Just Because

May 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm 4 comments

Just Because.

Two words that have enabled  hundreds upon hundreds of girls to re-claim their identities for themselves and boldly refute any assumptions or stereotypes others  have imposed on them.

Just Because I’ve had two miscarriages doesn’t mean I’m a slut…Means I’m not ready for motherhood.”

“Just Because I’ve used drugs, doesn’t mean I’m an addict, means I sometimes numb my pain…”

“Just Because I’m in a foster home, doesn’t mean I’m not worthy, means I get a new start…”

“Just Because I broke the law, doesn’t mean I’m bad, means I made a mistake, doesn’t mean you can judge me, because you don’t know me, and you don’t know what I’ve been through.  Means I am becoming whole…”

These are excerpts from some of the poems that girls have written and shared in Girls Circle groups, and graciously shared with us.  Artist and poet Esther Kamkar of Palo Alto, CA, shared the “Just Because” poem form with us, so that we could offer the poem as an exercise in our Girls Circle “Relationships with Peers” Facilitator Activity Guide.

Imagine, at 15 years of age, claiming your right to define your own identity according to your truth. This is an extraordinarily powerful exercise that inevitably brings tears to my eyes.  These are the kinds of tears brought up by recognition of the burdens and injustices some girls have endured, and by the privilege of witnessing their tender capacity for healing, compassion, strength, and love.

Last night, Giovanna and I attended an event with Girls Inc. of  Northern Sacramento Valley in which eight members of a high school Girls Circle group courageously read their poems to a crowded room full of adults.  One girl ended her poem with this:

Just Because I look together, like everything is okay, you don’t know what’s eating me up inside, how on some days I just want to die…but Just Because I have those dark days, doesn’t mean I don’t love you, Means I do love you, and I want to invite all of you to be my family, and I want to be a part of yours’, too.”

Just Because girls are young, doesn’t mean they can’t turn lives around, means they blow my mind.

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Girls love Girls Circle Mental Health Awareness Day & Girls Circle!

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alita  |  May 28, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Just Because poems are definitely one of our more powerful activities in our Girls Circles… thanks, Esther! It’s even been empowering for me… sometimes I find myself thinking in “Just Because” statements… LOL :)

    Reply
  • 2. girlscircleassociation  |  May 7, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Oh, how sweet to hear from the original author of the Just Because Poem! Thank you, Esther! This activity has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of girls because of your inspiration – thank YOU. ~Giovanna

    Reply
  • 3. Esther Kamkar  |  May 7, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Fearless words from these young people.
    I want to write like them.

    Thank you, thank you for keeping me in the Girls Circle.
    Best,
    Esther

    Reply
    • 4. bethgc  |  May 7, 2009 at 11:47 pm

      Esther – Can you imagine the power and possibility that is emerging from these girls thanks to your poem?
      Sincere thanks,
      Beth

      Reply

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