hurried pace, I decided to slow down and interact with this
fellow human traveler.
Suddenly, she poured out her heart. She had just
experienced a broken romantic relationship with her girlfriend.
Her pain was compounded by the choice to keep this part of
her life secret from her mom and dad. She expressed her fear
of rejection and damnation by the childhood religious folks so
interwoven in her family’s story. She told me that she was
working on a letter, a desperate plea for acceptance and love.
She had tentative hope that maybe, just maybe, minds and
hearts and souls would soften toward her.
Neither of us quite knew how we got to this vulnerable
space, but my own heart whispered to treat this with
tenderness and care. A response welled up from deep within
me. She and I shared the kinship of two hearts that want to be
known and loved. I spoke up. “Most mothers, given time and
space, will come to accept and love unconditionally their
Parenting matters in so many different ways. We teach
and model values, character, and how to truly love one another.
At their core, each of my children is a unique soul. If their
deepest, truest selves include a characteristic or belief that
makes me uncomfortable or goes against a conviction that I
hold dear, I am then faced with a critical choice. I can expend
energy trying to suppress or deny the reality within one that I
love, or I can walk alongside and do my best to have empathy
and compassion and make peace within and without. I, as a
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