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.”