Truth Telling: To Tell My Story, To Feel My Feelings

by Lillian Mark, Community Building Division Operations Manager

Today’s entry comes to us from Lillian Mark, GLIDE’s Community Building Division Operations Manager. Lillian shares how GLIDE has been a place that has challenged her to tell her truth and feel her true feelings.

For me, the most challenging part about being at GLIDE is truth telling.  In 2004, as a GLIDE Emerging Leaders Intern, I found myself challenged by these two “Terms of Faith and Resistance” – tell my story, feel my feelings.  At some point in our lifetime we were all able to do these things – tell our stories, feel our feelings – and then we were asked to manage and temper how we feel and what we think depending on who, what, when, and where.  Eventually, we forgot how to be ourselves, and we forgot our truths.  Being at GLIDE for the past eight years has helped me to discover and experience my own truth, and to be OK with the possibility that my truth may always be true for me, or that it may not be true for me forever.

There was a brief moment in 2008 for six months where I lived on the edge at GLIDE.  A conversation with Jean Cooper, Community Building Division Director, brought to my attention that some of our community members may never “break the cycles of poverty,” whatever that means for them, and whatever that means to you and me.  There was a part of me (I am sure) that knew this all along, but somehow I was not able to accept it.  I began to question why I was doing this work if at the end of the day there will still be people struggling with addiction, sleeping on the streets, and going hungry.  There was a part of me that believed the reason for the work we do (the reason why I am committed to this work) was to end all of this – homelessness, hunger, violence, addition, unemployment, and much more.  For six months I searched for an “out” – I thought about working with youth (prevention at an early age) or workforce development (having jobs will fix most things, right?).  I was ready to leave.

At the end of that struggle, I somehow began to live a new truth.  I began to feel myself believing (not thinking that I believe, but feeling that I believe) that the most important reason why I am here (and why I believe GLIDE is here) is to be with people – to see each other, to hear the stories, and to affirm one another’s humanity.  Today, I am now able to hold both of these to be true for myself:

I believe that innovative, impactful programs support and empower communities to break free from the cycles of poverty and marginalization. 

I believe that at the end of the day, after all of that work has been done, the most important thing that happened was when a woman came to sit in my office to have five minutes of quiet. 

I am now somehow able to live more parts of me than I was ever able to before.  I can hold more of myself, which allows me to hold more in other people.  This is to say that I am continually exploring the depths of GLIDE’s legacy to create a just and loving community that is radically inclusive – where there is room for all of who I am, and there is room for all of who you are.

GLIDE’s Community Building Division, 2012

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

GLIDE Instagram
Join GLIDE at the SF @marchforourlives this Saturday to support young people in demanding #GunControlNow! We'll meet at GLIDE at noon and walk to Civic Center together. Where your GLIDE gear if you have it, and click the link in our profile to read more about why gun control is a priority advocacy issue at GLIDE.
#marchforourlives #parkland #enough #IWillMarch @momsdemand @bradybuzz @sfmagazine @sfchronicle @theonj3 @angelabrown17 @sf_interfaith Today, GLIDE Harm Reduction partnered with @sfaidsfound, SFDPH and SF Homeless Outreach Team to conduct a health care pop-up at a homeless encampment. It was a great community effort and the Harm Redux crew reports that the residents of the camp really appreciated that we were there for them. GLIDE provided HIV/Hep C Testing and counseling. In spite of the rain, 21 people used our testing services, and many more just came to us to talk about their drug use and receive harm reduction counseling.
We're grateful to this crew! Left to right: Paul Harkin, Amber Taylor, Bill Buehlman and Jason Norelli. #rainorshine #harmreduction #healthcareisahumanright #gettested #healthcareforall GLIDE Church invites you to stand up for smart, sensible gun control laws at the San Francisco March For Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24!
WHO: GLIDE Church. And YOU!
WHAT: SF March For Our Lives
WHERE: We will meet at GLIDE at noon and then walk over to Civic Center Plaza together as a group.
WHY: Our children should not have to live in fear of gun violence AT ALL, much less at school. Our teachers should not have to add "taking a bullet" to their job descriptions. We raise our voices in solidarity and demand a safer, more peaceful future for our children, our teachers and our country.
WHEN: Saturday, March 24. The rally starts at 1:00 pm, but we will meet at GLIDE at noon!
Additionally, we will make posters for the rally THIS SUNDAY on March 18 after the 11:00 am Celebration.
If you have any questions, please contact our beloved Rev. Angela Brown at
#ENOUGH #Guncontrol #gunsense #safeschools #parkland #columbine #LasVegas #marchforourlives  @womensmarch @womensmarchbayarea @momsdemand @gabbygiffords @100daysaction @bayresistance @glidefycc @kaye_foster @everytown On Wednesday, the children & teachers from GLIDE's Family, Youth & Childcare Center (FYCC) joined thousands of other students across the nation in the #NationalSchoolWalkout. Our FYCC teachers stress the importance of being community-minded thinkers and global citizens. Demanding #GunControlNow and safety in our schools is an important lesson for our kids, as well as a compassionate and powerful act of solidarity with the #Parklandhighschool students & all victims of school shootings.
Gun control is also a crucial advocacy issue for GLIDE — fighting for our children's education, well-being and their very lives is a direct application of our values and one of the most meaningful efforts to get involved in today.

Much love and support to FYCC and to all the young people across the country who raised their fists in defiance, resistance and mourning. We are with you.
@glidefycc @bayresistance @momsdemand @cityhallsf @100daysaction #keepchildrensafe #safeschools #banassaultweapons #forthekids #ENOUGH #rainorshine

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 24,661 other followers

%d bloggers like this: