With Mardi Gras approaching at the rate of knots and after spending some time recently with Kelly Lynch, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to “live your truth”.
It wasn’t that long ago, when the decision of “are you going to Mardi Gras” was actually a considered one. My first Mardi Gras was 1993. I had been out for 2 weeks and the thought of ending up on television where my friends and family, my employer and workmates might see me was a terrifying one. But I knew that that was who I was. I was a lesbian!
Even saying that out loud back then was a triumph for me, but I was just out of my teenage years and I didn’t really know what my inner self was then.
Now, 20 years on, my truth is pretty clear to me. I am who I am and I make no apologies for that. I ask only that people accept me for Steph, and with that all my other truths are on display. Yes I am a lesbian, but I’m also a friend, a daughter, a sister and a cousin. I’m a manager and Facebook specialist (yes, it’s true – its’ what I do for a living). I’m a leader and a follower, and I’m a proud member of many community groups and tribes.
I try to support those around me in the community doing the same. And there are many communities in which we all reside. It’s not as simple as one big community umbrella anymore.
And looking back 30 years, isn’t this why we all agonized over whether we would be in or at the parade? Just so we could live our truth or part of our truth? Isn’t this why we originally came together to actually stand up for our truth, whatever it would be, against those who did not support or accept that?
It is my personal opinion that Mardi Gras helps bring all these “truths” together for the season. And in some cases, Mardi Gras even helps people come to their own truths on some things.
Sometimes someone can come into your life to remind you that we really are only answerable to the truth within ourselves. Kelly has been a great inspiration to me over the past few weeks, not in anything specific, but more in the way she has turned her life into something more conscious. She has reminded me that in all the noise around you, you can still find the stillness within simply by looking inward and grounding yourself to your truth. I’m looking forward to hearing her at Women Say Something on March 2nd – A special event that NMG is co-producing with a number of other organizations around the topics of diversity and adversity with women.
We all know what is right or wrong and your real judge is the one living within you. So remember that this Mardi Gras when you are looking for or re-affirming your own truth, and remember to say something that really matters to you.
It is the time to be strong, bold and real. Say your truth and in the words of Kel:
“Be who you love to be”!
You can read all about Kelly’s new Initiative “Natural State Living” HERE!