Reflections on National Coming Out Day, October 11
Blessings of Being Awake: In 1977 I met my first Jewish lesbian and fell in love. Today we are still friends and still in love enough to keep working on our relationship. I was just coming out as a woman loving women. I was recently divorced, a single mom and a second year Occupational Therapy student. There were so many new experiences, so much to learn, so many trips and falls and so many fears that I could neither name nor face. There was so much I did not know that I did not know.
- Laughing with myself as an act of self love as I begin to notice and then let go of the fears of not wanting others to know stuff about me, when the fact is they already do.
- Remembering that loving another is often easier than loving oneself and that when I do not love myself there is so much pain. Although I have practiced since 1995 to "treat myself as if I were my own lover", I am still a beginner.
- Accepting myself in all of who I am. Now that I am the oldest I have every been, with all those physical changes I do not like, takes a maturity and perspective I know I do not always have! Despite these challenges, I am going to keep heading toward the unknown, as it is an act of love. As the Hebrews spoke, "We will do and then we will understand."
- Learning that coming-out is a moment to moment, self-discovery experience. My coming-out must be done with love and a commitment to my soul's mission. Therefore, I hold the Torah's teaching that The One Without End, The Compassionate One is Holy, so, too am I Holy.
Spiritual Practice: To smile and remember that I am made in the image and likeness of the Divine. I am amazing most of the time and sometimes, as my Uncle Harry, the Doc, of blessed memory, would say, a jerk. I breathe deeply and say, "I am holy, sagging boobs, varicose veins, wrinkled face, gray haired wizened one." I can not hide from the Unending Love within me, nor do I want to hide from the mirror. I am good, kind and loving even when I wonder about that truth.
Blessings of the Vav: The Vav reminds me it is never to late to face the fears and come-out. Kathy Bates in the movie Unconditional Love is a great role model of the bravery of a warrior. So, I ordered the shruti box, a small wooden box that makes droning sounds to use while I am making voice sounds that Deborah, my voice therapy coach taught me. I am coming out as an experiential learner. I am experimenting with the Divine, being at one with all my fears. I am smiling at my fears as they evaporate. I am enjoying myself, my shruti box, my sounds and this life gifted to me.
May your coming-out be blessed, too!