“If we would know true love and understanding one for another, we must realize that communication is more than a sharing of words. It is the wise sharing of emotions, feelings, and concerns. It is the sharing of oneself totally.”
-Marvin J. Ashton
It’s been a wild week. My last post about my brother coming out, and my journey to discover true love and support has kicked up a lot of intensity. So many people have contacted me with loving messages and thank yous and sad stories. I have learned so much in this week as I have been totally immersed in phone conversations, emails, Facebook discussions, blog comments… It has been highly emotional. Despite the enormous outpouring of love that has been carrying me through the week, I also have been really, really angry. Writing about this issue stirs it all up. Now that I find myself in fierce support of my brother, it is hard to hold onto my patience. It is so easy to become swept up in defensive anger and I find myself throbbing with frustration and fury over the stubborn, deaf ears and hardness that still exists. I have read so many messages from gay people, thanking me for sharing my story. It has been shocking to me, the recognition that there are still so many people experiencing such personal rejection and anguish. I read these messages, and their pain moves into my chest. It settles into my lungs, heavy and toxic. It makes the tips of my fingers pulse and my toes curl. I hurt for them. The injustice of it. And many times this week, that hurt has spilled over into furious exchanges and hot tears.
In a whirlwind of emotion, there is a anchored truth at the center. The truth is, we must find a way to communicate with each other. Still the tornado of emotion. Let the anger and hurt and fear and indignation and self-righteousness begin to lose momentum and fall to the earth, so we can see each other, instead of a funnel cloud filled with debris.
We are not listening to each other. We are not seeing each other. We are screaming when we need to be whispering. We are throwing punches when we need to be sitting on our hands. We are frenetic when we need to be still.
My desire here is not to shout in angry protest. We need dialogue. We need to find common ground. Things we can agree upon. Things we can understand about each other. So I am making an effort to take a seat, on my hands, mouth shut, eyes open.
To try to calm the storm.
Megan, I meant to comment on your last post. It is such a great message you have shared, and it is spreading like wildfire. I had a friend, unrelated to you, who posted a link to your blog this morning!! It is amazing how supportive your whole family has been to Gardener, amidst all of the Mormon critics, and I’m proud to call you family. I love reading your blog and I support all you have said. You truly have a gift for writing!!
It’s so good to hear from you Tiffannie! Thanks for your support and for taking the time to read my post. You are the only extended family member that has commented or shown support publicly for Gardner, so I am so happy to hear your kind words. I hope you and your cute family are doing well. Thanks for speaking up… my family really appreciates it. 🙂
It really does pain me to hear that I am the only extended family member who has shown support for Gardner. It makes me wish I would have made my feelings known a long time ago. It has been great to see Gardner doing so well in New York, and mostly to see him happy, because he deserves to be happy as much as any of us. I hope all is well for you in Conneticut, and take care of those beautiful daughters!!
Thanks Tiffannie… I know that most of our family isn’t reading this blog, so that could be a big reason 🙂 But I think those that do fully support him should make it known… LBGT people, especially in fundamentalist areas or with extremely orthodox families, really need to know that they are not alone. So it’s amazing that you spoke up. Take care!
Great post and great site!… If we could all recognize the simplicity and infinite value of the words “love thy neighbor as thy self” and actually believe that this is the only thing that matters in our relationships with each other, everything becomes clear. The things that divide us are those things that violate this “commandment”. Our desire for others to agree with us because we “know” our view is “right” is not rooted in love, it’s rooted in pride and ego. How or what a person chooses to believe has nothing to do with their love for another. Just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean our love for each other is diminished. If we could all simply love each other unconditionally, the respect inherent in that love would allow us all to grow in understanding of what is actually true and real. We all have a piece of it. The more we can share our own and consider honestly the unique perspective of others, the more we all become what we all want to become, complete, whole, one, happy etc…
Thank you… beautifully stated. Love doesn’t need to be so complicated.