I have a tattoo on my back that says “forward out of darkness, forward into light”. I got it after Utah state legislator LaVar Christensen killed the first bill I ever wrote in 2004. It is part of the motto the suffragettes sewed on their banners when they marched for the 19th Amendment.
National Woman’s Party collection
My tattoo reminds me that oftentimes, especially when it comes to policy, things don’t often come easily but with persistence they do come. Let me say that again…when it comes to making deep and lasting change…it takes persistence through the hard shit.
There have been many times over the course of my career that I have thought of giving up. I have thought maybe I am wrong, maybe I shouldn’t be doing this, maybe I am not good enough.
And then I look towards all of those who have come before me, all of the women who have fought and died for me to live this life. Women who have put on the breastplate of faith and love because they simply could remain silent no more.
But back to LaVar Christensen. He didn’t know me by face, hell he refused to even acknowledge my existence in the halls of the Capital and he would look right through me when I was standing right in front of him.
He just knew that he didn’t like my emancipation bill…BUT…I knew that as long as homeless youth were living on the street in Utah I couldn’t give up on my dream.
And so I got my tattoo, put on my breastplate and gathered my armor of facts and stories and I marched out of the darkness of my own disappointment into the light of my conviction. I KNEW what I was doing would make a difference. And it did…and it has…because I PERSISTED.
I wrote this bill on my dining room table. Governor Jon Huntsman gave me that pen and told me it was rightfully mine. #resist #persist #insist
This Monday Mayhem is my invitation for you to take a risk. My invitation for you not to live in fear. Today I invite you to join my army — visualize your favorite warrior priestesses — put on your breastplate of love and light. Here are some of my favorites.
TAP INTO THAT WHICH LIGHTS YOU ON FIRE! TAKING THE RISK TO PREACH YOUR OWN GOSPEL IS NOT MEANT TO BE COMFORTABLE OR SAFE.
At this moment in our history, if we don’t speak our truth, bring our convictions into the light, and stand firmly in our knowing then we will never be able to live freely with our whole heart.
Cause some mayhem. Raise some hell.
Dr. Melissa Bird, PhD Bringing you the resistance and revolution since 1974.
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