Living authentically is truly a difficult path. One reason that it is so challenging is because it takes so long to even discover oneself. At the age of 42, with most likely half of my life spent, I am still discovering surprises about myself. Things that used to be important to me now pale in comparison to matters that I consider are of far broader scope. Foundations I had built an entire life upon still shatter beneath me below the very ground I walk on today.
One obstacle along life’s road can often be all the forces around us trying to pigeonhole us into cultural norms. The circles we frequent, the families we grew up in, those we surround ourselves with, the influences that helped to shape our very being, can place shackles on us even in ways we don’t often fully recognize. It is the reason so many of us carry secrets tucked away in dark places. The shame of admitting to those things is frightening and so we keep them down and only showcase our infallible outward selves.
But I have experienced no greater connection with others as when the secrets come out and we admit to being the weak, imperfect, struggling human beings that we truly are. There is no greater turn off to me than someone pretending to be perfect out of a need to elevate oneself and push others down. We are all flawed my friends and we need to support those around us by turning on the light beam of forgiveness. It is warming, it is supportive and it is necessary.
As human beings, we all strive for deeper connections; we can not live a happy, fruitful or secure life without them. As we defeat noxious behaviors like shaming others to make ourselves feel more significant, we begin to destroy self-importance and boost each other up despite our shortcomings. True love then becomes not just a notion projected by films of Prince and Princess-type romanticism. But true love will emanate in all possible forms with all possible genders through self-love, love of others, forgiveness and authenticity.