In my first post I stated that some family and friends “have left the building” and that upset some folks just as I figured it would.
Hey… traffic is slow during rush hour and we all know it but we can’t stop going to work. We have to plod through it and keep our sanity and do what we are committed to do for our employers. (My employer just happens to be my soon to be former wife.) So there…you just got to experience one of my analogies first-hand.
I knew some would be upset, angry, mad, confused or even down right ticked off, but I will not stop blogging. I have grown more in the past 24 hours than I have in the past several months. I believe that some people have a less-than-stellar view of me because in the past I have failed to properly deal with my feelings, emotions and behaviors. I have sat down when I should have been standing (and vice versa), I have been quiet when I should have been outspoken (and vice versa), and I have been weak when I should have been strong (and vice versa) . I have said things to others that I should have said directly to the offending person. NO MORE. I won’t be a pacifist any longer. If I am wrong, I will admit it and move forward, if I feel used, I will tell you. If you ask me how I’m doing, I will tell you the truth. If you ask me to like something and I don’t I will say so. I WILL BE HONEST. No frills, no side-stepping and I expect the exact same from you please. That is not a ticket for either of us to be unkind, rude or condescending to each other. There should never be con descent in speaking the truth. And while I’m talking about this folks, please remember that all truth does NOT have to be spoken. If you know something about someone and telling them would NOT bring healing or restoration, then please keep a lock on it. If you must tell someone, please call a random phone number in another country speak your gossip then hang up. There you’ve got it off your chest.
So now… let me address those that have “left the building.” Some have left the building because I am gay, but in full disclosure, others left the building before that time (and this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back) because of past events or how I presented myself in the past. I have not always been who I am becoming today. You see, concealing who you really are for nearly 43 years causes some severe character and behavioral flaws. Those flaws present themselves in various forms both physical, spiritual and behavioral. I’m not a Doctor or Social Worker. I told you… I’m barely street smart. I always tease my former wife that while she graduated Cum Laud, I on the other had graduated “thank-da-Lawd.” I don’t even know if I spelled that right. I’m a low “C” student which makes me a little shy of average. Hey… but I’m darn funny. I am well aware that I struggle with self-worth, acceptance, fear, shame and many other things that make me want to withdraw and be alone. I find it difficult to be in places where I am not in control and I will usually overcompensate for my weaknesses to take charge and this can make people uncomfortable from time to time. I’m learning to be more sensitive in that area. Wow did I just admit to being sensitive maybe?
I do not know what all my flaws are and how they have been manifested in the past, but those of you who have “left the building” sure do. You have been quick to point them out to me or share them with others. I’m not angry… just stating the obvious. I likely gave you reason to be unhappy with me. You have asked me to “own up to it.” and I get that. But what exactly does “owning up to it” change? How does owning up to it bring forgiveness and healing? Do you want a winner and a looser, a right and a wrong? Wouldn’t you just rather me work on my flaws and become a better person? But please… don’t be bitchy with me because your flaws are different from mine. You have contributed to my frustration and craziness and I have contributed to yours. If you want a reset button to erase all of your past indiscretions, (and trust me… I love reset buttons) then you are REQUIRED to offer that same ‘reset’ to everyone around you. If not, you speak in hypocrisy. You know nothing about someone until you have walked in their shoes and lived in their home and worked at their work. Treat others like you wish to be treated. Lets practice mercy, grace and forgiveness. And no… I will not subject myself or my three ladies to any event or gathering where those of you seek to point out our flaws and stand in judgement of the way that we choose to navigate our life. It is my responsibility to protect and shield those three ladies and that is what I will do even if it means foregoing “tradition.” Because when it’s all over here on this earth and I’m on my way to heaven, It will be those three ladies who knew exactly who I am and what I lived for. I made them promise to cremate me and go on a cruise to dump my ashes. Fish Food!
We have a duty as friends and family to protect and serve those we love. You cannot serve and protect someone who you do not believe in or that you believe you are better than. If we say we live a cup-half-full life but treat others like they don’t even deserve a cup, then same on us all.
I will not participate in conversations where we go through each others trash container to see who has more trash or whose trash is trashier. …But you said this and she said that and we heard and you heard that he said that she said that you said that I said… blah blah blah. And to top it all off, I have messages, emails and text messages to prove that your flaws are much worse than mine. REALLY? REALLY? We humans all seem to hear exactly what we want to hear until we get busted for saying something we shouldn’t have. Why is it that we wish to “catch” someone doing something wrong instead of something right. It’s called human nature or selfishness… take your pick, the result is the same… DIVISION. Are you the type that complains fervently about poor service but fail to give praise when you have good service? C’mon be brutally honest with yourself. Next time you are at a restaurant and you get good (not Perfect) service, ask for the waiter/server to come over with his/her manager and publicly in front of their boss praise them. You will feel great and so will the server. And don’t forget to leave an extra tip.
Finally I’d like to address this statement: “But you have changed so drastically… It’s like you are a whole different person… You are not who you used to be”…YES I HAVE!… yes I am, and no I’m not, and if we are alive, we should be looking for opportunities of growth and change too. I have accepted that I am flawed but being gay is not one of them. In fact this post have very little to do with Why I Am gay. I still don’t know the answer to that question any more that you know the answer to the question of why you have the color eyes that you do. You just do… It’s how God made you.
So you asked and I answered and you probably don’t even remember your original question. I do. “Why don’t you just own it?” I have and I will own “it” whatever “it” is, but I will not let “it” define my future. Please don’t let the past rule your future. Stop looking for someone to blame… someone to be right and someone to be wrong. It’s so unbecoming. I have a question… Why don’t YOU own it? Own what?… I’m so glad you asked. Own your future, own your today! Commit to look past petty flaws. Love, support and protect those around you. For some of us, the damage is done and it is irreparable, but yet do not let that define you as you move forward with new relationships and friendships commit to seek the good and let it cover the bad. Do not give yourself an excuse to be judgmental and combative. You will be happier and you’ll have more friends.
I am thankful to the over 300 people who read my first post. I am shocked and elated. I had no idea I could write. Please don’t cherry-pick my blog. Don’t read it if you are just looking for fodder to make yourself feel better about your past or my past. Today is a new day for me. Today I choose to hit my reset button and in good measure, you get to as well. No judgement, nothing held back. Past is past and the future is now. I’ll be clear, this does not give everyone a pass to be in your circle of trust, it’s a commitment to practice kindness, mercy and forgiveness and not judgement going forward. Some relationships are not recoverable but it doesn’t have to be combative any longer either.
I just had the loveliest conversation with my sweet mother. We laughed, we loved, we shared and we cried. But most of all we communicated. I sense a new relationship of love and support growing. I’ll blog about that next time
Mercy, Grace and LOVE.