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Trust yourself

05/28/2012

It’s hard to trust someone who tells lies – even when that someone is yourself. If that sounds rather obvious at first glance, the idea isn’t always quite so clear when you’re hiding in the closet. And late bloomers have all spent some time doing that.

Hiding in the closet doesn’t necessarily mean just hiding from the rest of the world. In my case, and I think this is true for many of us late bloomers, I was hiding from myself.

For years, I made a concerted effort to understand myself and be honest. While I knew I was attracted to males, I knew – at least I convinced myself – that I was basically straight and should be living that way.

And yet …

Even when I was at my best, when business and marriage were going well, and all seemed right with the world, there was a nagging doubt, a shadow awareness that I was telling a lie. I had lived this way from the dawn of my self-awareness, and it created a life-long pattern of self-doubt.

Of course this was all operating totally in the background, but it was there nonetheless. And it had negative consequences that played out in every area of my life. If I was lying about something as fundamental as my sexual orientation, what else about me could possibly be true? Talk about a set-up for failure!

What’s the lesson for late bloomers, then?

First, when you acknowledge the lie and come out – both to yourself and everyone else – you have taken a tremendous step. And the pain and pressure relief can be utterly amazing. But it’s only the first step. Sometimes the task of living out is harder than the task of coming out.

Regardless of external circumstances – the degree of resistance or acceptance you receive from family, friends and colleagues, whether coming out fits with your faith tradition – self-doubt will hold you back. If it’s as deeply ingrained as my self-doubt, it can cause you to question all your choices.

So, what to do?

Learning to trust yourself after doing otherwise for a big chunk of your life, can be tough, but it’s possible and it always pays dividends. I still have to work at it, but when I get shaky, I go back to my big leap of faith for inspiration. I came out. I trusted myself enough to do that one thing, and because of it, life is better.

Even if your coming out was under difficult circumstances – you were outed, or you’re mired down in a rancorous divorce – you no longer have to lie about who you are. You no longer have to watch over your shoulder, afraid someone will figure you out. You are the true you.

Take that fundamental nugget of truth, celebrate it and own it, and you’ll be amazed what it does for your sense of self worth. When you are true to yourself – and to others – about who you are, you can trust yourself and build a whole new you. A you without the doubt.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 05/28/2012 1:52 PM

    You got me to thinking:

    If God’s nature is immeasurable and infinite love, and if God is always and at every moment gifting of God’s self to God’s creation; if God is relentlessly pursuing us and will not rest until he/she captures our hearts and minds, then this all begins to make sense. God is always directing God’s self outward-always pursuing, always creating, always gifting to his/her creation.

    If our individual “operating systems” are, at their core, the Spirit of immeasurable and limitless Love, then the “true you” is discovered and recognized beyond, but certainly not separate from, a finite or visible level. Knowing who we are NOT leads us to knowing who we are. When one contemplates and opens one’s self to the Infinite Goodness from which one was “birthed,” one then knows the futility of and the anxiety that comes from crafting an identity divorced from our spiritual, Beloved essence. When we rely on finite self alone to construct self worth and identity, we then are fragmented and no longer recognize ourselves. We begin to hate and despise ourselves because we have rejected (but more likely, forgotten) the Spirit that put on flesh and bones-our flesh and bones. This “spiritual amnesia” of sorts causes us to grasp on to impermanent things that we know, at a deeper level, will fail us. God calls us to both remember and to forget- to forgot ourselves long enough so that we can remember that God is in us and we are in God. It is then we begin to recollect, recognize and love who we are. No longer are we the objects of our contemplation, but God who lives in and through us. Not only does God’s spirit live in and through us, it is God’s heart that pulses inside us. God’s Spirit has gazed upon the human creature recognized itself and, likewise, the creature has gazed upon Spirit and recognize itself. And they are madly in love!

    See Jürgen Moltmann, The Spirit of Life (pg 305) http://books.google.com/books?id=S0iZ0ZX_6ZQC&lpg=PA305&ots=YS0HwzQPgb&dq=if%20in%20the%20trinitarian%20doxology%20God%20is%20worshipped%20and%20glorified%20for%20his%20own%20sake&pg=PA305#v=onepage&q=if%20in%20the%20trinitarian%20doxology%20God%20is%20worshipped%20and%20glorified%20for%20his%20own%20sake&f=false

    • 05/28/2012 1:55 PM

      Thanks, Greg.

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