Monthly Archives: February 2014

Being Myself.

woman breathing

As a rule, I have for most of life, described that being myself was difficult for me. With some persons or situations in my life, I would often think that it was more challenging to be my true self. Whether it was being out to my family as a lesbian; talking about my political views with certain groups of people; or telling someone what I really wanted at a restaurant, it seemed hard to be truthful and transparent.

Lately, however, it seems that I have been given countless opportunities to challenge my previous beliefs and expand my wisdom, especially in the areas of knowing myself, and really tuning in to who I am. The result is, that I no longer believe that being myself in the world, in any situation or circumstance, is hard. Being myself is always an easy choice.

I love dancing in my kitchen, singing to Michael Jackson. I feel free to walk around in my pajamas, look at myself naked in the mirror, or burp out loud. I feel at ease to be quiet, or to have deep conversations. I have felt most often in my life that I could be my most true self in the comfort of my own home. And, there are many people that could also identify with that; that being your true self, at home, in solitude or with the people closest to you, is easy.

I am here to say that it is always easy. To hold my partner’s hand on the street in downtown Scranton is easy. To go to a restaurant for dinner and be able to tell them I am vegan, and see how they can accommodate me, and to be at a table with others that aren’t vegan and feel at peace. To express my views about most anything, with anyone, and know that I am secure and okay.

I have many times expressed how hard it is, to be myself in a world that is unkind, unwelcoming, cruel and judgmental. Yet, the difficulty that I see in any situation is of my own choosing. What I have called hard, is merely where I have allowed my fears to dictate what I choose.

I can always make the choice to dance in the kitchen, kiss my partner in public, and express my views about something; and, at the same time, I can be aware what fears that may elicit in me, and how to accept or ease those fears.

Fear can paralyze a person, and convince us that what we really want, or who we really are, isn’t all that important. It can seem convincing about why it is safer to stay quiet and small. Yet, when we free ourselves from our fears, in order to be open and visible to the world, in all ways, we change the world, little by little.

To give to a charity, volunteer my time, or speak out about something are all worthy ways in which to change the world. Yet, the way that I believe changes the world for the better in the most effective way, is for me to simply be me in it.


Beyond the Impulse.

I have been creating a new kind of happy in my life lately. In the midst of weather woes, health issues, and family needs, I have been finding more peace and contentment than I think that I have ever known. In my whole life.

This has come about for many deep reasons, but it all really comes down to one, simple thing: I have been living my life beyond the impulse.

I love to be impulsive, like get up and go somewhere that I hadn’t planned on. Buying myself something special that I really want. Writing to or calling someone out of the blue. But, there is something interesting that I have been discovering about me and impulse.

When I am impulsive, I tend to act without fully considering my choice. It doesn’t make all of my choices wrong choices; but it really means that at times, I have been not fully present to the choice that I was making. If I wanted a drink, or three, I would have them, simply because the impulse was striking me. If I wanted to eat junk food because I was upset or depressed, I would allow myself that. If I wanted to spend money, lots of it at times, on something that wasn’t planned, I would do it.

And then, the guilt would often set in. Moments, hours, days after I would make the choice, I would feel massive amounts of guilt for choosing something that I wished, after all, I hadn’t. Or, that I at least had thought more deeply about. So, even if it was a sound, good choice, the guilt would shadow any perspective that I might have had about it.

What I have been doing now, in the last couple of weeks, is getting more acutely present to my life than I have ever been. I breathe through the moments, if they are difficult ones, and remember that they are part of the mosaic of my life as much as the joys. When I want wine, or dessert, or an extra hour of sleep, I breathe through that too, just to ensure that my decision is based on me being in my life, right then and there, rather than because there is something that feels urgent, pressing, or uncomfortable so I need to numb it in some way.

And, the beauty of it all is, that when I am present to every decision that I make, there is no room for guilt. It doesn’t mean that I won’t make choices that end up not working well for me; or that I might not have regret for choosing something, or not. It just means that my actions are fully thoughtful, I am embracing the process as well as the result, and I get to own fully what I choose.

To me, when I cater to my impulse, I miss an opportunity to really be in the moments of my life. And, the moments of this life ARE my life itself.