When I was younger, I wasted a lot of time being clueless. I had passion and fire in my heart for the world and its issues, but I couldn’t see a place for me. Maybe you can relate. If you have ever wanted to be part of something bigger than your regular life, this blog post is for you.
I was young, hot tempered, and endlessly idealistic, and I wanted to fight for something - anything! But where was my place? Not in a regular 9-5 job. I applied for positions in domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, and women’s organizations. I looked abroad to NGOs and refugee camps. I was qualified for none of them, and my frustration grew.
I didn’t understand how to bridge the seemingly enormous divide between what I wanted to do and where I actually was in my personal development and ability. I needed to grow my skills, but I didn’t want to wait. I wanted it all now, but I couldn’t have it because I wasn’t ready. You can see the lack of logic in how I was seeing my problem. A lot of self-pity crept in, which certainly didn’t help.
I grew bitter, I admit. Why did Martin Luther King get to change the world? Why did Mother Theresa get to live her dream? Why did other people get to work in refugee camps and for Doctors Without Borders? Why was I stuck in a monotonous job I hated while others lived the life I wanted?
Let’s face it: I was thinking incorrectly about all of this, to say the least.
You could say I was punching and swinging at shadows, and the strange thing was that it was exhausting. When you rage against nothing, it’s actually more tiring and less productive than just standing still. You’re basically hitting yourself in the face, something that just made me swing harder. I can be pretty stubborn.
Eventually, thankfully, I stopped raging and just stood still. Sometimes you have to do that. When I did, I started to hear small but powerful thoughts in the back of my mind that have stayed with me over these past few years.
To make a difference, all you have to do is decide that you will do it, and then do it. It is that simple. Sometimes you just have to be the first to do something. Don’t wait for other people to be the catalyst for change – be it yourself.
This brings us to Dallas’ erotic massage parlors. There are around 120 of them. The owners, managers, and younger women live largely isolated from most of society, and it has been that way for years.
My question is this: why? Why does it have to be that way?
The answer, of course, is that it does not have to be. The parlors are only as isolated as people like you and me let them be.
There is nothing to stop us from walking into the lobby of any parlor and ringing the doorbell. The door may not always open, but when it does, we can talk to the woman in front of us, we can give her affirmations she can reflect on after we leave, and we can change how she sees herself and others. We can do this with the parlor’s owner, the manager, and the younger women.'
Some will say this can’t be done. I have heard this before. “They are too hardened. They will never respond to this. They won’t allow you to be there. This will never work.” The doubters shake their heads at me and tell me I am wrong.
I understand where they are coming from, but to them I ask again: why? Why can’t it be done? If it has never been done before, how do we know that it can’t happen?
The reality is that it can be done. We have already done it. We have already visited the parlors, formed relationships with women, and given affirmations to the owners, the managers, and the younger women.
It can be done.
What if we can improve the self-esteem of hundreds of women simply by going to where they are? What if giving them one piece of paper with a precious message can begin to show them who they really are? Valuable. Precious. Intelligent. Unconditionally loved. Ambitious. Talented. Funny.
What if there will be other opportunities that will reveal themselves as we go? What if we can do more for these women than we ever imagined?
If we don’t go, this won’t happen. Life for these women will continue on as it always has.
If, however, we commit to being the first to ever minister directly to the women in the parlors, if we set aside what we think is true and instead are open to learning what the people in the parlors are really like, we will be swept along on a mission like no other, one that will change the lives of the women we meet and our own.
We are the people these women desperately need to hear from. We are the ones who can change the reality of hundreds of women in Dallas’ erotic massage parlors.
It is on us to do it.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!