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Multigenerational Mom Muses on Twin Toddlers & Twenty-Something Daughters

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independence

when men hold bibles as weapons of oppression

Y’all, I’m terrified.

I’ve been on the side of white men in power suits wielding the Bible as a weapon before. I know on an up-close-and-personal level how dangerous a man who has fallen in love with power and believes he’s unstoppable can be. How quickly he finds allies, how quickly he finds weakness, how he uses everything in his arsenal to his advantage and against yours. I’ve lived in tyranny under the guise of Christianity.

When I was seventeen years old, I didn’t have the power to stop it. The only power I had was to run. To run away to another home. A sanctuary. At fifty-four years old I have the power to stop him. I have the power to vote. I have the power to speak out. I have the power to march. I have the power, but I can’t do it alone.

He’s already gotten away with so much more than I would have thought possible.

When he was elected three-and-a-half years ago I cried and cried and cried. It felt like mourning. It felt like death. I was terrified of what he would do. But I was assured the country had checks and balances in place to keep Trump from doing too much damage. That seems not to have been the case.

I’ve watched the POTUS navigate this country completely without moral compass, violating law and constitutional rights and human decency, time and time and time again. And then, this week, when he declared himself president of law and order and decided he would “dominate” the people he was elected to serve… when he marched his smug self and his police force (his long-dreamt of military parade) out of the Rose Garden and onto the property of St. John’s Episcopal Church, a church dedicated to humanitarian missions and serving those in need within its community, to hold up a Bible in blatant mockery of everything Christ stands for — I knew. I knew we have come to a dangerous tipping point.

I’ve seen men hold Bibles up as weapons of oppression and hatred before. I’ve lived it. And I know the havoc it can wreak. A man who holds a Bible like Hitler and seeks domination and absolute law and order squashes every liberty you’ve ever known. Will rob you of every dream you ever had — if you let them. Don’t let them.

If you are of voting age and you see the slippery slope the feverish, power-hungry philistine in office is trying to steer us all toward, you need to exercise your power, use your might: VOTE. Vote and GET HIM OUT OF OFFICE before he does irreparable harm.

Don’t run away like I did at seventeen. Don’t seek sanctuary somewhere else. THIS is a land of promise. A land of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for ALL. Not the few. Not the white. Not the patriarchy. Not the men wielding bibles as weapons.

Stand up. Fight for your freedom. Fight for your dreams. Fight for YOUR country.

VOTE. MARCH. SPEAK OUT. PROTEST.

VOTE.

Moving Mountains and Stringing Pearls

I was listening to a country song yesterday (Yes, country. I’m that far gone.) — and I heard a lyric that resonated with me. “If I need a mountain moved, I move it myself.”

That’s me to a Grand Teton.

And it’s not because I’m afraid people will think I’m weak. Nor is it that I think I can do everything all by myself… far from it. I am definitely not the sharpest shovel in the shed, or the most diverse and multi-purposed, either.

It’s just I don’t want to be a bother. It’s how I was raised.

Chalk it up to Puritan work ethic… or cult indoctrination… but I feel like if I can’t get it all done, then I’m inadequate and unworthy of help. So most days, I just feel it all crumbling around me. Nevertheless, I carry on.

But I am in absolute awe of — and even a little bit alarmed for — people who actually do ask for help. They’re far braver than me. And have a much stronger sense of self-worth.

Because they expect people to help carry the load. They expect people to care.

And it’s not like I’m surrounded by people who DON’T care. I’m not. Far from it. As a matter of fact, I have the most amazing friends and family. I am unbelievably blessed. They would be more-than-willing to help me move my Himalayan hurdles, if they only knew about my Himalayan hurdles.

But I tend not to tell them. Because I was also raised to be invisible.

And asking for help puts you right out there in the spotlight.

So I don’t.

But I watch the ones who are out there in the spotlight, bathed in self-confidence, and I long to be more like them.

They’re all so warm and golden, so on-fire with self-love. Like they really believe the world is their oyster and that people will stumble all over themselves to help them string up its pearl and lay it ’round their neck.

And the world is. And the people do.

Meanwhile I carry on, flattened by Everest crumbling over the top me.

Anybody else struggle with that? And is it primarily a female thing? Or a Heather Candela thing?

Or are there men out there who have trouble asking for help, too?

Because my husband doesn’t have trouble. He knows his limits and he knows his worth. And he compromises neither when he asks for help. (I mean, who wouldn’t go above and beyond for such a tall mug of salted caramel macchiato? He’s delicious.)

I admire him so much, and I want to be like him so much — but I’m distinctly lacking in both salt and caramel. (Although I am tall. So I do have that.)

I have tried my best to raise my daughters to be more like those warm and golden souls of this world and NOT like their mother.

I’ve tried to raise them to have a strong sense of self. To be empowered and intelligent. To be willing and willful. To have servants’ hearts — ready to give assistance when needed — but also to have a queen’s spirit and know their value. I want them to never settle for less than they deserve and to know they are always worthy of somebody else’s effort and attention. Always.

I’m trying to do the same with my sons. And maybe it’ll be easier with them. Maybe girls struggle more with the mountains they haul. I don’t know. This is unchartered terrain for me.

What I do know is that I want all my children to be able to move mountains AND string pearls.

It must be the most amazing feeling.

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