I am a proponent of equality for everyone and was a happy to hear that the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 was overturned by the Supreme Court. Now, same sex couples in California and other states will be able to marry and receive spousal benefits. My brother was gay and lived with his partner for 20 years before he died. I thought of him when I heard the ruling. He would have been thrilled and could have certainly used the spousal benefits before he died. He and Robert loved each other and even as a small child, I understand that. Love is love, and that is how I have always felt. It is not for me or anyone for that matter to judge whether love can only be between a man and a woman. That is for a Higher Power. Until everyone has equality, none of us are free.
Having said that we not fall asleep at the wheel concerning other rights. While proponents achieved victory, voting rights suffered a defeat that that may have far-reaching repercussions for minorities, particularly African-Americans. It took much toil and strife to get the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to pass. In 2006, former President George Bush signed the reauthorization but last Wednesday’s decision by the Supreme Court gives states more powere to make their own legislation regarding voting laws such as voter identification which will exclude many voters who are currently provided protection under the federal government legislation. This harkens back to the civil right era of unfair poll taxes and literacy tests and other ridiculous laws used to keep African-Americans from voting.
Please, please, keep your eyes open, don’t fall asleep, because when you wake up, you just might find that your rights are gone too. No one is free, unless we are all free.
The world will tell you, “You are not good enough. You are not thin enough. You are not pretty enough” Growing up, I heard, ” You are too dark” or ” You would be pretty if you weren’t so black.” For years, I believed it and let those misconceptions rule my life. I can’t remember exactly when, but one day I had an epiphany and realized that they were misconceptions, the opinions of other people and didn’t apply to me unless I let them. I saw a picture once of a small cat sitting in in front of a mirror and the image staring back at him was that of a mighty lion. The caption below it said, “What matters most if how you see yourself.” How do you see yourself?
Listen to the lyrics, they offer good advice. Is beauty only skin deep? How often do we judge each other based on appearances? Sometimes, what looks good on the outside is rotten to the core on the inside. Sometimes, the ugliest fruit taste the sweetest. Sometimes the shiny jewel you think you have is only a colored piece of glass. True beauty is beyond the surface. True beauty comes from the soul!
Art is truth.
Viola Davis, Academy Award Winning Actress
Listen to that voice that says you can. Ignore the one that says you can’t. How many opportunities have passed you by? How many dreams were deferred? Living with regret is a terrible thing as you look back on all the things that could have been, if only…you had believed in yourself and stepped out on faith. But alas, all is not lost, there is still time. You are still breathing, right? So, there is still time to go out and catch those dreams and turn them into whatever you want them to be.
Today, I looked into a woman’s face and saw nothing good, and it scared me. It was a roadmap of an unhappy life, filled with lines of bitterness and set in a perpetual frown like the Joker in the Dark Knight. Her features were harsh and it looked like a face that had lived a hard life but I know for a fact that she didn’t. By most people’s calculations she lives a good life. She’s retired and owns her own home, her children are successful, and she goes to church EVERY Sunday. I don’t know, but I would think she would have a little more to smile about. My mother told me once that what you carry in heart shows up on your face. If you carry anger, hatred, or resentment, it will eventually surface and if doesn’t show up on your face, it will manifest in some other way, like a physical illness. The same can be said for love, compassion, and warmth, except that they have the opposite effect. They heal and often bring as an added bonus, laughter, joy, and goodness with them. Have you met someone and you couldn’t help but notice the twinkle in their eyes or the light that seemed to emanate from the very core of their being? Didn’t just being around them make you feel good?
Thoughts are powerful. They can help you or hurt you, make you happy or sad, heal you or make you sick. A thought can stand in the way of success or failure. What do you think about as you stare in the mirror each morning brushing your teeth or combing your hair. What are you preparing for the world to see when you walk out that door? Make-up can cover up blemishes but it can’t cover up what comes from your soul. Are you moisturizing with good thoughts or are you just covering up the negativity with a temporary fix? This woman had on make-up, but it didn’t cover-up what appeared to be an unhappy life, instead it made it more pronounced, more evident. To avoid that, here’s are some great beauty tips for free:
- When you look into the mirror, ask yourself, “What do I want my face to reveal about me?”
- Reduce frown lines and wrinkles by reducing worry and stress.
- Laugh, laugh, laugh! If you get a few lines, let those be the one.
- Get enough sleep.
- Be mindful of what you put into your body. Are the foods you’re eating helping you or hurting you?
- Be mindful of the products you use on your skin and face. Are they loaded with names you cannot pronounce?
- Think good of yourself and others, even if they don’t reciprocate.
- Release negativity. Forgive, if necessary. It will add years to your life! Take a kick-boxing class, invest in a punching bag, scream at the top of your lungs, and if those things don’t work, get help.
- Find someone or something to love or do something you love. Volunteer, adopt a pet, write, read, dance!
- Look for beauty not only in yourself but in the world around you, and it will transform you in ways that Botox or plastic surgery never will.
Let your face reveal the beauty that the Creator intended
Rain has always gotten a bad rap, and especially lately. It seems we have been bombarded with super storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and typhoons that have caused major destruction, especially during this decade . My heart goes out to all those who have suffered in Oklahoma, New Jersey, the Gulf Coast, Haiti, Japan and other islands in the Pacific.
But there is still something good to be said about rain. Rain nourishes. It feeds and hydrates the Earth and everything in it. Yes, there is something to be said for rain. It washes away impurities and cleanses. It creates the beauty of a rainbow with colors so splendid, they are hard to imagine. Rain is a free gift from a Higher Power to be shared by all.
Ok, so you’re still not convinced and thinking of all the times when you washed your car and as soon as it rained, it got dirty. Well, it wasn’t the rain, it was the dirt on the road that did it. Yes, your hair gets messed up and your clothes get wet but they will dry. Next time that happens, think about people in Africa or others who live in the desert who pray for rain on a daily basis, for survival sake. Let’s not always look at the negative. Sometimes, you can find the positive in something as small as a rain drop.