We are the light bearers, stewards of a truth that insists on being shared despite doubt or fear or imagined limitation. We spread the flame by teaching or by growing still, by daring to be outrageous and dancing beneath the full moon, or by holding a friend in need and taking part in life’s normal routines. This is our message–there is hope encoded in each cell, each loving thought, each time we reach out to one another. There’s truth that won’t be stopped by toppling buildings, snipers’ bullets, war clouds on the horizon, or the inner storms of grief, despair and insecurity. We are the peace we’ve been seeking, the peace that stretches beyond the mind’s need for form or understanding the peace for which each human heart longs. Now is the time for the light bearers to offer up the truth of whom and what we really are.
~Danna Faulds, Light Bearers
Moving into a new phase of my life and post-divorce, I am presented with the new challenge of discovering who I really am. Now, I am able to see clearly that I have been a passenger in my life for far too long. Reflecting on my strengths and my flaws, I am beginning to realize opportunities to live to my full potential—a realization that stings to imagine how much untapped potential was formerly laid to waste. I was challenged to make changes, realizing now how decisions I make cannot only impact my own future, but can send giant ripples into the communities around me. Looking back to the divorce, I can see my second chance, my second opportunity to live a life fully expressive of myself.
I would never claim to be a political person. I have my beliefs and my values. Some are liberal and some lean a bit more conservative. My opinions might be right or wrong depending on the views and beliefs of the people around me. I don’t fault people for having their own values, judgments, and opinions. I grew up on a farm in conservative southwestern of Minnesota and now live in a liberal suburb in Northeast, Minneapolis. My roots will always be in southwestern Minnesota, but my heart is in the city. I love Northeast and how it is a melting pot, a true reflection of the diversity of the United States. However, I don’t hold it against my family that they have different beliefs than I do.
On the contrary, I have some of the same conservative values—something my friend Jamie calls a fluid nature. I don’t see difference as an issue; instead, I see it as an opportunity to learn. I would hate to miss out on an opportunity to learn from another person or another culture. I feel blessed for this opportunity to experience this contrast of different people and cultures. I feel empowered to be a part of this community that embraces diversity. This community should be a direct reflection of the United States, but it saddens me to see our country beginning to divide into subcultures instead of uniting as one.
On January 21, 2017, I had the honor of participating in my first march.
I joined the Women’s March, voicing the rights of women and the freedoms we have held since the American Women’s Rights Movement from 1848–1920. On that crisp January day, the crowd was filled with women of all colors, ages, and religions with men and children beside them poised to protect these freedoms. Putting politics aside—that is not what is important here—I do believe it often takes extremes to happen before change will occur. I believe that we are witnessing monumental change in our present time. I hope and pray that the marching of the masses across the world will represent more than the pink “pussy hats” people wore on their heads on January 21st. It would be better if the march instead represented the bigger picture of love, diversity, and—above all—equality. I hope that we as humanity can look past color and sex as a reason to divide but a reason to unite. I would pray that the men and women of all colors who fought to uphold the freedoms we have today would be proud and that their sacrifices were not held in vain but protected.
I didn’t participate in the march to spread more hate and anger, that which is often filling our news and social media. No, I marched instead to show love and support, not only for women, but for minorities and people who have struggled more than I can ever comprehend. These people have become my friends, and some of them have become my family. I am here today to make conscious choices to learn from my own experiences and from those around me. I am here to educate those who are willing to learn from my experiences and share what I’ve learned along the way. This year will bring significant change and growth, and I am excited to experience every moment of it.