You ever have one of those mornings where you get out of bed, something quickly goes wrong and you wonder why you bothered to get out of bed, didn’t just throw the covers back over yourself and sleep all day?
That is how I can best describe coming out of the spiritual closet. Going against the grain spiritually, even in our more liberal times, is a bumpy ride. Our society speaks of tolerance and acceptance, yet unspoken are the conditions under which that tolerance and acceptance is given. I am outside the box of what could be considered “traditional” religion. I have been very cautious about sharing because of my own fears about what would happen if I did. Facing the value judgements of others and having to convince them of why I am quite ok with where I am at. Then it occurred to me that it isn’t really my responsibility to convince anyone of anything. That insight freed me to begin sharing more openly about my journey. Starting the blog was the beginning of that process. My next step was bit more bold. (At least for me)
Last week, I took what is for me a very bold step: I edited my Facebook profile. Now at this point I suppose you are wondering what the big to-do is about changing a Facebook profile and may be tempted to stop reading right here. However, I want to challenge you to keep reading. I promise I am going somewhere with this. Albeit, probably not in the most direct route so just hang in there.
A few weekends ago I added my blog link to my Facebook profile. Prior to posting the link I would send a private message to a few select friends, letting them know the blog was up and ready. Putting the link on my profile was a huge step for me, it was putting myself out there in a way I had not done previously. This blog is more than just a place where I try to come up with some clever topic every week. I am sharing a part of myself that would probably remain uncovered if not for the blog. Putting the link on Facebook may seem a small thing but it is giving people a link to me, an invitation to step into my world and that is sometimes a scary thing.
Then one night last week something came over me, a moment of courage (or craziness, it’s all a matter of perspective), I went for broke. I updated my profile in Facebook and edited the whole darn thing! Now on the surface what I added is inconsequential. Really, when you look at, it just words. However, those words to describe what I am exploring, what I find interesting, open a door. The door opens and allows me to breathe, to quit hiding away a part of myself that I have kept hidden, to finally be myself. On the other hand, opening the door also means being vulnerable. Vulnerable to what others think about you, what you are doing, judging whether it has value. The door works both ways, it can heal and it can hurt. I am the one who has to chose which it will be.
I am choosing that it will be an invitation. An invitation to be myself, my true self. Not the masks that I show to the world, but really me. It would be easier to go back to the more traditional path I was on but it wouldn’t be honest. I would be putting a mask back on that never really fit right in the first place. I felt like fraud then and I refuse to go back to that. Some may think I am lost, some may think I have just lost my mind but I assure you I am neither lost, nor insane. For the first time I am being…………me.