“The Houston conference was an inspiration, an education, and an opportunity for truly meaningful relationship building and professional networking that far exceeded my expectations. It’s impossible to pick even a few highlights that do justice to the value of this NARSOL convention (my first.)

But one thing I have to say is that until now, I never thought I’d find any true HEROES to emulate. To my great surprise, I encountered three speakers whose example challenged me to be my best self as I pursue my mission of healing and preventing sexual abuse: Paul Dubbeling, Lenore Skenazy, and Guy Hamilton-Smith.

Yet I’m not holding these inspiring people up as somehow “ideal” or “perfect.” A common theme of the conference both in the presentations and out in private discussions was how we are all perfectly imperfect humans. Yes, as Paul Dubbeling so eloquently pointed out, our “enemies” are the irrationality, fear, and retributive and reactionary impulses behind our counterproductive sexual abuse laws – but we all sometimes slip into these weaknesses, so really we have a lot in common with those on the “other side.”

Now more than ever I realize we can save everyone a lot of trouble by just owning our humanity and not getting hung up on flaws, but rather looking for the best in people, starting with ourselves. And if we want people to see beyond our labels to the precious people we are, we need to set the example.”