Mental Health is an ever-evolving science. As more and more humans come into this place we call earth, more and we’re finding that there are different ways to speak, that we didn’t fully understand or comprehend only days ago.
These are all scary words until you begin to peel back the layers of what they mean and how they relate to you as an individual.
I am exhausted.
A simple sentence really, but it can mean so many different things. In what way are you tired? Physically? Emotionally? Spiritually? How can we find effective ways to stop the drain so you can stop being so tired?
There are solutions to the problems that we have, but if we don’t know how to explain what’s going on, then it’s really difficult to find solutions to the problem. This is why I spend so much of my time discussing language and talking about how it changes.
For someone who hates to admit that they have ADHD, talking about how language changes is debilitating, most people understand and can move with the flow as language changes. But I find it incredibly difficult.
When people first said they wanted to be referred to as “they/them” I didn’t fully understand, but I caught on pretty quick because it makes sense that there are more than just 2 gender identities, and definitely it made sense that there is more to gender identity then I had been taught.
It occurred to me that if there were more than 2 genders, then maybe the people who had taught me there were only 2, didn’t know as much as they are convinced they know. There’s nothing wrong with that, but some people find change really difficult and uncomfortable.
It’s simple and easy enough for me to take someone’s gender identity and wrap it into the conversation because I’ve taken the time to try and understand, but not everyone is willing to do the work so they will understand. They’re convinced of what they know and that’s all there is to it.
When we understand how and why language changes, we become more accepting because we start to understand that words however old they might be, hold power. When you know the right words to use, you’re able to fight against the battles that are consuming you much more effectively.
When we’re talking about banning books, what we’re really talking about is spreading disinformation, while making sure that correct information is hidden from those who need it the most. In 20 years we will see the result of the book-banning experiment in the United States of America, and the results I promise you won’t be pretty.
An entire generation of kids is going to grow up not knowing how to convey what they are going through because the books that could have taught them have been or are currently, being banned from the study.
Yes, we all have to decide who we’re going to be, but we also have to decide how we’re going to approach the English language as we know it today. The words we used in the past, aren’t words we use today and that’s for good reason, but if we’re going to replace those words with new words we better be prepared to explain what they mean.
I get so frustrated with people who refer to me as “she”, but then I remember not everyone knows how to use the language that I use, and so I have to give them the grace to learn. I’ve made mistakes and misgendered people too, it happens, you apologize, you move forth, and you do the work. to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Change isn’t as difficult as people make it out to be, it’s just that the initial effort to change is so incredibly overwhelming it can seem scarier than it really is. I know this first hand. I’m a sloppy person and this bothers people. I’m trying to do better but I’m not always successful and this bothers people too. Thankfully most of them give me the grace to try to do better with each new challenge.
You can do this, you can be inclusive, you can be welcoming, and you can make space for others, the problem isn’t whether or not you’re capable, it’s whether or not you want to do the work to make the changes that will allow people to see you as someone who is safe to be around.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
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