It has been a few weeks since I last sat down to write anything, and the reason being was that I've had a lot of things to deal with and a lot of soul searching.
When I first shaved my hair, and posted my very first photo on my Facebook account, a very wise friend messaged me privately. After the customary compliments to how good I looked and "good thing you have a nice shaped head" (which still makes me laugh, especially when one acquaintance told me "You are SO lucky that at least you have a nice shaped head"!); she told me that there is an ancient saying that when a woman cuts her hair, she is going to experience some major changes. She followed up by wishing me the best and hoped that the changes I'd see would be positive ones.
Arrogant, and a little self-righteous in my attitude of shaving my hair, I politely responded that I had done it all for change and that the change could only be a good one.
Oh wow... how I wish I'd known then what I know now. And how many times in life have we said the exact same thing?
I did this specifically for change, but the change I figured on would be an internal change and that there would be nothing outside of me that would be affected. What I did not factor in was... the Universe.
As is always the case when we make major decisions (and follow through), the Universe is already a few steps ahead of us. When small things started to change, I embraced them and the words of my friend rang in my ear. "Okay, so maybe she's got something there", I'd say to myself.
Well, I guess I could only describe it as a mega earthquake of potentially devastating effects. The Teutonic plates of my very existence shifted and things in my life would never be the same again.
When this "event" happened, it literally struck as an earthquake, out of the blue and totally caught me off guard. There had been a little "rumble" several months ago, but then the energy subsided and I had thought that the matter dealt with and simply "went away". What I did not expect that it was simply the beginning of a potential Armageddon.
The first thing to happen was anger; intense and absolute anger. The situation concerned a family member, who had been abusive and controlling my entire life. This person still attempts to control, manipulate, and abuse.
Now; interestingly, just prior to this seismic event, I had been soul searching and trying to understand why... How, I had attracted to my life such an abusive first marriage/husband. I mean, I did not grow up to expect to be married to such a man, so how did this happen?
Well, I guess I put it out there for the Universe to answer and to throw the answers in my face, shift my world, and create a massive change.
After the anger subsided, I expected to feel the sadness, the pain; but in its stead, I felt nothing. I was absolutely devoid of any real emotion for this person, and knowing my own reactions to life, and trusting in my intuition, realised that I was finally "done". I have no more emotion for this person other than them being a human being who walks this planet and who shares the same air that we all breathe. But as far as any emotional connection, they broke the final straw and sealed the deal. And I feel relieved, I feel freed; and for the first time, I am not questioning my reaction; it simply, just is.
For years, I have been able to simply let go and let God regarding many people... usually these people have been friends and any family members have been on my husband's side so that "loss" was easier to bear. And I have been coaching people to let go and let God all those individuals in their lives who drag them down, hold them down, and try to drown them and their dreams.
In my arrogance, I honestly thought that I had let go and released all these people from my life; but this event showed me different.
I really had to wrap my head around this in the past weeks since it happened. I tried to understand my emotions, my reaction, and what hold did this person have over me that allowed me time and time again to permit them back into my life, accepting them simply because they were family, but forever walking on eggshells around them. How old was I? And how old was I made to feel when I was around them, or in contact with them?
As I started to see things with the rose coloured... family coloured glasses removed; I started to see a lot more than what I bargained for. I started to see where things stemmed from, why I reacted often to things that happened around me. I began to understand. I now KNEW why I had attracted the kind of man into my life who abused me in so many different ways. When I looked more at the ways I was abused, I saw that they too mirrored what I had been "used" to. I realised that I not only came from a dysfunctional family, I came from an abusive one.
Suddenly, I was welled up with intense emotion. I could not understand the emotion which arose, and often I could not even identify it, but it was simply there. I would be laughing one minute, in sheer happiness; and the next, I was balling my eyes out.
When other members of my family decided that they wanted to "write me off", I took this as a moment of being free. For the very first time in my life, I am free. I am free to think, free to act, free to be; without consequence, without having to explain myself; I am finally free to be ME.
This was the change I had been striving for when I took my hair off, I just did not anticipate the work that would have to come with it. Not the kind of work I experienced anyway.
For the very first time in my life, I see those around me for who they truly are and what they truly are, and I am ready to let go and let God.
This process is not easy. It is wrought with pain, and anger, and emotions that one might not even be able to explain, but once you get through the storm, you can stand tall and proud and free. Those who anchor you down do not deserve to be in your life. I have learned my self-worth and I know that I don't deserve to have the kind of people in my life who are abusive, manipulative, or controlling. I deserve better; and so do you.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
You also know that I have received so much support on my decision (actually was told by someone in Walmart the other day "I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!" and she decided she was also going to take her's off too... okay she is close to bald with as short as her hair is anyway, so she had a jump-start on me! But GO FOR IT and EMBRACE IT! I say!); but along with the support and compliments, I've also received some flak. Well, with all good things come challenges and I think this is giving me a jump start on my grabbing more bulls by the horns and my skin sure is getting much thicker.
One of the things I have said was that I don't have cancer, nor am I a lesbian; as that is most often associated with a woman who is bald. Do I say that with disgust? No, I don't. I am just stating that as a fact. I remember many years ago (while married to my first husband), I had had my hair cut short and he and I were in a mall in Ottawa; walking, minding our own business, holding hand... Suddenly, this brash woman comes up behind me, grabs my hand and says to me "Hi gorgeous! You don't need any man to satisfy to, I can satisfy all your needs!" and then began to pull my arm (and me) away from my husband.
Okay, it was a compliment; but the approach... not-so-much.
I am the type of person who embraces one and all; it is not a matter of "tolerance" or "acceptance", but rather I just see people and not their sexual orientation (or colour, or disability, or anything else for that matter). I have many gay and lesbian friends (my closest friend is gay and has been in a relationship with his partner for over 20 years), but it never dawns on me to mention it to people.
To me, being gay or lesbian or straight is simply who a person is, and orientation is the focus on sex, what do I care what anyone else does behind their bedroom doors? Its not my business anymore than what I do behind my bedroom doors is anyone else's business.
What I have learned from having friends who are gay, is that it is about love; sure there is the popular belief that "all gays are promiscuous" and they can "never hold down a single lover", but how is that any different from the rest of us? What about the old adage that we have to "kiss many frogs before you find your prince"? Isn't it the same thing?
Humans have always been sexual, since the beginning of time; there has been sex before marriage for eons, it was just never "open" as it is since the sexual revolution. I was surprised when I learned that my own parents were living together "in sin" before I was born, even having me before they were married; that I have a brother that my mother had from a previous relationship - a far different story from the one I had grown up with being told by my Dad that I had to be a "virgin" when I got married, and that if I wasn't "no man" would want me. That my mother was some virginal saint and that had he had sex with her before marriage, he'd have never married her... especially if she had had a child.
WOW! The revelation of truth conversation when I was 19 had quite an impact on me! It took me years of therapy to embrace my own sexuality, deal with the fact that I had been sexually abused and therefore no longer "pure", and get to a place of understanding the lies. After that, well... I "kissed" a lot of frogs, married a toad, kissed some more frogs, before I finally found my "prince". With all that experience under my belt, I can definitely say that I have lived through hope, and desire, and wishing, and wanting, and not finding or having; and getting my heart broken all too many times.
So how was my seeking my prince any different from a man seeking his prince, or a woman seeking her princess? Is what I went through deemed "OK" just because the frogs I kissed were of the opposite sex?
As I was growing up, I started seeing the hatred and prejudice that is in our world. How could a person be detested for the person that they love, or the colour of their skin? I could not understand how human beings were treating other human beings in such a manner. I saw an example of this firsthand when I was still quite young. We had a friend in Hong Kong who was a well-known TV news anchor (in Hong Kong); and he was quite obviously gay. To me he was never "gay Joe*", he was just "Uncle Joe". In those days in Hong Kong, being gay was a crime and being caught "in the act" meant imprisonment or deportation for foreign nationals.
I guess someone did not like Joe and, well lets just say that he was "caught in the act" in his own home together with his Filipino lover. I never saw him again; he was immediately deported and his lover thrown into prison. It was a scandal that rocked Hong Kong and was fodder for gossip for months in the higher social circles which he had run in.
I remember feeling at the time, so overwhelmingly sad and strangely, constricted. As a small child, what could I do? But even as an adult when I look back on that memory, I wonder how could that kind of discrimination occur and what could I do to make a difference? How could such an intelligent, loving, and kind man be hated so much and by government officials who did not even know him, just for who he loved and what he did behind closed doors?
In time, I have seen more and more of this kind of hatred towards people; and quite frankly it has me disgusted, and I feel so intensely sad that humanity is still in such a place where this kind of hatred is still spewed, and in such countries which are considered progressive, modern... Christian.
So with all of this said, whenever I see so-called Christians spewing hatred towards those who are gay, see images of protesters holding signs which attack a persons sexuality and doing this all under the banner of God and Jesus; it sickens me. I am not sure what God or Jesus they are following, but it is not the same one that I know. It has sadden me to find this very strongly within my own faith also. I have friends who have been forced out of our faith (and many of them, cast out of their families) because of who they are and how they live their life. I hurt for them because their faith in God and Jesus is still strong, even though they know that the people are not true, they continue to pray daily, read their scriptures and live their life according to how they grew up; the only exception is that they are free to love.
I think one of the greatest movies ever made was Brokeback Mountain. It showed that sexual orientation was not about choice, it was about love and it is all love. It was a great love story and it was so painful to watch and see. It actually was the movie that helped my husband open his heart completely and embrace those who are gay and lesbian and see them as fellow brothers and sisters and not just seeing the labels.
Today, I saw a post that a friend of mine posted on Facebook which directed to an article about a Christian group who had attended a Pride Parade. At first, I was leery to read it, but knowing the person who posted it, decided to check it out. I did ready myself for the regular feelings of anger, angst, and pain as usually come in the Christian/Pride Parade mix. But what I read brought me to sobbing tears of joy, of relief, and of absolute hope.
There IS hope out there that those who are true Christians will reach out and embrace a person whom so many reject. Nathan speaks about his experience at Chicago's Pride Parade, where he and his friends gathered wearing T-shirts that said "I'm Sorry" and stood their with their signs of seeking forgiveness. They hugged and kissed gay men in the parade; and they are not gay! In fact, they are Christian and are "working for the re-humanization of the LGBT community" through The Marin Foundation.
Please do yourself a favour and read this article I Hugged a Man in His Underwear, it will bring you to tears and give you hope. I applaud Nathan who is the author and organizer of the "I'm Sorry" campaign, and I pray that he will continue this amazing work and that it will become a world-wide movement.
* Name has been changed