Newsletter: Be You
I never know month to month what I will write about, and as I sit down to write this, the idea for this newsletter just came to me. Last month’s theme was, “Help Yourself,” and this month I am setting the focus back on you. Why?
Because you are the most important person in the world. There is zero contest and absolutely zero room for discussion on this issue.
Last week I celebrated National Coming Out Day by “coming out.” Of course I did that for the first time more than six years ago, but I have found in the past six years that it will be a process that will continue for my life. I’m not afraid anymore, and why I tweeted “Proud to be a gay man in this world!” ”, I meant it.
I have been blessed with so many things, and I would not be me without the gay part. But in all my travels, I have found it incredibly difficult for myself and others to be their true selves.
I met someone in Washington, D.C. at the NHRC conference last week who had come to the realization that they needed to spend some time reflecting on what they were really putting into their life.
She spoke with an eloquence of someone who knew they were not being their true self, but was wanting to fight and find who that is. When you’re not living up to who you really are, you not only hurt yourself (and remember that you are the most important person to you), but you hurt others.
You take away from this world your own beauty and that is a precious gift from God (or whomever you give that power to).
I’ll never forget when I came out to my friend Paul. I knew he would be okay with my disclosure but it is a personal disclosure of
vulnerability. What he said in response has stuck with me: “Thank you for the gift you gave me.”
And he’s right. I gave him a part of me, through honesty, and each day that I stand tall; whether as a gay man, an athlete, a politician, or just a person, I bring beauty into the world.
TAKE BABY STEPS
Living your life is a process; especially if you have built up walls to protect yourself. Believe me, I know all too well what that is like.
I’ve been doing a lot of self reflecting lately along with watching some old television shows and recently, one episode of Home Improvement had a wonderful line that relates to life and how we chose to live it.
Tim’s old college roommate was visiting and wanted to behave like old times. By this time, Tim had grown up, was a married father of three and couldn’t, and didn’t want to be his old self. But he had to stand up – slowly – for the man he had become. He went to his backyard to speak with his wise neighbor, Wilson, who had this lesson for him:
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
Wilson was right. When we grow up, we have a chance to become who we are. Luckily, we’re given many chances in life, but, this moment is a great opportunity for you to reflect, see, and ask yourself:
Are you living as your true self?