacrificing their lives – are now being mercilessly stripped away. Civil rights. Women’s rights. LGBTQIA+ rights. We’d thought these basic human rights unassailable, not realizing that right in front of our eyes, hijacked courts and legislatures would start banning books and banning free speech and banning women’s bodily autonomy and banning drag … and banning the very existence of some human beings with the genocidal bills they have started introducing and passing.

We urgently need to codify these basic human and civil rights into eternally protected laws. Inalienable rights (thought we already had that, didn’t we?). We need to pass legislation that penalizes anyone for even introducing legislation that dehumanizes other human beings or that threatens the basic human and civil rights of any other human beings – as this type of life and liberty damaging legislation should be considered to be a crime against humanity. We must not ever go back to fewer human rights for anyone! We must move forward into making this a safer world for everyone – except, perhaps, for those who would deny the basic human and civil rights of anyone.

And here’s the thing: we are ALL in this together! It doesn’t matter our gender, our color, our age, our sexual orientation, our ethnic background – or any other characteristic we may have – the fact of the matter is that when anyone’s existence is threatened, when anyone’s freedom is threatened, when anyone’s civil liberties are threatened … then so are ours. Not only that, but it changes the world that we live in. Nobody is safe when anyone is threatened. We are all impacted by how everyone is treated.

No child is safe when a transgender child isn’t safe. No child is safe when a LGBTQIA+ child isn’t safe. No child is safe when a child of color isn’t safe. No child is safe when a fat child isn’t safe. No child is safe until we value and protect and create safety for ALL children! Every single one.

Banning books doesn’t make children safe – quite the opposite! Being ignorant of history doesn’t make anyone safe. Racism, sexism, homophobia, sizeism – these things all make the world less safe for everyone. A lack of empathy, compassion, respect and reverence for all people makes all of us less safe.

We need to take a breath and move into our hearts. We need to create a shield of love that extends to everyone. We all deserve basic human and civil rights. We all deserve to live in dignity. We all deserve to be treated with kindness and appreciation for the unique and diverse individuals that we are. We share a common humanity. We need to stop judging each other for our differences. We need to create a world where there is room for everyone, including ourselves.

My work in the world is to help people to learn to love and accept ourselves as we are, to discover what is authentic and true for us, and to feel worthy of love and connection – essentially, to hold ourselves sacred. When we hold ourselves sacred, it allows us to hold others sacred. When we accept ourselves as we are, it allows us to accept others as they are. When we live our authentic lives, it gives space and permission for others to live their authentic lives. And that is how we create safety in the world – not by building walls, but by building connection, with ourselves and with each other.

I am currently accepting a limited number of clients for my support programs. I also have individual sessions available. For more information, click HERE and HERE. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

I hope that you will feel safe and loved in your life – and that you will extend that to all around you. Imagine what would it be like to live in a world where we held ourselves, each other, and everyone sacred – our bodies, our lives, our sexualities, our love, our humanity. All sacred. What if we were all met in life with love, gentleness, respect, kindness, compassion, dignity, and reverence? Let’s create that world!

Published by freekat2

I'm choosing as much as I can to be curious rather than afraid, to be open and willing to learn, to express myself as authentically and vulnerably as I can manage in any given moment, and to enjoy this journey of life.

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