STAND UP NOW!

HW stand up

 

Feminist sculptor and performance artist, Hannah Wilke, once told an interviewer,

 

“When I stand up for myself, I stand up for all women.”

 

I thought of her statement a few days ago when I overheard my husband ask my daughter, “What do you want me to tell people if they ask where you are?”

 

On Tuesday, we are taking her to an OCD treatment center on the other side of the country. Shira has considered intensive residential treatment for years — she wants to reclaim her life from the clutches of a brutal brain disease —  but she wasn’t ready to leave her family to do it until.

 

This summer we met the brilliant and compassionate director of a top program while we were attending OCD Con in San Francisco. Shira felt instantly comfortable with her, and I feel comfortable leaving my tender-hearted teenager in her hands.

 

“Tell them the truth,” Shira said in answer to Steve’s question. “I’m tired of hiding. People can accept me for who I am or move on.”

 

Out of the mouths of our kiddos, right?

 

Shira started speaking her truth when she posted about OCD Con earlier this year. Reading about her experience, told frankly and without apology, friends and family members were better able to understand her, which opened her relationships. Even more impressive, other kids with anxiety disorders came forward, telling her how it helped them to read her words.

 

When you stand up for yourself, you stand up for those who are not ready to speak for themselves.

 

You don’t know who is out there waiting to read your words, hear your music, see you perform.

 

Unfortunately, in the age of the Internet, haters stand ready to sling their shit, causing many of us to hold back and censor ourselves. Forget about them. They are obviously miserable and have too much time on their hands.

 

Forget about snotty reviewers, too. I used to be one of them, so I can say with authority, they often operate from out of ignorance and insecurity.  (Not to overlook the place of thoughtful and informed criticism, which we need now more than ever.)

 

Earlier this week, I shared this quotation I found on Instagram and immediately shared it to Facebook.

 

If you want to know who your tribe is, speak your truth. then see who sticks around. Those are the people who get a spot in your blanket fort.

 

As I expected, it resonated with a lot of folks and was shared repeatedly.

 

A few hours after I posted it, however, I received a message from Barbara Sirois Doyle, a contributing editor at the magical website, Sweatpants and Coffee, who let me know that the quotation hadn’t been properly attributed to their amazing, gorgeous, very fine Founding Editor, Nanea Hoffman.

 

“Of course this is Nanea’s work,” I said. How could I not have noticed? It was classic Nanea. Witty and vulnerable, with no patience for haters.

 

I felt horrible, of course, and immediately did what I could to rectify the situation.

 

Nanea puts out these pearls every day, even while she has been in treatment for breast cancer, even as she has faced chemo and surgery and more chemo and more surgery. I found Nanea’s work inspiring before the cancer–founding the website, hiring staff, keeping it going while raising her family.

 

Her courage lifts me every day.

 

In honor of my daughter and in honor of Nanea, I am going to keep speaking the truth of my life, even when it’s uncomfortable, even when it’s not good for business.

 

I won’t apologize for my disgust with Trump or for my feminism or the fact that I am often laid up in with autoimmune disease and mold illness.

 

I’m going to stand up for myself and for you and I want you to do the same

 

This is how we get through the broken parts of our life. This is how we help others get through the broken part of their lives as well.

 

What are you ready to stand up for? How will you speak your truth? Let me know how I can support you.

 

 

 

When you stand up for yourself, you stand up for those who are not ready to speak for themselves.

You don’t know who is out there waiting to read your words, hear your music, see you perform.

 

 


One thought on “STAND UP NOW!

  1. deb saine

    a beautiful message, saundra! thanks for putting yourself out there! for standing up for yourself and others!! such words have the power to encourage, to provide hope, to inspire, and, to shout out, you’re not alone!

    Reply

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