I Matter

matter“Don’t you understand, if you’re gay, you’ll never play football again.” These were the words of a dear friend and former high school football coach after coming out in 1988.

I stood alone, with my truth of being of gay, yet my entire world tried to convince me I was not. What scared me most was the thought of considering listening to them and stay in my married relationship. All I heard was, “It doesn’t really matter.”

Overnight my entire world, all those I loved and whom loved me, disappeared.

July 14th, 2014 would have been my 30th wedding anniversary. As I walked through this day remembering how scared I was, at the age of 26, I began to get present to the courage I summoned in order to lose that entire world. I told my truth. Where did that strength come from?

Having endured that experience and taken the time to figure out what it was about, I am proud that my story of being married makes significance sense to who I am today.

Marriage represented an opportunity to escape the pathological dysfunction of my family. Alcoholism, violence, drugs, sexual abuse, living off welfare and believing suffering had some degree of nobility.

The act of being married, even after being forgiven by my former wife, still felt chicken shit and it took a long time to forgive myself and embrace the real lesson I had created for myself.

As I reflect on my personal evolution from a closeted married man to this fully expressed and powerfully contributing, out gay man, I pause to be grateful for a quality I’ve discovered that’s supported my choices.

I’m 1 of ten children. I’m number 7, lucky 7 I like to think.

I made up a story, my parents never told me this nor did any one else, but the story was that I didn’t matter.

Not mattering was at the heart of being married. Not mattering was the foundation of not coming out. Not mattering inspired hundreds of choices that would simply have me disappear. After all, that was exactly the point of disappearing… no one thought I mattered anyway.

Today, I understand how I did everything to make sure my story was true.

Six years ago I stood in the kitchen of my home and shared with my partner that I felt I needed to change my relationship with him. We both agreed that what we had been enduring wasn’t working for either of us. Together, we began to dismantle our intimate relationship.

I knew there was something extraordinary, at the heart of spending nearly 6 years with him, that was available for me to learn.

So I chose to participate in a coaching program, a 12 week process, called Spiritual Divorce.

What appeared in short order was the discovery of my old story of not mattering. At the heart of creating circumstances that felt so painful, within my relationship, was a part of me that believed I didn’t matter.

The old story had never been healed.

It’s classic for me to want to discard a part of me I hate. Yet my coach, with ruthless compassion, invited me instead to learn to love this part of me that felt I didn’t matter.

There actually were gifts from thinking I didn’t matter. I got to let go, not care what people thought and I could also let go of expectation. All pretty freeing gifts.

What was really available to learn was how to create a story that was completely opposite. What would life be like if I mattered?

I’m proud, today, to have built a story about my life as mattering.

Here’s what I receive by knowing I matter: love, truth, unbridled passion, significant relationship, forgiveness, play, vision, clarity, heartfelt desire, worthiness, patience, gratitude, appreciation, boundaries and immense self love.

Each morning, as part of my ritual of self love, I place a silver ring on my left thumb and  proclaim, “I matter.”

 

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About Thomas Kevin Dolan Coaching

Thomas Kevin Dolan, Master Integrative Coach Professional™ and International Coach Federation member, has, for close to a decade, coached or advised everyday folks who need a gentle reminder to get out of their own way. People – such as athletes, high-profile executives, parents, siblings, couples, artists, activists, those pretending to know, those willing to not know, entrepreneurs, and seekers of ease, effortlessness and grace – who wish to effectively and successfully participate in a healthy relationship with themselves, and with others they value. Thomas and his work has been featured on HealingPodTV, Yinstill Reproductive Wellness, and The Ford Institute for Transformational Training. He has also been featured in major publications such as Xtra West, Business In Vancouver, Living Out Vancouver and Out In Singapore. He resides in Vancouver, British Columbia and Honolulu, Hawaii. Magic exists in his life because he knows that which he seeks is already seeking him, and he allows wisdom to have its way.
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2 Responses to I Matter

  1. justbeing.co says:

    Powerfully authentic and inspiring. Thank you Thomas for sharing your stories.

  2. Dennis MacDonald says:

    And Thomas, I am completely convinced that you now realize that you always mattered. To your ex-wife, your family, you former partners…you have mattered to them all. You and they may not have always agreed or believed in the same things or shared the same values. But you, Thomas always mattered to the people you knew. You always mattered to the people that you didn’t yet know…like me! Because Thomas, I would be a poorer person if I had not met you. We don’t know each other well, but my friend, since the first day we met, you mattered to me.

    You are a person of great substance with solid moral fibre and a guiding light inside that you have chosen to use to show others the way. And you know what else Thomas Dolan? It is just that simple!

    Paper Rain sig

    Dennis MacDonald President & Executive Producer Paper Rain Performances Inc. 202 – 1316 West 11th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6H4G8

    Office – 604 620-4159 Mobile – 604 727-5406

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