June 21, 2018
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After repeal,it’s time to start again

By Sandi CarverSpecial to the BDN, Special to the BDN

I have not been able to stop crying. I feel so much sadness for our state and our world. It is not the outcome of the vote that devastates me. It is the consciousness out of which the vote was cast that draws my tears.

Question 1 was a repeal of our state’s same-sex marriage law. But it had little to do with marriage. It had everything to do with civil rights, rights that ensure one’s ability to participate in civil life without discrimination or repression. This was a moral issue, a human issue, a spiritual issue. And I thought we were further along in our spiritual journey as a people than we are.

I truly believed that the greater majority would vote no on 1. I wasn’t worried about it because I believed. And Wednesday morning I woke startled to find I was wrong.

So I want to share more of myself that perhaps my experience might glean some insight into making this right today. I want to start a new campaign. Because again, this has little to do with marriage, and a whole lot to do with love, respect, equality, transcending a place of repression and hatred to a place that we can live together in peace and harmony. It starts here.

Initially, I had moments of anger that so many people would cast a vote that took away my rights. But more importantly, those people cast votes carrying a much larger message. That I am less than. That my family is less than. That we are somehow not as deserving of the same rights as everyone else. That I, as a spirit created of and by love, could be less than any other spirit of the same. As one of our dearest friends put it so clearly: This is ridiculous. Ridiculous in a very sad and devastating kind of way. Sad in a heartbreaking kind of way. Sad for all those souls that understand life as love.

Our hearts weep for a society that chose repression. But to look at the light in this darkness, wherever there is heartbreak, there is opportunity for expansion into a place that is more capable of love. There is opportunity for more awareness. We can be better. We can be more than we were Tuesday. This is a gift.

When one is repressed, we are all repressed. I am filled with compassion for those who hold in their hearts that which caused them to vote yes on 1. What, but fear, would cause someone to deliberately vote for repression? Usually people fear because they don’t understand. They fear the unknown, that which is outside of their “normal.” We can’t fault for that.

Anyone who is born outside of the “normal,” by handicap, race, color or sexual orientation, can tell you that his or her experience is different. Anyone who has had an experience outside of the “norm” can tell you that it changes their perspective. They have an understanding that despite the differences, we are all the same, all equal, all created by and of the same, all capable of the same love and appreciation. With more and more spirits being born outside of the norm, we as a world are being forced to grow and expand in love and acceptance.

If you had never been outside of the norm, or had not allowed your heart to look outside of the norm, it would be harder to learn this lesson.

The campaign I mentioned earlier is to love those who do not understand — those who fear and choose hatred and repression, as that is what they know. My campaign is one to turn our anger or sadness into something much greater — to expand our ability for love and respect. It is said that freedom never will be given by the oppressor, but must be demanded by the oppressed. I want to choose to hold love for my oppressors, break into their hearts and allow them to know and feel something more. Only then will the change be real. I want to choose love and hope that my oppressor feels something different from the fight. Peace and love are not born of war. Love bears love. It is simple.

While I am deeply saddened at the results of Question 1, this has provided us with a valuable reminder to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Sandi Carver of Hampden is a nurse.

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