When only #lovewins, only love has the answer.
I was going to make this a post about the things I’d been loving this month…
But over and above the material things, there’s been one particular event that I’ve loved.
Last weekend, I went to Brighton Pride and caught up with some close friends.
A glorious day of sunshine and colour but, mostly it filled with love.
As we basked in the sun’s rays, we soaked up each other’s company and caught up on months worth of life.
Moments of content silence passed [you know you’re in good company when you don’t need to always fill the air void of words]!
The atmosphere of Pride, had us all feeling proud; laidback vibes of summer, a sunkissed festival of celebration.
We marveled and drank it all in.
This is what made life beautiful: the variety, the diversity and the originality of each individual.
One of my friends smiled as she said she’d overheard a mother explain what the Pride festival was all about:
‘It’s about celebrating and being proud of who you are’
Simple. Honest. Truth.
It rang so true.
It also reminded me of something I’d recently come across.
Cheryl Strayed, the author of ‘Wild also acted as the agony aunt behind the popular ‘Dear Sugar’ column on The Rumpus. Following it’s popularity, some of the most memorable letters had been published in an anthology of authentic letters and replies by Cheryl Strayed herself. It is simply the most beautifully curated book.
The particular correspondence I was thinking of involved an individual who identified as gay but felt oppressed and ostracized by his extremely religious Christian family. His family just could not accept him and had gone as far as sending him away to ‘cure’ his sexuality.
In her response, Strayed urged him to seek solace in the people who loved him for his authentic self and asks whether he’d been to a Pride parade/festival. She mentioned that she took her two younger ‘sugars’, her children, to the festival each year and teared up, finding it hard to voice the extent of her feelings to her young offspring.
“I think I cry because it always strikes me as sacred, all those people going by.
People who decided simply to live their truth, even when doing so wasn’t simple.
Each and every one of them had the courage to say,
This is who I am even if you’ll crucify me for it.
Just like Jesus did.”
So powerfully put, her words moved me to my core. They articulated my thoughts exactly.
To proclaim our deepest, most vulnerable authentic truths to the world?
That takes utter bravery and courage.
regardless of our sexual orientation, race or religion,
we’re all hiding or ‘in the closet’ about something.
-Whether it’s being too scared to voice our opinions or feelings, too sacred to speak our truth:
to expose our vulnerabilities or insecurities for fear of being judged, ostracised, scrutinised.
Love for ourselves, love (and empathy) for others.
Plain & simple and yet often so difficult.
Every Single Time.
Do you agree? What have been your experiences of Pride 2016?
I’d love to hear from you!
Until the next time,
Namaste, from Ananya
& stay up to date with me here in the meantime: