I recently wrote a piece called, “Gay… and Terrified“.
A few hours after I published it, I talked to a friend who “came out” to me as a victim of domestic violence. She is not gay, but she is leaving and she is absolutely terrified about it. It turns out that her “real me” is all of these things that her husband finds intolerable – strong, creative, social, brave, beautiful, and on and on – and she, like me all those years ago, is leaving.
This is terrifying in so many familiar ways because… well, there are so many really fine reasons to feel terrified. For example:
- Being a single mother, which may very well be the only thing on this planet harder than being a mother.
- Being financially responsible for herself and her young children.
- Being forced to eventually leave her children alone with a man that she knows doesn’t have/isn’t capable of having their best interest at heart.
- Being alone.
- Being rejected by at some part, if not a large part of their shared community – including friends, in-laws, and in some cases even her family.
- Being all of the things that for years she said she couldn’t be because he was holding her back.
- Being all of the things that she will realize she still is, even in his absence.
- Being crazy… because that what he’s told everyone for years when she tried to leave and didn’t, or left and returned, or sent him away and then let him come back. What if he is right?
I could go on and on but we all know how this works, right?
Next: Afraid? Perhaps. Be you anyway.
It can feel terrifying to free some previously imprisoned part of ourselves, to step into something that has always been true, even if we didn’t know about it. The door is opened and it feels to good to be a whole person.
And, I’ve watched people come out of all sorts of closets: You are creative. You are strong. You are gay or not. You talk to dead people or not. You are a Christian, or a Buddhist, or a Witch, or a New Age Spiritual Woo Woo Master… or not. You are an artist. You are a singer, a vegetarian, or the kind of woman who gives birth in a bathtub at home… or not. You are a million beautiful and wonderful pieces of magic, woven together perfectly… making you exactly what the world needs you to be.
Once we’ve accepted a piece of our self puzzle and snapped it into place, it may mean that to live in our integrity, things that used to be true for us are simply no longer true. There can be lots of terror in that, in the letting go or at least being willing to let go, of the parts of your life that aren’t real.
Terrified? Yes, perhaps… but it doesn’t make it any less true.
Come out, come out, wherever you are! The world needs the real you. You need the real you. And, I’m a real-you junkie… waiting for you to show yourself.