Being You During Coming Out::Part 3

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

This is part 3 of a 4-part series in exploration of coming out. I’m looking at what I believe to be four essential components to being who we know ourselves to be on the inside, and matching that person with who we are on the outside.

Part 1Part 2

It took years for me to act on my Authentic Self’s intuitions, cries and pleadings. What took so long? Fear. At some point I got tired of the fear. I got tired of hurting, tired of living a lie, tired of being someone on the outside that didn’t match me on the inside. It’s kind of like this:

You on the inside = Values = what’s important to you.

You on the outside = Fear – Values = what’s acceptable to others.

Authenticity = Values + Fear + Action = honoring what’s important to you, even when it’s a little (or a lot) scary.

I learned that Authenticity wasn’t about simply washing away my fears, but about working through them. For some, it’s a matter of getting tired of living in fear and letting it direct everything from backstage. For me, I stood in front of my father a few months before his death and realized that I didn’t have time to let fear run our relationship. I had to be firm in who I was, even if it meant he didn’t like me.

I had to trust my gut that being true to myself was more important than being fake. My father was dying. I wouldn’t have him around anymore. I wouldn’t have him around to agree or disagree or be real with. I wouldn’t have him around to talk to, to work things through with. I had only right here, right now. I didn’t know what was going to happen next.

But before I could talk to my father about anything, I had to set my fears down and have a talk with them. It was essential that I knew where they were coming from. It was essential that my fears understand that they could be heard by direct conversation, rather than by passive aggressive behaviors sneaking into my conversations. I learned about myself that my fears were rooted in not being liked. And the real question was: Do I want to be liked for being someone who’s not real? Do I want to be liked for who I am or who they think I am?

The only way to address the questions was to call on my Values System:

  • Respect: You need to respect yourself. Purposely avoiding the whole of who you are is not respecting yourself.
  • Listening/being heard: You are who you are. Be her. Expect people to listen when you speak honestly about her. And expect her to listen when people are speaking honestly about themselves, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Be the open-minded person you want others to be when you speak. If you can’t do this, then what kind of relationship really exists?
  • Following my gut/intuition: Your intuition is saying, “Speak up, beautiful, what you have to say is important.” You must. Even when it’s scary.
  • Courage: Not only must you listen to your intuition, you must speak it. You must speak the words swirling around in your head and let your inside—your Authenticity—be heard. Even when it’s scary to do so. Especially when it’s scary to do so.
  • Kindness: Remember that your conversations are not about someone being right and someone being wrong, but about being heard. Be kind when handling one’s views, whether they match your own or not.

And of course, I could put all of this together in my head, but how could I actually say what was swirling around in there? How could I actually trust my intuition, let alone speak it? How could I put into practice what I’d learned by watching, thinking, feeling all of this? How could I just be…me?

Which leads me into Part 4…….

Photo used under Creative Commons License via: http://www.flickr.com/photos/horiavarlan/ / CC BY 2.0

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