Most Shared

Embracing your emotional self without judgment has never been so beautiful.

If you're gonna get real, this is a great way to do it.

Embracing your emotional self without judgment has never been so beautiful.

Who can deny the release and relief of a good cry? Go on, admit it. I won't tell anyone.

Yet many of us (and often men in particular) are culturally shamed away from showing the kind of vulnerability or softness — in other words, our mushy side.

That's exactly why we need artist Lora Mathis' series "Radical Softness." It's a celebration of the mushier side of life and a challenge to our culture that places stoic maleness on a pedestal.



Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

The images are an ongoing series of beautiful, saturated florals, with pointed, smart, and incisive statements superimposed on vases, journals, and walls.

But what exactly is radical softness?

"Radical softness is the idea that sharing your emotions is a political move and a tactic against a society which prioritizes a lack of emotions," Lora said.

Go on.

"Our society equates toughness to being guarded and devoid of feelings. It writes off emotional reactions, especially those of femmes, as over-dramatic and invalid. I was sick of feeling weak for being emotional and struggling."

Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

I first found Lora's work on Tumblr, where over 2,500 people have liked or shared her work. Lora also has a popular Etsy store called staysoft, where she presents her empowering, sensitive, and fierce art.

"The work is meant to show that strength doesn't have to mean swallowing your emotions. There's strength in healing and vulnerability. There's power in softness."


Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

She's right.

There's so much power in softness. By showing that side of ourselves, we humans can be reminded of our own humanity. I'm not saying that means we should all cry all the time ... but if we do, there's nothing wrong with it.


Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

"Strength does not have to mean turning off how you feel and being guarded," Lora said.

"It can be sharing yourself openly," she added. "It can be putting energy into healing. It can be documenting your vulnerability in order to make others feel less alone. It can be refusing to be sorry for how you feel."

Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

If you think about it, not crying, emoting, or showing your feelings at all is oppressive to everyone. It's tough on the person who feels like they can't show their feelings, and it's tough on their family and friends left forever wondering, "What's going on in there?"

Lora's art is meant to answer that question and provide prompts for others as they heal and express themselves, just as she does.

"The statements pop into my head as I think about my healing process," Lora said. "My instinct when I break down is to beat myself up for reacting that way."

"The phrases act as personal reminders me that it is OK to have a hard time and cry and be soft," she explained.

And Lora's not stopping there. Aside from her Etsy shop, she's working on an art piece on "Radical Softness" for a traveling show this winter and spring through Alt Space in Brooklyn.

Image via Lora Mathis, used with permission.

Though, as Lora said, she creates her work to "process [her] feelings and heal," the more her art spreads, the more she hears from people it has touched.

"When others reach out to tell me how my work has affected them, it proves that work is bigger than the feelings that inspired it."

May every semi-emotionally-repressed person please notice just how much love there is out there for you, your tears, and your humanity.

I'm sharing this in case there's someone who needs to know that.

via @jharrisfour / Twitter

The 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off in Orlando, Florida on Friday. It's three days of panels and speakers with former President Donald Trump delivering the keynote speech on Sunday night.

It's believed that during the speech Trump will declare himself the Republican frontrunner for the 2024 nomination.

So far, the event has made headlines for a speech by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas who tried his hand at stand-up comedy. "I've got to say, Orlando is awesome," Cruz told the cheering crowd. "It's not as nice as Cancun. But it's nice."

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

This story was originally published on The Mighty.

Most people imagine depression equals “really sad,” and unless you’ve experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it’s different for everyone.

Keep Reading Show less
via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

Keep Reading Show less