If You Have a Rainforest Mind, You’ve Got Hopepunk
This brought tears to my eyes. About two, maybe three years ago, there was a movie I went to see in the theater… Zootopia was the name… and the entire movie was about social justice. Somewhere in the middle of the film, it suddenly bopped me on the head that the main character was ME. Then it hit me that tons of movies and books main characters were really about people like ME. They’re portrayed as fictional characters, people see them and think they are just exaggerations… but we REALLY exist! And that much of this media is actually designed to call us out, reach out to us and encourage us to not let the world crush us, not hate ourselves for not being “normal”, and understand that the world NEEDS us to be ourselves, even if “everyone” acts like we’re just nuisances. I see this in my oldest son now, too. He is definitely “hopepunk”.
And now even though our family has been ripped apart just for having that very spirit… and I went through a couple of years doubting myself severely, being angry at myself for being so “foolish” as to think I could raise my children to be independent and fully in tune with themselves, without pushing them too hard to do things I know will come to them eventually in time… feeling guilty for us being happy despite all our obstacles, encouraging them to be happy despite lacking all the material frills… hating myself for not being able to provide that no matter how hard I worked because I still wanted to spend time on them as well and did not ignore them… that I valued our relationship MORE than our material wealth, as long as they were fed and housed and had some toys and fun, sunshine and laughter… no. I have come to realize that I was NEVER wrong for any of that. That our family WAS gravely wronged, the intent was NEVER to do right by my children, there was NEVER any misunderstanding or doubt that I was a good parent. They were sold to the highest bidder.
And this is the middle of our story. I don’t know how it’s going to end, yet. Maybe I will be able to have some grand court victory that wins them back. Maybe we will have to reconnect once they are 18, and I will need to explain what happened to them, reassure them I never stopped loving or fighting for them anyway I could find, catch them up on understanding themselves and why the world seems to hate them so much, just like it did me. I say did, because…
I’m now at the part of the story where I have found my true strength lies in being exactly who I am. I don’t need to change that one bit. I need to express it, let it shine. I can expect there to be haters, to be people that cause drama and try to knock me down, and they may even be successful in that. My strength lies in my ability to stand back up, again and again, and again, and keep fighting. My strength lies in… dare I say it? … I am blessed by the source of everything, and every time I am surrounded in darkness, that source helps me find the light that will help me find a pathway out into bigger and better days.
I HAVE changed. But not my personality, none of my traits. I’ve changed my attitude. I’ve lost fear. I’ve gained hope. I’ve quit feeling bad about what I don’t have, and have started feeling grateful that I am simply alive and have the basics to support being alive. I have quit keeping my mouth shut just for the sake of trying to keep the peace, and instead strive to speak up in a manner that is respectful but assertive and firm about what my personal boundaries are. I stand by myself when that is opposed. And when I see that my words fall on deaf ears, I cease wasting my effort but don’t cease thinking that I was right to do what I did. Just because I am silenced, does not mean I was wrong. I’ve started listening to my sixth sense even when it doesn’t line up with any logical evidence. I’ve quit thinking I need to prove myself or my thinking or feelings to anyone. I’ve quit thinking that someone has to be right, and someone has to be wrong. We only need to allow each other to live our lives as we see fit as long as that is not hurting anyone or impending on their rights.
I have a lot be proud about. And I’ve stopped feeling like I am somehow less for it. Realized, when I took that saying “your mind is a palace” to heart as a kid, and started focusing on really filling my palace up with all kinds of riches, no matter who tried to stop me or slow me down, I was doing exactly as I was intended to do. Because we all have a role in society. Our roles are never going to be the same, nor is the way we act or the way we live our lives. We have the personalities and lifestyles to support our born roles. And every role is meant to support our community.
Industrialization and capitalism have robbed many of this, though. We have been taught to all be the same because we have become products in an assembly line. We have been led to think it is wrong to be any different from our neighbors. Led to value what we have on the outside more than what we have on the inside, even though the outside constantly changes, comes and goes, and the inside is really all we ACTUALLY can possess and KEEP, all we really have to keep us alive and well.
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