Alyssa Sellers


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I Marched Because I Love

img_0614-3Even though Dressember^ ended last month, yesterday I donned a special dress, Lady Liberty’s, and marched for the 20 to 30 million people, mostly women, who are today enslaved. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and I was honored to march for women across the globe who were not free or able. I marched for women who are sold for $90. I’ve bought pairs of shoes for that price. I am sure many of you have, too. I marched for humans with no choice or voice. I marched because I love.

As a follower of Jesus, I am Jesus flippin’ tables outraged by Christian women and men who demeaned the march of me and my sisters.

Sisters like Tiffany who marched for “every woman who has ever been a victim of sexual, emotional, verbal or spiritual abuse. It is never OK. I refuse to let it be normalized.” Sisters like Rhonda who wrote “Today I marched for the marginalized. Today I marched for Hispanic Americans. I marched for the under-represented. I marched for their honor, respect, dignity, and rights.” Continue reading

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Let Us Acknowledge

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Citizens of Earth, let us acknowledge that
We are all human.
We were all born.
We will all die.
We are all capable of emotion.
We all have mothers and fathers.
Some of us have brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins, too.
We were all born with the same instruction manual, that is, without one.
We are all attempting to figure out this thing called life.

Citizens of Earth, let us acknowledge that
We went to different schools.
Grew up in different
Hemispheres.
Climates.
Elevations.
Cultures.
Countries.
Neighborhoods.
Streets.

For some of us our toilets flush the opposite way.
For some of us we don’t have toilets. Continue reading


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Ready to Write

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When I was leaving full-time professional ministry for the second time I read Fahrenheit 451 for the first time. A speech given at the end of the novel pretty much summed up what I felt about my existence at that moment (I’d say spoilers but it’s on you, this bad boy’s been around for decades):

“Now, let’s get on upstream,” said Granger. “And hold onto one thought: You’re not important. You’re not anything. Someday the load we’re carrying with us may help someone. But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn’t use what we got out of them. We went right on insulting the dead. We went right on spiting in the graves of all the poor ones who died before us. We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing you can say, we’re remembering. That’s where we’ll win out in the long run. And someday we’ll remember so much that we’ll build the biggest goddamn steamshovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in and cover it up. Come on now, we’re going to go build a mirror factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them.”*

I’d written a memoir about surviving physical and emotional hurricanes and had secured representation by a reputable Christian literary agency and hoped that it would only be a matter of time before my manuscript was published.   Continue reading


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Single in the Summer is the Worst

single in the summer squareBeing single in the summer is the worst.

Sure, the Christmas/New Year combo could vie for the title of Worst Season to be Single. What with the constant barrage of songs telling you that Christmas just ain’t Christmas without the one you love and all the parties you have to attend solo with the faces of other happy families reminding you that you are a family of one.

Stealthy summer wins because of its tricky sneak-attack of sadness.

At first, the physical freedom from outerwear mixed with extended hours of daylight provides a certain kind of euphoria. Soon, however, you discover you have a tad too much time.

In the dead of winter, it’s dark all the time and you have no place you need to go so you feel no guilt staying in on a Saturday night watching an entire season of some show on Netflix. But in the summer, the sunny outside world beckons with promises of road trips, camping adventures, ball games of all sorts, hikes to majestic views, naps in lush meadows, seaside rambles, and so forth, you know what I’m talking about, you feel me. Continue reading


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Knowing I Don’t Have to Know

Joy Ride New OrleansThere I was, ugly crying on the cypress wood floor in my uncle’s home in New Orleans. It was the summer of 2002 and, after watching a seemingly innocuous movie, I was an emotional wreck.

Not just because in “Life as a House” an adorable young Anakin Skywalker stood in the pouring rain and fervently cried out for Alyssa, the witty and wise girl-next-door, who happened to share my name as well as some of my pretty fabulous character traits. (Yes, yes, I know. Hayden Christensen was acting in the role of an entirely different character named Sam, but to me he was still the promising young padawan – you know, before he goes all dark side of the force – only NOW with bonus blue hair. Swoon.) No, I was sobbing because Anakin/Sam and the other characters in the film were ultimately searching for redemption, love, and an understanding one’s self, all the things I had journeyed to New Orleans to find.

And because I was failing miserably in my search.

My movie postmortem didn’t start with me lying in a puddle of tears on the floor. It started with me sitting upright on the step at the top of a staircase, looking out through a giant window at a warm summer sunset, and holding a pen and yellow paper tablet in my hands prepared to write a veritable masterpiece of emotion inspired by the movie I had just experienced.

As you may have surmised, that didn’t happen. Continue reading


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To Love or to Fear

Winter in the City 029I was crossing the Hawthorne Bridge, beginning a long walk along the Willamette River, when I passed an older man carrying an over-sized pack on his back and a large bible in the crook of his arm. I smiled and said, “Hello.” As he passed me he replied, “You’re beautiful.”  As the distance between us increased, I called out thank you. Then I began to cry.

It had been a VERY long time since anyone has said that to me. I hadn’t realized how much my heart needed to hear it.

This past December I wore a dress every day as a way to raise awareness and support to end human trafficking. To do this, I took pictures of myself in said dresses and posted them on social media. This activity, along with figuring out new ensembles, forced me to look at myself FAR MORE frequently than I was accustomed to and lead to an amount of emotional distress for which I was completely unprepared.

I did not believe I was beautiful. Continue reading


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Cookies and Sadness Spirals

COOKIES2Let’s talk about sadness spirals, shall we.

It starts out innocently enough; click on a job search page and up pops a dialogue box about cookies. The web based ones of course, but now all I can think about is buttery, floury, gooey goodness of edible cookies. With incredible persistence, I move on and search for jobs but only after tweeting about it.

Then after a couple of applications are in the bag, or recruiters’ in-boxes as the case may be, I start searching for cookie recipes. Thanks to the kindness of a good friend I have a jar of green M&Ms that are desperate to be in cookies and ultimately in MY BELLY.

*scanning online recipe*

Flour  – check
Brown sugar – check
Eggs – check
All ingredients – shockingly – check Continue reading