The one thing you'll need in order to love yourself enough to be yourself.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt the anxiety, embarrassment or shame of being caught in an uncomfortable interaction or an awkward situation where we felt like we just flat out didn’t belong. Remember that? I don’t know about you, but I just wanted to run away from it as fast as possible. Now, imagine if that uncomfortable situation was actually your very own body. And imagine if it wasn’t just one or two isolated incidents, it happened every single day of your life. Not so easy to have self love or to escape now is it?
Calling Caitlyn Jenner
As a psychiatrist I can tell you that the true source of most of our misery is that most of us are living a life that we feel is not our own. We’re living it for someone else. Our mother. Our father. Our siblings. Our children. Our friends. Our teachers. Our coaches. Our jobs. We try to make ourselves think, feel and do things that are in line with what everybody else thinks and feels we should do. We sacrifice the joys of following our dreams in order to go along with the herd -- not to make any ripples in the stream. And that just never works…at least not for very long. Nowhere is this more true than in our relationships, especially the relationship we have with ourselves.
I’m Looking For Caitlyn
Regardless of what you think about heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, gay men, lesbian women or transgendered people, the simple fact is we all have a right to love who we want. You have a right to love who you want. Forget what anybody else thinks about it because it’s not his or her life. This is your life. Live it.
Anybody Seen Caitlyn?
Lets’ just get the obvious out of the way first. Photo-shopping, airbrushing, gifted plastic surgeons and masterful photographers, like Annie Leibovitz, aside, Caitlyn Jenner looks fabulous! For a 65 year-old woman she looks fabulous! Hell, for a 45 year-old woman she looks fabulous. For a 65 year-old woman who used to be man, she looks amazing!
Hey Caitlyn, Are You There?
Most of us make the bulk of our decisions in life based on what we think our peer groups will think about them. Think about that. The homes we live in. The cars we drive. The clothes we wear. The company we keep. The careers we choose. The foods we eat. The movies we watch. The books we read. The experts we listen to. If nobody you know actually cared about or valued those things, would you still make the same choices? You were born with the right to live the life you want as long as that life isn’t taking anything away from or otherwise harming anybody else. That’s our right. Mine. Yours. Everybody’s. But to live that life takes strength. It takes Olympian sized reserves of strength. If only she had some frame of reference that she could draw from to muster that strength now…oh…wait a minute…she does!
She’s finally living the life she wants. She’s being her own person. Her own woman. Right down to the ‘C’ starting her name, as opposed to the oh-so-obvious ‘K’ she could have used. What she’s doing takes strength. What she’s doing takes power. What she’s doing takes resolve. It takes bravery. I think that ‘C’ also stands for Courage! It takes flat out guts to make the choices she’s made and to finally claim her freedom and independence in the way she’s claiming it! It takes courage to live the life you want. Unfortunately, life beats a lot of us up, and a precious few of us actually have the courage left to go out and do that. But the happiest among us are the ones who actually do.
What makes you move confidently in the direction of your dreams undeterred by what others think?
What allows you to rise to the challenge and meet a scary situation head on?
What makes the elephant charge her tusk in the misty mist or the dusky dusk?
What makes the muskrat guard his musk?
So here’s the question: If you had the courage to love yourself openly enough to be yourself in front of everybody, what would your life look like today?
It’s so nice to finally meet you.
Until next time,