Monday, February 27, 2012

I AM ENOUGH



In two weeks, three separate events came into my life to cause me to pause and reflect about myself and my life.  My reflections began when I met and heard Brene Brown, a vulnerability and shame researcher from the University of Texas, speak at an event.  Later that week I listened to a mother's tearful struggle with her daughter coming out.  And recently I watched an emotional eulogy on YouTube given by Kevin Costner at Whitney Houston's funeral.

In all cases, what I took away from these seemingly random events was how much I and others battle feeling worthy.  Whitney, with all her beauty and talent, could not overcome her battle. Most parents and LGBT youth face this conflict when they have to come out to themselves and others. And I know I battle my feelings of inadequacy every day, having to remind myself that no matter what happens today, I am a good mother, wife and human being.  Can I be better . . . Yes . . . but for today I was the best I could be.

Brene Brown shared if we all just said "I am enough" and believed it with our whole heart, then we would embark on a journey that was filled with more love, joy and belonging.  This is not to say that we can't strive to achieve higher goals and dreams.  That is part of life as well. But can we accept that at this very moment we are enough, so our sense of worthiness will allow us to be happy in the present, appreciating all that we are and all the we have.

So today, no matter how many things get checked off my neverending list of "Things to Do", no matter how much I weigh when I get on the scale or how many more age spots appear on my face when I look in the mirror, I will tell myself I am enough.  And if the little voice inside my head, says "No, you are not," I will dig deep into my courage and my compassionate heart and boldly answer, "Yes I am . . . ."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Inspired for Another Year

Creating Change 2012 Workshop
It was a trip of a lifetime . . . my entire family attending the 2012 Creating Change Conference, where Aiden and I presented a workshop called  A Mother, Her Transgender Son, Their Journey to Acceptance and Love, supported by Papa, Stefen and Mary.  The success of this workshop came as the result of all five of us working together.  I couldn't have done it alone.  Participants shared that they walked away from our presentation determined to be more patient, more accepting and showing up more with their parents.  Moving from fear to love is not easy but I believe it is possible, if you speak your truth with compassion and vulnerability. I felt like our family was part of creating change.
Proudly Watching Aiden Speak
There were many highlights at this conference . . . .our whole family attending together, the Day Long Institute for Asian Pacific Islander, eloquent and emotion filled plenary speakers, but what moved me the most was the number of young people I met who hope to bring equality to cities, states and countries around the world, while many of these young people are not even fully accepted by their own families.  It is my hope that the work I do this year will allow more families to embrace their courageous children and accept them for the truly amazing human beings that these young people are.  I want parents to speak with pride about their LGBT children and their work.
Congratulations to Ernesto Dominguez, my dear friend, who won the Paul A. Anderson award and wrote me the sweetest note which I carry in my wallet to remind me of the work that still needs to be done.
Ernesto Dominguez (on the left) receiving Paul A. Anderson award from Russell Roybal
Thank you Sue Hyde, Russell Roybal, Darlene Nipper and Rea Carey at The Task Force for the vision and heart you put into this conference and the work you do throughout the year. And thank you PFLAG and NQAPIA for supporting my passion to bring stronger more loving connections to API families of LGBT young people as we spent time together planning and dreaming how to move closer to this goal. 

Our family left Maryland more inspired, more empowered and more determined to create change.  I can not think of a better way to begin this new year . . . .

Leaving Baltimore Excited to Create Change in 2012