Friday, May 2, 2008
Coming Out is Getting Easier To Do
I asked a client once to monitor when he noticed that he was editing or withholding any information. He used the word ‘appalling’ to describe the amount of information he chose not to disclose. He and I are very much alike. If I got paid for how much I edit in my conversations I would be a millionaire. I do not think he and I were always like this; we learned this skill.
At 65 I seem to be noticing that I am blessed with an ease of speaking out information that once was too difficult to let go of and maybe I am returning to a state where I feel safe enough to handle the effects of my words. A long time ago a wise friend once told me that there are three reasons one comes out or speaks freely from the heart: to push people away, to bring people closer and to just be oneself. My intention and deepest desire is to heal the world one heart at a time by going deeper with my conversations and relationships with myself as well as with others. Recently I heard from a friend older than I that as you age you edit less as ‘what have you got to lose?’ Hebrew Wisdom might say this 'de-editing' is a process of circumcising the heart, of removing the layers that hide the purity of the soul and redeeming the spark that is you.
Usually the phrase ‘coming out’ is linked with the gay community. As an advocate and trainer for making the environment at work ‘gay friendly’ it is a term I am comfortable with as being one’s self is energizing. It takes a lot of work to withhold information. As the country western song goes ‘you got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away and know what to keep.’ A core teaching of Hebrew Wisdom is to know oneself so you can love your neighbor. My self-awareness comes through trial and lots of tripping, deep contemplation and writing and living in community with family, friends, colleagues and angels who gift me with a mirror of my behavior when I dared to look.
I learned a very long time ago that if I edit my thoughts and emotions then I could be a chameleon and invisible and safe and not rock the boat. Of course this is a conundrum since I want to be known, appreciated, included and love to have fun.
Coming out comes in various flavors and patterns. Yesterday I self disclosed to a client what we both knew was true and yet could have been left unspoken. My client is a Southern Baptist and she was listening and beginning to trust me someone who would never believe that Jesus Christ is her savior and therefore by traditional teachings was going to hell. I wanted us to live in that awkward place and to see if we could raise each of us up to our highest good to explore this paradox. We continue to be committed to our growth.
I've noticed that in the last six months I have started freeing my ideas. First came exposing a dream that seemed to have no roots other than in my head: starting the Society of the Vav blog. Then I wrote about completing the Miami Marathon while walking for all the lonely people who give up on their dreams like I have done in the past. Inserting Hebrew Wisdom, honoring my Jewish roots, was also a step in coming out. Then I decided to write to each old and present client that I am building my practice. I can still hear the voices saying 'why do you have to tell them that?' And I feel the earth under my feet shaking while knowing that the Earth is my G!D and She has got me covered.
And the internal judger still sits guarding the gate of my tongue testing my intention to free my soul.
Blessings of the Vav: there is always space to add what was left out intentionally or unintentionally when I remember it is my life I am saving.
Posted by Rabbi TZiPi Radonsky, Ph.D. at 9:02 PM
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You know, the last image in your post reminds me of Piet Hein's poem:
Go on a starlit night,
stand on your head,
leave your feet dangling
outwards into space,
and let the starry
firmament you tread
be, for the moment,
your elected base.
Feel Earth's colossal weight
of ice and granite,
of molten magma,
water, iron, and lead;
and briefly hold
this strangely solid planet
your strangely solid head.
If Earth's got you covered, then the infinite stars are your playground!
HOW WONDERFUL... A COUNTRY SONG AND SOME HEBREW WISDOM.... ALL CAN BE GOOD. PEACE TO YOU, TIKKUN OLAM, HOUSTON
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