Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We all want and deserve these "unalienable rights" as the United States Constitution describes. By nature, it seems that we are compassionate beings and many of us recognize that cooperation is an integral part of our ablity to thrive. The majority of us yearn for the same peaceful existence. And yet, there is such an air of divisiveness that is almost palpable as we approach the upcoming presidential election.
As someone who was conceived through a rape, I am grateful that my mom allowed me to be here. Understandably, she was not able to care for me in my early years, so she allowed my grandparents to raise me. My life has had its share of challenges, but I have come to accept that every experience has shaped me into all that I am. By the grace of God, I have made some pretty good choices for myself. My mom and I now share a deep closeness.
As a mother, I have experienced difficult pregnancies and several losses. When I was told at 21 weeks gestation that the safest option would be to induce labor, I chose otherwise. This was after hearing my baby's heartbeat and being told that it was strong and that his movement was good. If there was any possibility of his survival, I wanted to give him that chance. I am grateful for having that choice.
My preterm labor did progress on its own and the pregnancy ended. I experienced life-threatening complications, requiring several blood transfusions without consent. It was a life or death scenario and my doctors chose to keep me alive. I am grateful.
So where do I stand? I can't be "pro-life" without recognizing that life is about making choices and I am grateful for every freedom that I enjoy. I can't be "pro-choice" without realizing that every life has purpose and meaning.
Based on my experiences, I choose love, respect and truth. I choose to allow others the freedom to do what feels right for them and enables them to live their lives fully without malice to others. We can't judge another person from the outside looking in. It's also hard to know what the truth is when it comes to politics, so we have to choose to be guided by our own inner conscience.
The majority of us want the same peaceful existence. It's up to all of us to create it no matter the election results. Life is precious and so is our time in this world. I trust that we can all agree on that.
Love and blessings to all.