06/12/2020 Personal Growth
Love wins! Every day, in every way, greater love and acceptance of yourself encourages empathy and acceptance toward others.
In 2020, the world is experiencing a global, seismic shift in consciousness. People all over the world are demonstrating for the safety of Black lives. Collective waves of action, at every level, rise to cultivate a new way forward, anchored by equity. Striving for equity has also been a driving force for the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, and asexual or allied) community. The month of June, Pride Month, serves as a “commemorative month . . . to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.”
Pride Month was established to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York’s Greenwich Village—a time when people came together to demonstrate for the equitable treatment of our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters. The celebrations and memorials this month serve as powerful reminders to let love win in your life.
Love Is Love
Love is beautiful—all-encompassing. Turning love’s gaze toward yourself opens the possibilities for authentic growth and genuine empathy toward the plight of others. The celebration of Pride Month turns the spotlight on inner strength and the victory of empathy. As you purposefully celebrate this spirit, there are three factors that are key to this month’s celebration. As you cultivate these three elements within yourself, you are available to champion these values for (and alongside) your LGBTQIA family, friends, and coworkers.
According to research, the process of self-affirmation occurs when you begin “focusing on the important qualities that make us who we are . . . we preserve our self-worth in the face of our shortcomings.” Incorporating a daily practice of self-affirmation provides a solid platform from which to advocate for you and others.
My youngest sister, a 33-year-old educator, worked to build herself up, moment by moment, through the trauma of coming out to our extremely traditional family. The responses to her news varied: from a showering of grace and warmth to harsh criticisms and prayers for her lost soul.
Her anchor through this was a consistent practice of self-affirmation. Her inner dialogue (along with the voices of those holding her up) reminded her that she was intelligent, her students loved her, and that she lit up a room with her generous heart. Self-affirming words and thoughts gave her something concrete from which to build her authentic life.
To put self-affirmation into practice, think about the things you consider your shortcomings, and make a conscious decision to change your narrative. Instead, bring in memories/instances of your self-worth, times when you felt proud of yourself, and build upon each thought.
Dignity “is our inherent value and worth as human beings; everyone is born with it . . . We all have a deep, human desire to be treated as something of value.” Indeed, when interacting with others, whether family, friends, or coworkers, recognizing their innate dignity makes for more connected interactions and relationships.
Members of the LGBTQIA community are too often denied basic respect and dignity, merely because of their sexual orientation or gender identification. Civil and human rights leader Harvey Milk once said, “All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.” His thoughts speak to the heart of everyone’s desire for dignity.
In fact, Dr. Deepak Chopra writes about creating abundance in your life and those of others, by honoring each other’s dignity.
Central to the Black Lives Matter movement is a clarion call for equality. Around the world, there are systems in place that hinder equal treatment for all under the law. Speaking about racial injustice, author James Baldwin recommended, “Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure, does not testify to your inferiority, but to their inhumanity.” Equality remains the cornerstone of a flourishing society.
Cultivating equality in the world starts at home—the place where you can promote cultures of inclusivity and empathy. Your children benefit as you teach clear and fair rules for all. Your parents, aunts, and uncles benefit as you speak on the merits of all-inclusive attitudes and patterns of thought. As you invest in helping equality grow around you, the world is better able to listen to the needs of all.
Building these three elements within you makes you present to champion these values for your LGBTQIA friends, coworkers, and family. Starting from a place of love and empathy for what you bring to the table revolutionizes your everyday lived experience. If you consciously work for it, love of self will transform you, heal you, and open you. Once you are open and clear of heart, your actions on behalf of others take on a depth once only imagined.
Take your happiness into your own hands and become the person you’ve always dreamed of being with The Quest: Spiritual Solutions for Creating a Life You Love, our online course led by Deepak Chopra and Martha Beck. Learn More.