Guilt or Gratitude

By now we have all got used to the stories of hate and violence that fill the nightly news and our newsfeed. 

It’s heartbreaking. It’s unsettling. 

As I watched the news last night, I saw the video of an innocent man being shot by a police officer. I had been avoiding this video because I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want to feel it. Then I heard the voice of a young girl telling her mom it was going to be okay. Tears openly fell down my face. 

Could it be me? Could I be the woman in the car? Could that be my husband and my child? 

I turned off the news to head to dinner with two of my favorite guys. Taking advantage of a rare night with just Christian and Cole, we had dinner on the water and stayed up until midnight playing monopoly. 

But it could have been me in the car. It could have been my husband and my child. 

It wasn’t me. I’ve experienced hate. I’ve been victimized. But it has never touched my children. How lucky am I that on a 100 degree day I can sit by the water with the breeze keeping me cool while I sip on a summer drink. 

I started to feel guilty. Should I be endulging in such silly things when people are grieving? 

I have a choice to make. I can choose guilt or I can choose gratitude. The magnitude of the tiny moment isn’t lost on me. 

This morning more hate filled the news. Police officers lost their lives. Their wives and their children are grieving. 

My biggest concern right now is can I run faster at my next race. This feels trivial. This feels self endulgant. 

Again I can choose guilt or I can choose gratitude. 

In moments of strength, in moments of grace, I can choose gratitude. I can choose to continue to grow. Running faster at my next race has nothing to do with running faster. It has everything to do with exploring my potential as a human. It is about overcoming pain and pushing through discomfort. It’s about conquering doubt and self-hate. 

It’s the complete opposite of self-endulgant. It’s living. 

One day it could be me. One day tragedy can show up on my door. 

We all need something that roots us to our world. We all need something that shows us our strength and our potential. For me it’s running. It’s raising boys to be compassionate loving men. It’s enjoying dinner as a family. It’s playing monopoly. It’s running my next race. 

Today I’m choosing gratitude over guilt. I’m choosing to feel alive. 

But I’m not settling. I’ve had enough of the hate and the fear and the violence. My heart is searching for a way to ensure everyone can also make the same choice to feel alive. Where can I lend my voice? Where can I give my heart? What can I do to bring about change? This is an answer I can’t seem to find. 

Challenging Why

When you surround yourself with the right people, conversations you need to have find you.

Last Wednesday morning, I dragged Chet out of bed to run an early morning 5k on the boardwalk. It was hot. He is getting heavy. As I made my way to the start line, I dragged my feet a little. As my friend walked beside me, she laughed. Why wouldn’t I go out there and have fun? Why wouldn’t I enjoy pushing Chet in the stroller knowing our days of running together may slowly disappear? Why wouldn’t I make the best of the day and the experience? 

It was the smack I needed to change mental gears for this 5k. Racing wasn’t invited. Running and smiling was encouraged. 

Official time: 33:22, 10:45 pace

Thursday night was a similar story. Our training team was hosting a happy hour run to build excitement for the fall training team. As a pacer, I’d be leading a group of runners. It was hot. The air was thick. A 9 minute mile felt nearly impossible for the summer. 

I gave myself the same peptalk I received the morning before. Why wouldn’t I make the best of the scenario? Why wouldn’t I embrace pacing? Why wouldn’t I enjoy the heat with so many new and familiar faces?

Four steamy miles later, we all celebrated with beers and fish tacos. 

Garmin run time: 36:36, 9:09 pace 

This slight shift in mentality is working for me. When the negative self talk kicks in, I’m no longer trying to silence it. I’m challenging it. 

I read an article recently by Devon Yanko (read it HERE). As she described her journey to be a better runner, I found myself nodding along. Then she wrote something, I can’t stop thinking about. 

“Slowly, gently and almost imperceptible over the month that I have been training in Tahoe, I challenged my habit of self-deprication, self-loathing, chronic self-doubt and hurt. Thoughts would come up and instead of indulging them, I would crush them with a sometime audible, WHY? There was never a good reason. And I found peace and maybe some love for myself, possible for the first time ever.”

During this period of transition in my life, I’ve thought a lot about my why. What motivates me. What inspires me. What makes me feel alive. Why does all of this matter. These thoughts have always brought me to the place I belong. 

While I know I’ve grown tremendously in so many aspects of my life, I’m still waiting for my breakthrough race. I know I’m still sitting on the edge of my potential. 

The only thing holding me back is me. WHY?

I have a few weeks before fall training begins (and I start a new job. More details soon!). These next few weeks will be a celebration. Running and smiling is welcomed. When those pesky moments of self doubt creep in, you may hear me ask why out loud. 

Everything I’ve learned about myself this year needs to shine through my running. I’ve said it so many times, it is time for me to embrace it. These legs have so much to give if I’d quit holding myself back! 

My Gift from the Sea 

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.” ~Anne Morrow Lindenberg

How many times can I return to the same book? Every summer Gifts from the Sea calls my name.  Some summer I read the entire thing. Some summers I read a chapter or two. Every summer I read it. 

This summer has been special. This summer I am home with my boys. I’ve been the beach Mrs. Lindenberg so gracefully describes. I’ve lied empty, open and choiceless. The sea hasn’t left me disappointed yet. 

I’ve received so many gifts from the sea, and not one of the gifts has been tangible. 

I’ve been gifted time -time for myself, time for my family. 

I’ve been gifted strength – physical strength and emotional strength. 

In this moment of pause, I’ve had time to process one of the deepest scars of my life. 

I’ve gained a clear vision of what I want and what I’m willing to welcome into my life. 

While I cherish all the gifts I’ve been given, the greatest gift is one I’m giving myself. I’m letting myself off the hook. Mom-guilt is something I’ve always carried. 

If I didn’t work, my house would be less cluttered. Our home would feel less stressful. 

If I didn’t work, Chet would have a better bedtime routine. 

If I didn’t work, I could shower Cole with the one on one attention he craves. 

If I didn’t work, I’d have more of myself to give to my marriage. 

If I didn’t work…

The list was endless. 

During this moment of pause, I’ve realized that none of that changes based on my employment status. 

Working or not, I’m the exact same mom. Working or not, I’m the exact same wife. Working or not, I am exactly me. 

Perhaps the greatest gift is knowing that being a working mom or a stay at home mom doesn’t change who I am. What influences my ability to give to everything I love is how well I take care of myself. Boundaries are important. Environment is important. As I begin to transition back to being a working mom, I now know how important it is for me to continue to hold on to the gifts I’ve been given. 

Taking time to care for myself is important. Taking time to care for my family always happens. 

My journey to continually find my strength is one I cherish. I’m holding on to it tightly. 

Healing is a process. 

Having a deep sense of what I’m willing to give myself to will always guide me to where I belong. 

And the mom guilt, it’s no longer welcome. It’s the one thing that holds me back. My boys are loved. My home is my refuge. 

“I want first of all… to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact–to borrow from the language of the saints–to live “in grace” as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony. I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from the Phaedrus when he said, “May the outward and inward man be one.” I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.” ~Anne Morrow Lindenbergh 

Soon this new chapter will begin. As I begin to navigate this new space, the best gift I can give to other is to take care of myself. 

This next chapter is going to be a good one. It is my gift from the sea. 

Chasing dreams forward

“I knew I was going to fall short of greatness. So I had to rewrite the story of what greatness was. I had to figure out how to measure success differently. And I also had to figure out what purpose dreams served, if they served them at all. Maybe part of what, you know, was getting in my way was those very dreams. Don’t Let your dreams ruin your life. … The truth that rose up at my humblest, lowest moment was basically that I had to write a book. And that was it. … I had to surrender to the idea of my own mediocrity.”~Cheryl Strayed 

I listened to Cheryl Strayed give a talk on how her dreams could have ruined her life. Her words etched themselves into my heart. 

This isn’t the first time it has happened. Three years ago I read a collection of letters from her advice column, and her words have never left me. Lately I’ve been thinking about them a lot. 

All those what-ifs, all those unfulfilled dreams, all those aspirations from my youth, where do they go when they are left hanging in space. 

“I suppose this is what I meant when I wrote what I did, sweet pea, about how it is we cannot possibly know what will manifest in our lives. We live and have experiences and leave people we love and get left by them. People we thought would be with us forever aren’t and people we didn’t know would come into our lives do. Our work here is to keep faith with that, to put it in a box and wait. To trust that someday we will know what it means, so that when the ordinary miraculous is revealed to us we will be there…grateful for the smallest things.” ~Cheryl Strayed

The last five months have been some of the most restorative months of my life. After years of chasing a dream I held so close to my heart and choosing to let it go, I’ve come face to face with those what-ifs, those dreams and those aspirations. 

I’ve run a marathon through my hometown. I sat in a room full of people who are single handledly making a global impact on healthcare at a conference down the street from the hospital I was born. I flew to Peru. I watch hundreds of lives change on an operating table. I visited sacred temples. I trusted strangers to guide me down unmarked trails. I lived the dream I wished I had always chased when I was twenty one. 

And then I trusted myself. I trusted my heart. I trusted my thirty six years of living. My miracles will never be found by chasing a dream backwards. I let it all go. 

“I’ll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.” ~Cheryl Strayed

Life has a way of ebbing and flowing. Everything we need finds us when the cycle is right. It also leaves when it no longer serves our purpose. 

Today I’m standing on my shore line confident that it belongs to me and confident that it is mine to live. The tide is bringing me everything I need right now. 

I’m not chasing the dreams that are behind me. 

I’m chasing the dreams that are in front of me. 

I’m letting the dreams come to me. 

I’m surrendering to this amazing life I live. 

I’m here on my shoreline grateful for it all. 

(Watch Cheryl Strayed’s talk HERE)

Standing up. 

I’ve been thinking a lot what it means to stand up. As an adjective it can have various definitions. The act of standing up is viewed as a courageous and loyal act, but sometimes simply standing takes courage too. 

Sunday we joined a group of friends at a local gem that locals and tourists alike should become familiar with. Surf and Adventure company was taking our group of slightly competitive and overly comical friends on a stand up paddleboard trip. 

As we lined up to enter the water, I felt a rush of unexpected nerves. Maybe it was because everyone in front of me effortlessly stood on their boards. Maybe it was because I was one of the last ones to enter the water leaving me feeling a need to catch up. Maybe it was because in a group of incredibly talented runners, I felt like I belonged in the back of the pack. Maybe it was left over emotion from the week of standing up for myself in a really big way. 

I tried to be kind to myself. Progress is a process. It’s not perfection. 

My nerves, the need to catch up, and an all to familiar internal script that I’m just not quite good enough took over. I couldn’t stand up. 

I’ll stand up when I catch up. 

I’ll stand up when we turn the corner. 

I’ll stand up when my legs stop shaking. 

Three and half windy miles later we reached our destination, and I was still sitting. I never found my legs. 

After an amazing day on the water with friends, I came home to a television filled with news of heartache. You all have heard the story by now.  Forty nine people killed. More than fifty injured. 

My heart is having a hard time processing it all. My head is looking for a solution. 

A mother who lost her son said anger is easy. I can feel the anger. It’s the sadness that is hard. I can’t stop thinking about this statement. We are all quick to blame, define, and label, but are we allowing ourselves to feel. Are we standing with our sadness? 

What does it look like to stand up for those that lost their lives? What does it look like to stand up and say no more? 

Right now I feel like I’m still sitting on my board. I feel like I’m waiting to catch up, for our country to turn a corner, and for the hatred to stop. 

When I reached our destination on Sunday afternoon, I wished I had tried. I wished I would have gave myself chance to stand. Even if I fell into the water or behind my friends, I wish I would have found my footing. 

I don’t want another mass shooting to happen in this country while I wish I had done something to make our country better. I don’t want to forget about this next week. I don’t to have this news story replaced by another injustice when we live in a land of freedom. Last week we stood up for a girl who was raped. This week we are standing up for people who were murdered. 

We may not all agree on what needs to come next, but I think we can all agree that this is not okay. Something has to change. We need to stop sitting. We need to stand up. We need to listen. We need to recognize that this country is a blend of beautiful people and best intentions. 

Today I showed up to vote in Virginia’s republican House of Representatives primary. As of 9pm, only 40,000 people showed up to vote. There are approximately 650,000 people who live in the second district. 

I may have sat on my board on Sunday, but I stood up last week. I stood up at my race on Saturday. I showed up to vote today. 

Progress is process. It’s not perfection. 

Our country will never see change if we don’t take part in the process. It will never be perfect, but we need to progress. 

We need to stand up. What we are doing today is failing us all. It failed a young woman who was raped. It failed hundreds immediately impacted in Orlando. We are failing each other. 

We need to stand up for everyone who has been hurt by our countries inability to stand together. While there are many different opinions on what needs to happen next, I think we can all agree we are tired of sitting down. 

I’m still not sure how I’ll find my footing, but I will not show up at our next destination wishing I had tried to stand up. 

CXB Low Rent 5k – Race Recap

Simply put, I loved this race. I loved the course. I loved the neighborhood feel. I loved the camaraderie. I loved the start and finish at Commonwealth Brewing. 

And I loved my approach. 

I went into this race wanting a PR. The last two 5ks have left me satisfied, but this race I wanted more. I was going to go after that dusty 5k. Sub 8 pace or bust. 

Bust won this race. The story is probably told best in numbers. 

Mile 1 – 7:55

Mile 2 – 8:38

Mile 3 – 9:07

Final push – 6:49 pace

Walk breaks – 3

Official Results – 5k, 25:56, 8:21 average pace

Bust may have won this race over a personal best, but I’m walking away the real winner. 

I went for it. I finished with my 2nd best 5k time, and I walked 3 times. Normally I’d be mad at those walk breaks. Not this time. This time all I see and feel is potential. I just needed to clean up my race, and I’ll come home with a new gold star. 

It’s in me. I have a personal best and so much more ready for me to claim it. 

Next up: Allen Stone 5k on July 16th (unless I get impatient) 

Living Unbroken 

When you feel strong, you become strong. 

I had no idea I needed this. I had no idea I still needed to heal. I didn’t know my heart still hurt. I didn’t know I still saw doubt in every familiar face. I didn’t recognize how much I was guarding my heart. I didn’t know I still so desperately needed someone to say I believe you

My intention for this year of life was to prove to myself that I am strong. I lined up at the start line of the Shamrock Half Marathon with a simple statement on the back of my race bib: Permission to be Unbreakable. As race day approached, I wrote these words on this blog:

2016 is different. 2016 is the year I write my own story. This blank slate is giving me the opportunity to launch myself down whatever path I choose. There is no heartache to overcome. There is nothing to heal, fix or piece together. I am whole. 

I believed it with my whole heart. 


Except there was still a crack. There was still doubt. There was still a shadow clinging to everything I did. I still didn’t believe that I was unbreakable. I still didn’t believe that I was strong. I had been broken. I had been raped. How I viewed myself, how I spoke to myself, and how I believed in myself had been rewired. I was wired with doubt. 

That doesn’t go away without awareness. This week I’ve become aware. 

A few months ago, I was lifting weights. The owner of Evofit looked at me. She said You don’t have an aggressive bone in you body, do you? It was very much a truthful observation. Her words stuck with me. They’ve motivated me. This week I’ve become aware of why. 

I still didn’t believe I was allowed to fight for myself. 

I still didn’t believe I was allowed to be strong. 

Every time I’ve hit publish on a piece of my story this week, I’ve silenced those beliefs. Every time you’ve read my words, you’ve help me rewire my approach to myself. 

This week has been a lot. I’ve cried. I’ve felt triumphant. I’ve felt empowered. I’ve cried. I’ve cried more. I’ve cried tears for your stories, and I’ve cried tears of release for my story. 

All week I’ve thought to myself when you’re strong you become strong. 

Before strength can ever manifest itself on the outside, I needed to believe it on the inside. I needed to truly believe it. This week I have found my strength. I’ve found it emotionally. I’ve found it physically. 

I didn’t need to believe that I was whole. I’ve always believed that about myself. I needed to believe that I wasn’t broken. 

Healing is something that continuously happens over a lifetime. Being aware of my internal strength will carry me through the process. I will always look back at this week every time I need a reminder. 

My quest for strength also continues. It’s time to live like I’m unbreakable. Finding my strength is now about potential. What can I achieve now that I believe I won’t break? 

It’s time to find out. 

A 70lb PR on Tuesday

Box of Truth

I used to keep a box on the floor of my closet. A lime green cardboard box contained every piece of paper collected during the legal process after my rape. Inside that box was my story: a Michael Jackson CD that was still covered in black finger print dust, printouts of his confession, copies of my medical documents. Every single thing that confirmed I was raped was inside that box. When my world would start to spin, I’d take it out of the closet. I’d lay out every document to settle my spinning heart. If I could see it, if I could read it, if it was in front of me in black and white, I could then fall asleep at night. 

When I meet Cole’s dad, I made him read all of it. I wanted to make sure he believed me. It was my box of truth, and I needed him to see it. 

When we moved to Alabama, that box was placed in my car. I couldn’t risk it being lost by the movers. It was my truth, and I needed to protect it. I repeated the same pattern when I moved to Tennessee. 

One day, as I was packing my belongs to move to a tiny apartment of my own, I came face to face with that box again. I was so sick of carrying it. I was done with the box. I was done carrying it inside of me. On the verge of divorce, I didn’t want to sit down with another person to share my box of truth. Instead of packing it, I took it in the backyard and burned it. 

I was done. That chapter was over. I promised to rid myself of it all. I promised myself I’d quit living inside that story. 

A few years later with the box turned to ashes, I was moving again. This time I was moving back to my hometown. I was moving back to the town where my rapist lived. I was moving back to the community that felt unsafe and scary. 

I didn’t want to move. I was scared. I didn’t want to face the faces of my past. I didn’t want to cross paths with the anger I felt lived in this town. I moved anyways. I needed my family. My son needed his grandparents. We desperately needed support. 

It had been nine years since the day I was raped. It had been eight years since the court system failed me. Certainly people matured and moved on. 

Two weeks after I moved home, I realized that some people never mature and move on. After a long night of waiting tables, I stopped at 7-11 to buy milk for Cole. He would need it for his breakfast. I grabbed the milk, turned around, and came face to face with two girls from high school. 

Are you Kristy Larson? 

You’re the one who accused (insert name) of rape? 

Insert long rant of name calling and physical assertiveness. 

A police officer showed up. He was her boyfriend. 

When is this ever going to go away! I don’t want to live this story anymore. I left crying and trembling and screaming. 

A few weeks later, I meet Christian. Where was my box of truth? Those girls made it clear that I’d never be able to move on. I would need to share this story with everyone I ever met. I’d never be able to be just Kristy. 

One night before we headed out to a concert, I sat beside Christian. I started to tell him my story. He needed to know it in case any of those drama-driven, gossip-hungry teenagers showed up again. I would not let them define me. I would not let them scare me. 

Christian stopped me after I said the words I was raped. He hugged me. He told me he didn’t care. He didn’t want to know the details. He couldn’t hear the details. His heart couldn’t hear the details. He held me, and he told me he’d take care of me. 

Christian and I saw one of those girls that night. Fortunately she stayed quiet, but sadly that night in 7-11 isn’t the only reminder of my rape I’ve experienced since moving back to my hometown. I’ve heard whispers between friends. That’s Kristy Larson while touring homes at homearama. I’ve been met by glares while grocery shopping. A person changed aisles while shopping at target. 

While they haven’t matured or moved on, I certainly have. It’s been a long time since I needed to pull the box of truth out of my closet. It’s been a long time since I needed to see it in black and white. When I met Christian, I didn’t need that box of truth. I didn’t need papers to validate my story. He believed me, and more importantly I BELIEVED ME. 

Another article about the Stanford rapist filled my Facebook newsfeed last night.  A statement was released by the lawyer of his victim. 

“I remain anonymous, yes to protect my identity. But it is also a statement, that all of these people are fighting for someone they don’t know. That’s the beauty of it. I don’t need labels, categories, to prove I am worthy of respect, to prove that I should be listened to. I am coming out to you as simply a woman wanting to be heard. Yes there is plenty more I’d like to tell you about me. For now, I am every woman.”

I applaud this woman, and I hope she remains anonymous. While there are millions of people just like me who want to celebrate her, support her, and thank her, there will always be a handful of people who thrive on anger. 

Their words hurt. Their actions are loud. Sometimes it takes eighteen years to hear the kindness. Sometimes it takes eighteen years to make the decision to no longer participate in the drama of something that happened to me when I was eighteen. 

The first eighteen years of my life I was naive. I had no fear. I was shy, awkward, and kind. The last eighteen years I’ve spent living inside a story. It’s followed me like a shadow. No longer naive, I’ve been afraid. I’ve been afraid to be strong. Staring down the next eighteen years of my life, I have a very simple intention. 

I plan on celebrating the fact that I am unbreakable. I plan on raising boys who are strong, kind and good.  

My story now belongs to you. It belongs to the people who need to find their strength. It belongs to those who are hurt and feeling broken. 

I promise you we are all unbreakable. 

Kindness is Quiet

“I’ve decide it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity.” ~Nadezhda Mandelstam

When I hit publish on the first blog post, So much more than no means no, I felt like an eighteen year old version of myself. I trembled. I took a shower and cried. In that shower and with those tears, I washed away the fear. I became empowered. 

I couldn’t sleep Monday night. A crack in my silence had formed, and I needed to get it out. I needed my words, my story, my voice on paper. In the dark while my house fell asleep, I wrote. 

Yesterday I went to hit publish again. It was time to scream: I was raped. I trembled. I took another shower and cried. This time it was a release. My body was squeezing out every what if I have ever played in my head. I was releasing every doubt, every bit of self blame, and every insecurity I’ve ever held. Putting my story on paper and hitting publish gave me my voice back. My story was no longer my burden to carry alone. I gave it back to the universe. 

Every single one of you caught me. You stood beside me. By reading my words, you offered to carry the weight with me. 

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. You all have flooded me with love and compassion. You’ve lifted me up. You’ve celebrated my voice. You’ve made me feel safe. You’ve trusted me with your secrets.
At first it was my dear friends. The people who love me best today stood beside me. Then it was the people who loved me most during that year of my life. My heart exploded. I took the most comfort in the support from the people who have always provided it. Then friends of friends started reaching out followed by people I’ve never met. The ripple effect was beginning. My screams were being heard around the world.

Then I started to hear your stories too. My heart broke every time I received a message. I will carry your weight too. I will catch you. You are not alone. We are all stronger together. The words of support I received belong to you too. Please read them all. They are yours to keep. 

I couldn’t hear them when I was raped. During that year of my life, I heard the hatred. I felt the anger from all of his supporters. It was all I noticed. Eighteen years later, I see them for what they were: A small pack of teenagers who needed to be angry at someone. They were small in comparison to all of you. 

You didn’t just show up yesterday. You’ve been here the whole time. 

Kindness is quiet. It doesn’t scream from the rooftops. It doesn’t flood the streets of town with energy and anger. It doesn’t need to. It is kind. It is gentle. It is authentic. But what if it did? What if kindness flooded the streets with the same energy as anger?

In our broken society, we see and hear the broken.  We feel the anger. We highlight and focus on the bad, but kindness is everywhere. 

I am so sorry I couldn’t feel your kindness more. It was everywhere. From the boy who was brave enough to still like me the summer after high school. You brought me strawberry gum and candles because you knew I loved strawberries. I liked you too, but I was afraid. I no longer trusted the intentions of men, and I couldn’t see that you genuinely liked me. To the friends who didn’t know what do with this topic, neither one of us knew how to navigate the space. So many of you said sorry yesterday. I am sorry too. At eighteen, none of us should have to know how to deal with this. I’m sorry I didn’t trust your kindness. I’m sorry I let myself believe that no one believed me. To the people I let it, to the people who chose to love me, thank you. You are brave. You are strong. You suffered beside me, but I took all the attention. It was my burden to carry, but it spilt over on to you. Thank you for being strong enough to figure it out with me. 

I’m going to beg you all one more time. If you’ve taken the time to read this, help me make kindness loud. Today our world is flood with anger. It’s flooded with ego. It’s flooded with entitlement. It’s running for President. It’s raising our children. It’s shaping our future. 

Let’s make the world noisy with kindness. Be kind to your neighbor. Accept people for who they are. Celebrate our stories. Let’s assume we are all doing the best that we can, and let’s help each other do better. You all have showed me how to do it. 

Show up. 

We are stronger together. 

A few years ago, I got an email from my rapist. He wanted to know why I did that to him back then. I considered ignoring him, but I couldn’t. My response was simple. He has a different memory from that day. It has taken me my entire lifetime to recover from what he did to me, and I hope he can find his happiness as well. 

I tip toed around my story in this blog post: Loving Kindness. I wasn’t brave enough to share my truth then, but my heart found forgiveness. Today my heart has the same wish. 

May I be filled with loving kindness

May I be well

May I be peaceful and at ease 

May I be happy

May you be filled with loving kindness

May you be well

May you be peaceful and at ease 

May you be well

Please keep sharing. Please keep celebrating the young woman who was raped in Stanford. Let her feel our kindness. Share her story. Share my story. Share your story. But let’s heal the hearts of our rapist and their families too.  We have to stop the cycle. It doesn’t come from healing the survivors. It comes from healing the attackers. I hope that the Stanford rapist’s dad is able to fully examine how he lives life. I hope the rapist becomes aware of his evil. I hope my rapist can heal and do something wonderful with his life. I hope we can all heal. 

It is not us versus them. It is us. It is all of us. 

Help me make kindness heard. I’m so tired of anger being the only thing we hear. 

May you be filled with loving kindness 

May you be well

May you be peaceful and at ease

May you be happy