So often, we don’t allow ourselves to be truly honest with ourselves or others about our feelings because we don’t want to accept them.
Because those feelings aren’t necessarily pretty.
They’re aren’t necessarily what we want, or what we think others want.
We think it will be easier to keep the truth from ourselves, and others.
There may be some psychic wisdom in that compartmentalization.
And then in certain moments, being honest with ourselves can create such relief.
Because once we know what’s true, we can work with it.
We can chose to share with others. Or not. Regardless, once we have met ourselves, we can then have agency in what we do with that information. Otherwise, likely, it will leak out in unexpected and perhaps undesirable ways.
Here’s a story of how this showed up for me:
Last week, I got back to San Francisco from two months away from my “regular life.” That time away I felt a deep sense of meaning, purpose and belonging. In coming back, I felt alienated and alone. I felt a distinct lack of belonging, which cut in sharp contrast to the feelings of the summer.
My mom was in town to visit my grandpa, and I had meals with her & other members of my biological family.
They all love me, and I love them. And… the culture shock between where I had been and this configuration of humans, I felt like I was from another world. And they told me as much.
People say that I am in a “different world” a lot. (More on that in another blog post.) Ouch.
Even though I critique the shit out of everything, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to belong. And it hurt, last Friday, to feel like I didn’t belong.
Instead of continuing to strengthen narratives that I didn’t belong, I decided that I wanted to try to talk to my mom about what was hard for me in that gathering. I texted her the next morning and asked to talk. It was a couple days before we had some 1-on-1 time when the moment felt right, and then it was. She gave an opening to talk about how I was, I shared about my life, and then I started crying, talking about how I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere — particularly in the two places where I wanted to in that moment — in my biological family and my home.
She met me and my tears with love.
And I felt more belonging.
Often, not knowing is true. Sadness is true. Hurt is true.
Those feelings can be inconvenient. We might not have all the tools we need to deal with those difficult emotions skillfully. And that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
There is so much more I could say about the tools and strategies I used this past week in a major transition. And for now, I’ll keep it simple.
I encourage us to meet what’s hard with love. Love creates more space for us to be honest.
I want to be in relationship and communities where we can practice being with what’s true.
Retreats are where I’ve found that loving space to practice being honest with myself. So I’m offering two retreats this fall. If you’d like to join me IRL, there are two opportunities to do so this fall, on the East and West Coast of the occupied United States. Click here to find out more.
This is one entry in my current project of daily writing (#inprocessinpublic #progressoverperfection #questionreflectact), where I will be developing and sharing the Queer Body Love body of work. I don’t know what liberation looks like, but I want that for you, and for us. I aim to share stories, resources, ideas, tips, tools and generally what I see, think, pray, and question. These posts are about me sharing a personal practice of being with the question of what that might look like in the hopes that it might be useful.
Want to delve into these questions more? If you’re drawn to these questions and are interested in personal support from me as your guide as you explore that in your own body and life, check out my 1-on-1 coaching. I can sit with you with so much love and compassion as you orient in the direction of more ease and comfort in your body and with yourself. If you're not a cis man and you’re wanting IRL community around all of these themes, check out the two fall Queer Body Love retreats.
Together we'll take a stand for new possibilities.