Young Australian Parent, Don’t Let Them Scare You Into A No Vote.

Dear young Australian parent,

Here we are, all about to choose yes or no on a legislation which will impact our children’s generation in ways we can only begin to understand. For many of our generation, the idea that a great many of us are gay is still difficult to accept, let alone that our children may be as well. You may have deeply held convictions and beliefs about what homosexuality is and is not, and what ought to be done about it. We enjoy the privilege of living in a nation where we’re are free to have our beliefs, whatever they are. And I’m not going to try and change them, even if I disagree with them.

But as we move towards this plebiscite on marriage equality they say we must have, I feel as an older women and mother of four it’s my responsibility to drop some wisdom I’ve learned. And I’ll cut to the chase. Whatever your beliefs, dear one, your child may not grow up to share them. And if you love them, want them to be healthy and free, you’ll let them believe their own beliefs, and you won’t take it personally or as a sign of failure if they don’t share yours.

Secondly, as much as this may alarm you, a good many of us are parenting children with a sexual identity we may not understand, like or even believe exists. As they grow, their explorations and questions about that sexual identity will confront us in many ways. And many parents whose own beliefs about sexual and gender identity are underpinned by fear or confusion may project this onto their children, and the child becomes just one more source of fear and confusion. And fear makes us do things often we later regret. Anger, denial and rejection are inevitably actions parents regret when directed towards their child, whatever their justification.

Thirdly, your love for your child is irreplaceable. It is everything in your child’s world, and will be always, no matter how flawed or fragile your attempts at it are. If you allow yourself to be forced into a position where you must choose between your beliefs about homosexuality and whether to show your child you love them no matter who they are, no matter what they do, your child learns something about themselves. And it is not a good something.

Any beliefs you hold so to which force you to reject your child, will not fly across the country to hold your hand in your last moments, will not look into your eyes and tell you they love you, will not name their children for you for the sake of your love. Your beliefs will be like empty chasms at the end, and you’ll see the folly of them. All those others with whom you comforted yourself when you put your child away will go away to their own families and homes, and you will be alone with your beliefs. And your child will be motherless, fatherless, but they will go on in the world they created without you, the world you made necessary for them.

Lastly, in the time leading up to this vote, don’t let them make you afraid. Don’t let them tell you a wave of sin and immorality is coming, and it will swamp your child and you won’t be able to save them, to reach them. Don’t let them frighten you with horror stories of sexual depravity passed off as education. You are and have always been your child’s first teacher. So stand confident in that. See your child as they are, and love them as that, and everything will be fine. Nobody is going to make your child gay. Nobody wants to. If they are, they already are. It may be neither of you know it yet. And that may be terrifying to you. But know this.

Whatever comes, you can handle it. You’re amazing at this parenting thing. You’re great, and your child loves and trusts you. They’re watching you. They’re watching for signs you’ll accept them no matter who they are, by seeing how you accept others. They are afraid they will disappoint you, displease you, disgust you. Make sure they know they can’t, no matter who they are. You can. You can do it.

Don’t let them scare you. Don’t let them belittle you into thinking your love isn’t enough. Don’t let them terrify you with stories about your lack of control over all this, over the future. The truth is, you don’t have it. Not over the future, not over your child. None of us did. Your child will be okay. It will all be okay. You can handle whatever comes. Love wins. Remember that. Love always wins.

Jo Hilder

………

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Out there.

Artists and the art they make are often criticised as being “out there”, as something too lofty and ephemeral for the regular human being, as if creating and creativity were some kind of abnormal activity and art itself a paranormal entity, understandable and achievable only by a select, peculiar few.
 
And you know what? Perhaps art and creativity is exactly that – out there. When you think about it, maybe we all need to spend a bit more time and energy “out there” wherever is it art is. All these things keeping us from our bliss, our joy, from making the stuff we love, going the places that energise and inspire us, from thinking about the wonder of ourselves and each other are actually very much “in there” – in our own heads.

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Everyone is beautiful after I have my Zoloft.

I have a divergent way of thinking, a certain manner of mood, a cyclic emotional pattern with a name given it by the culture I live – “bipolar disorder”. For me, this pattern is sometimes mental illness, because my thoughts and actions can become harmful for me and for others around me. This is the depression phase which can manifest as anxiety, oppressive sadness and pain, anger, and suicidal thoughts. Other times, bipolar is not making me sick, it’s making me a powerful creator. When this is happening, I can literally do anything I think of.

And I can think of an awful lot. Continue reading “Everyone is beautiful after I have my Zoloft.”

The Invisible Power of Creativity

To them, we are invisible. To them, there is only a faceless mass. A huddle to be shepherded. A rabble to be governed. A market to be plundered. To them, humanity consists only of those they have won over, and those they have yet to conquer. They believe their power is the only power; the only path and the only podium. Continue reading “The Invisible Power of Creativity”

Never Let Anyone Sell You What To Do.

We’ve been programmed to believe we have to believe. No, we don’t. You don’t have to believe anything. Not in anything. When you’re convinced you must believe, everything splits into binaries. Everything falls into two categories – what you’re able to be convinced is truth, and everything else. Why not try not believing? Continue reading “Never Let Anyone Sell You What To Do.”

The Myth Of God, Good And Good Enough.

All through my teens and twenties, I was so desperate to prove I was good, and good enough.

Barely a teenager when I became a Christian and gave my heart to Jesus, I was so very desperate to have the deep, horrible feeling of not good enough washed away from me. I hoped to find peace in obedience and surrender, but in the years that followed peace was just as often mimicked in the numbness of substances, or drowned in the shallow desires of others, as it was revealed on my knees at the altar. Continue reading “The Myth Of God, Good And Good Enough.”

How To Move Forward In Your Life Without Blame.

Sometimes in life, when things are difficult or uncomfortable, or someone is being unkind or a dick, it’s necessary for us to choose our way through the situation and out the other side. We need to take stock and personal responsibility, and move forward to bring about change. And that’s fine. In fact, sometimes the only way a positive change will happen is if we facilitate it for ourselves.

But sometimes, everything seems fine and nobody is being a dick, but still we have a feeling it’s time to change. And no matter what we do, we can’t shake the feeling, though we try and pinpoint what’s wrong or who might be doing something to make us feel like we need to go or leave or change things up, we can’t. It can make no sense sometimes, the deep, unsettled feeling we want things to be different.
Continue reading “How To Move Forward In Your Life Without Blame.”