It’s amazingly overwhelming.
As I stand in your presence, I am truly in awe of your beauty.
And it happens every single time.
My chest tightens and my thoughts begin running a million miles a minute.
My heart is no longer racing but instead is beating fast enough to put any fancy dancer out of the game.
My breathe is shallow but sure.
Wispy but present.
The smile is automatic. I couldn’t stop it if I tried. I smile so hard it hurts. It hurts in the most wonderful way possible.
I have spent more summers than I care to count with the United National Indian Tribal Youth Organization and have been so blessed to be given countless opportunities to address 1,000+ youth in various aspects.
But trust me, it never gets easy. Its the most exhilarating thing I have every done. And I absolutely love it.
UNITY has given me millions of laughs, countless sleepless nights, a bazillion visits to the Lincoln Memorial and hundreds of soul mates.
UNITY has also given me heartache.
Heartache that grips my soul long after we have departed ways. Heartache that grips my heart in a powerful, overwhelming sort of way. Heartache that is persistent. Heartache that forces me to act.
I have read hundreds of books and have spent dozens of hours enthralled by the fiction of my favorite characters but there is absolutely NO story as powerful as those of Native youth who have attempted suicide. None.
The room is silent. Not the sort of silence that makes you uncomfortable but the sort of silence that you find when every single soul is enraptured by the person speaking. You can almost hear the hearts breaking around the room. Hearts breaking because they are sad, lonely or because they themselves tried to commit suicide.
The over whelming silence does more than just allow us to feel the stories of those speaking it also serves to remind us of those who’s stories we will never hear.
These stories have impacted me in ways that I cannot fathom.
#DearNativeYouth you are powerful beyond all imagination. Your voice is strong and sure. Your heart is steady and resilient. You, my love, you will change the world.
Because of you. For you. Through you. With you. #IwillLive
Please join our campaign as we fight suicide and mental illness within our Indigenous Communities.