In any situation that we are facing in life there are always two choices we can make. Regardless of the immediate details, we have the choice to react out of fear, or out of love. There’s also that great quote by Miles Davis that feels appropriate here, “There are no mistakes.” So I’d like to say that even when we react to our lives out of fear, I believe that life eventually, through pain or otherwise, leads us back to making choices from a place of loving ourselves.
I am in training to be a Dance/Movement Therapist and have come to this route via being a dancer, choreographer, teacher of dance, and lifetime spiritual seeker- you can see more of my work at LandgrafDanceAct. I am still teaching dance and expressive arts therapy while I am attending school. I have made this choice out of love, though I walk through fear every day to follow through with it.
We all have to face our fears daily with the choices we’ve made in life. There is a healthy fear of survival – the one that drives us all forward in life. But if our actions can be based out of loving responses, even though we feel fear – that is optimal. I had to face a lot of fear in coming out. I’ll bet you did too. But are we ever fully out and done with it? I would say that coming out is a gradual process and we have the choice to be out (or in) at any given moment in our lives. This goes for straight people too. In what area of your life could you be more out?
Given the recent teenage suicides, I think we have an obligation to be as fully out and authentic as we possibly can. And while I do agree that “it gets better,” I think we need a lot of support from the 90% of the population that isn’t gay for that to be really true. So here I appeal to straight people to face their fears – meet someone who is gay, love them for who they are, educate yourselves, and make the world a less fearful place for us all to live in.
On both accounts, the great equalizer is the body. We all have one and we all have to get better at listening to it.
To locate fear in the body is the best way to be with, and to overcome it. The easiest way to tune in is to be with the breath. If you can find in your body where the breath “catches,” that is, where the breath is being assisted by or held back by you – there you will generally find the sensation that accompanies fear. Listen to it and be with it rather than getting up and running 16 more errands. It really does have something to teach you.
Take a few moments now to be with your breath and to think about what it would mean to be just a little more out than you currently are. Is it a conversation with a parent? A colleague? A friend? Do you need to demand more respect from someone? Is it putting your profile up on Dot429? Does it mean flirting with someone who you are afraid to approach? Does it even mean taking charge of your life and earning what you deserve? I don’t know what it is for you specifically, but as you think about this next step for you – notice – where can you locate the fear or feelings that come up in your body? Once located, how can you breathe into those feelings and actively engage with them in order to release them?
The only way to truly be free of fear is to feel it fully.
As humans, we don’t like negative feelings and we’ll do anything to get out of them! We may not always have the time or be in a place to feel our fears, but I would encourage you to actively engage with your unfolding process, love yourself enough to know what’s going on in your body, and transform your feelings of fear into feelings of self love. This might mean taking yourself to a dance class (come to SheShe Salsa class!) to a tennis court, or to a spiritual setting – whether that means a meditation retreat, church, or the forest. Go ahead and connect to the love all around you rather than the fear. It is sometimes the scariest thing of all, and yet it is your birthright.
Go ahead – be gay and love yourself – I dare you!
Do something in that regard today. Send this article to someone you know who needs to read it and check ‘small steps toward courage’ off your list.