Monthly Archives: June 2009

Rocking my purpose!

The more that I put myself into a situation of trepidation, of uncertainty, the more certain that I become.  I was asked on the spur of the moment to do something for work that meant travel, training, and putting myself out there, more than ever.  Again, fear, fear being at the center of what holds us back,  that keeps us from being truly authentic- FEAR.  Fear was part of my embarking on this work adventure, but I needed to not give it much attention. 

 

What a burden, a source of angst, a barrier to which there seems to be no escape for so many. 

 

I am not sure at what point in my life I made a conscious decision to rock my purpose.  It seems as if I have been rocking my purpose for some time, at least, that is what it looks like from my perspective today.  You see, I don’t know if my memory serves me well; I don’t know that I have ever questioned what I am doing here, why am I meant to do what I am doing in my life. 

 

Meaning?  I don’t ever remember thinking aas a child, that I must achieve a certain goal, or fulfill a certain aspiration in order to be truly happy.  I mean, I have had moments, hours, days of unhappiness, conflict, and deep sadness.  But, overall, I have had a truly, happy life so far.  And, not because only great, fortunate things have happened to me.  But, because I feel happy, inside, deeply within.  Soul love, soul bliss, soul happiness.  So, I have never thought that my main purpose in life was to have a certain career, create the right kind of family, or to live or work in a particular place. 

 

And, most recently in my awesome life, I have fully discovered my purpose, and am actively rocking it.

 

In a big way.

 

My purpose?  Spread love, spread joy, help others, teach, learn, love life as fully as I can.  Rocking my purpose means living life fully, and loving myself first and foremost, and then, sharing that awesomeness with others. 

 

My own awesomeness.  At first glance, at first thought, talking about my own awesomeness could sound so arrogant, so full of self.  At least, a first glance from those that don’t yet know me. 

 

If you know me, in 3D or cyber, you know that me declaring my own, absolute awesomeness is expressing the complete, soulful love that I have, for the self that I present to you.  For, only in fully being myself, my real self, my vulnerable, quirky, fascinating self, do I fully rock my purpose in life. 

 

For my purpose in life has nothing to do with the money I make, the status I achieve, or the property I acquire.  Rocking my purpose has everything to do with the true contents of my heart and soul.  The real deal.  The true me.

 

Declaring my absolute awesomeness, you see, IS rocking my purpose.

 

TOTALLY.

Soup or salad?

This post is prompted by a discussion that I have been having over with someone at Facebook.  It is also based on my beliefs, at least some of them, in relation to culture, our cultural identities, and how most persons in society view others.

 

Adam Lambert, American Idol’s second place winner, for those of you who don’t know him, is on the cover of this week’s Rolling Stone magazine.  In it, he definitively comes out as a gay man.  His style is flamboyant, his singing brilliant, and his energy is contagious, my my opinion.  Yet, there is some sense that his coming out does little good for the LGBT community; there are others that believe that his coming out is a great asset for LGBT persons everywhere.  And, this is where that difference of opinion seemed to get stuck:  his persona, or appearance.

 

For some in this discussion, they believed that it is all well and good that Adam is flamboyant, unique, AND gay, but that by being that way, he is not a good poster person for the LGBT community, because he doesn’t appear “mainstream” enough for the general public to tolerate that image.  Others of us believe that he is unique, and youthful, and absolutely applaud him as coming out.  That takes guts, no matter how comfortable you are with it.  AND, that members of the LGBT community, whether celebrity or not, are not here to make our appearance or selves more “pallatable” to the general public, in order for them to feel that we are deserving of equal marriage, equal rights, hate crimes legislation, or fair treatment in general. 

 

To associate one’s appearance, whether it be what we are born with or create our appearance to be, with what our sexual orientation is, to cater to that is to perpetuate myths, generalizations and stereotypes.  It diminishes the fact of who we are as people, by thinking that if we are not in an appropriate enough “package”, we might not get the rights that we are looking for.

 

I just don’t see that as the best way to approach it.

 

If we respond to stereotyping, homophobia, heterosexism, whatever the issue is, by appearing in a way that our dissenters feel most comfortable with, rather than who we really are or want to be, then we are submitting to every one of those stereotypes.  If Adam as himself, flamboyant dresser with black nails and a colorful story, says that he is gay and proud of it, is there a danger that some people may associate the LGBT community in general with that image?  Possibly. They might also possibly associate it with Ellen Degeneres and Portia DeRossi, and the fact that they are married.  They might associate it with Chastity Bono, who is now coming out stating that she is having gender reassignment surgery.

 

That doesn’t mean that we have to only present our most “mainstream” LGBT celebrities to represent our cause.  I don’t think so anyway.  I think what we need to do, instead, is to educate and inform the general public about what we are and what we are not.  And, we are not in some predictable package.

 

American culture, of which sexual/affectional orientation is one part of, has historically be defined as a melting pot.  America was the place where millions of immigrants came and thus this country became a melting pot of cultures, appearances, beliefs and the like.  A cream soup, if you will.  All the cultures come into one country, and eventually, even though there are many different types of cultures in the cream soup pot, all of the ingredients blend into one, so that the premise is that we are all the same, we are all one.  There are no major differences.

 

The more current descriptor that is often used to describe American and the cultures within it is the salad bowl.  The salad bowl is made up of several different ingredients, various colors, shapes, sizes, tastes and textures.  When you mix up all of those ingredients, every one of those cultural identities, they become part of the salad, BUT, they also maintain their individual identity.  They stay tomato, a cucumber, an avocado.  Those unique qualities are intact, and only serve to enhance and add to the overall flavor of the salad, the culture, the society.  Me, I’m a salad girl, for sure.

 

We all want to connect with human beings, with other people that we have common experiences with.  We all want to be heard and understood.  We may even want to know that there is someone out there in the world who represents part of who we are and what we are about.  However, I believe it is dangerous to think that we should generally think that we need to put forth a certain image for others, on behalf of a segment of our cultural identity, especially if it is to make others comfortable, or to put forth our rights.

 

The civil rights movement didn’t become a movement by staying quiet, by complying with what others thought their representation should look like.  It became mighty by many persons of many races and many different walks of life getting involved and stepping up.

 

So, think about it.  Would you prefer soup, or salad? 

The music inside

I was conducting a training last week on working with LGBTQ youths in the child welfare system, and part of the training was a panel discussion.  A local support group for LGBTQ teens had some of their group members who were willing to come speak to us about life, coming out, and self knowledge from their own perspective.  One of the young men shared a story with the group about attending a PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) meeting.  This young man was at the meeting, and a man came to the meeting who is in his 70’s.  That older man, for the first time in his whole adult life, came out as a gay man at that PFLAG meeting.  The older man stated in that declaration:  “I don’t want to die with the music still inside of me.”

 

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard that statement.  Not just in the power that it held for that man, in that moment and all of the moments that led up to that decision making time.  Sure, the power of that was unmistakable.  However, the other powerful element of that story speaks to those that live in silence about who they really are, afraid to be open, afraid to share or reach out truthfully, and the circumstances under which many LGBTQ youths live.  It speaks clearly to the fears about coming out and having supports available to them. 

 

We all have such music inside of ourselves, symphonies that we have created by the lives that we live.  Colors of talent and gifts and strengths, love and faithfulness and hope and joy.  We have soulful melodies filled with angst and heartbreak and misunderstanding and deep sadness.  The variety that resides there within us is endless, and it is essential that we recognize our creation of these symphonies.

 

However, just like when we enjoy a piece of music, or a good movie or book, we like sharing it with others.  It speaks to what we like, what strikes a chord with us, and how those things connect us with others around us.  That music that we carry around and are constantly revising and creating deserves to be unleashed on the world.  For in being who we are truly meant to be, and in showing that beautiful self to others, that is what it is to truly live.

 

Don’t keep that light under a bushel.  Set the symphony inside yourself free for the world to hear.

 

Supermassive black hole

We all get discouraged, don’t we?  There are times when it seems that life will not get better, that our circumstances cannot possibly improve, that no one seems to understand what we think, feel, or believe.  It can feel like we are in a black hole, unable to get out.

 

We all struggle, we all have hard times.  But hard times are not for forever, even when they feel like they are.  They are for this moment only.  They seem to last an eternity, when actually, they are a brief interlude in this thing that we call life.  They create bumps in our road, obstacles in our path, dark clouds in our skies.

 

But, they do not last forever, even when they feel like they do or that they will.

 

Have faith.  Be patient.  Pray.  Believe.  The sun will come out again.

 

You are loved, you love others, you are appreciated and embraced and coveted by someone, many people in this world.  You are a person of worth and value; your soul possesses great strength, determination, and love.  You are worthy.  You are deserving of greatness.

 

Pick yourself up.  Don’t lie there when you fall.  Get back up and try again. Even when we feel too tired to try again.  Keep going, one foot in front of the other.  Don’t despair, because life does turn around again.  Even when it feels like it doesn’t, or it won’t. 

 

Stay present in this moment, JUST this moment.  Life will get better for you.  Life can be a challenge or a joy, or sometimes, both at the same time.  But life is just a series of millions of moments.  So, this is just one of those moments in time.  In the next moment, your life could be changing into something you never dreamed.

 

Be strong.  Have faith.  Lean on others.  Love yourself.  See your own awesomeness.

 

Be.  Live.  Love.  Rejoice.