Yesterday was a very disturbing day for me. It was disturbing not only because I felt like my relationship was being attacked but because of all the feelings of inadequacy that this particular argument stirs up within me. I felt judged… and because I felt judged and attacked…I wanted to judge and attack. I wanted to say mean things to the people who were saying mean things about me. I wanted to point out inconsistencies in their stories and convince them that their backwards way of thinking was both hurtful and wrong. I wanted to, but I didn't because I was afraid that if I was honest both my kindness and my contempt would be taken the wrong way.
Today is a little different. I have had time to reflect and in my reflection I have realized that much of my anger is really pain. The pain of not being accepted by my fellow country-men. And the pain of not being honest about this type of pain manifests into silence and shame. A silence and shame that I DO NOT deserve. I know that there is nothing that I will ever be able to say to convince some people that loving another woman is right. But, I also know that “Right” is relative. “Right” varies drastically depending on who you are talking to and what you are talking about. And since, “right” and “wrong” have no real place within a universe that only recognizes “Is”… my desire to be accepted doesn’t really have much to do with being right. Is has to do with being honest and still feeling…”ok.”
A lot of people say that they don’t care what people think about them; that the only opinion that matters is their own. Sometimes I wish I felt that way too. But part of me knows that much of my strength is in my compassion. My being able to identify, understand, and empathize with people is one MY favorite things about ME. I don’t want to loose that, just because it hurts sometimes to be that way. So being honest with myself requires me to admit that what people think about me does matter. I want to feel valuable for who I am and for what I bring to the people and spaces around me. I want my life and my words to have impact on the people I come into contact with. Deep down I think I believe that if PEOPLE don’t like me, I won’t be successful. But I guess what is more important is that if I don’t like ME enough to be honest with people about my true thoughts and feelings, I may risk living in this perpetual state of fear and doubt.
So I guess I have a choice to make.
My choice is not to live a perpetual state of fear and doubt. My choice is to be honest both...about who I date AND the fact that I CARE what other people think about it.
Will their feelings change my actions? Probably not.
Does that make it hurt any less? Absolutely not.
I am going to resist the urge to wrap this up and make it deep or pretty. I am going to fight the feeling to tie this to an affirmation or some sort of life lesson or takeaway. The truth is I am in love with a woman that I want to marry. It hurts my feelings when people around think I don’t deserve that right. It hurts my feelings because there is a part of me that wants to be accepted. I have no desire to change opinions, or religious affiliations, or other people's values.
I want to be accepted because I am human first.
I want to be accepted because not being accepted can be lonely and painful.
I want to be accepted for the same reasons that everyone else does.