Being gay is a gift from God
“Being gay is a gift from God. But our culture doesn’t understand that and therefore sends messages that you need to be isolated. And isolation is the antithesis of what we all need. We need community, we just can’t do it.” spirituality or being fully alive without community”
The above line was recently spoken by the Rev. Ed Bacon, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, during one of Oprah’s shows in early January. What an amazing way to start the New Year! Don’t you think? I wish Oprah was around when I was a kid almost 40 years ago! It surely would have made things a lot easier, and hearing such statements on national television would most likely have given me the courage I needed to speak to my father much sooner and not confess him in prayer after his death, leaving me feeling guilty about who never really got to know me as I am.
As I watched the stream (which I’m sure you’ll be able to find simply by Googling the words “Oprah” and “Gay”), I couldn’t help but feel a mix of amazement, happiness, and sadness at the same time. Wonder because it was completely unexpected, and because it resonated in the depths of my being. Happiness because in many ways it was a public acknowledgment by two highly respected spiritual leaders with many followers, reaffirming something I have come to know and accept in my life after much pain and several hundred hours of therapy: That I was created in the image and likeness of God; that God in me, like me, is me. I felt sadness because I felt that in many ways, although a lot of ground has already been bravely gained, there is still a lot to be healed in the gay and lesbian community, not just here in South Africa, but around the world. .
So the question is where do we start? How do we begin to heal the wounds left by years of feeling isolated, ‘different’ from the rest, years of being told that we are abominations, deviants, pedophiles, freaks and so many other ‘labels’, which unfortunately many of us started and finally believed – some to the point where they ended their lives? What comes to mind are the words of Gandhi”Be the change you want to see in the world”. For me that translates to: being the healing, powerful, loving, self-accepting gay person I want to see other gay men and women in the world. The work begins first with oneself, then, as the Rev. Ed Bacon points out, in the community in which we live.
The road to healing can be long and painful for some of us, and for you it may take longer than expected depending on how long you have been holding on to those ‘beliefs’ about homosexuality imposed by others. All healing must first begin with the full and complete acceptance of what is. That means fully accepting everything that has happened in your life as a result of accepting those separation beliefs without thinking about what you could have done, should have done, or would have done. Once you’ve done that, take the time to harvest. everything positive that came out of it. Sure there were bad times, but it certainly wasn’t all bad. Some good things must have come from that. What good things came up? Perhaps to hide your feelings of shame you learned to play an instrument or developed a skill or talent that you would not otherwise have. Maybe you hid in the local library where you had the opportunity to read books that you would never have found. Or maybe, in the places you escaped you met wonderful, caring and supportive people who became lovers, others lifelong friends. Whatever it is, it helps if you write it down. Then, after you’ve listed all the good that came from all that feeling of separation and isolation, take the time to forgive. Forgiveness is one of the most underrated and powerful spiritual practices out there! All forgiveness is truly self-forgiveness, because when we forgive others, we are truly healing and releasing all those thoughts, emotions, and feelings that we hold within us about them. What do you have to forgive yourself? Who else do you need to forgive? Your parents, church, friends, society, God? Write it. You can write something like… “I forgive you _______ for _________. I release you and let you go. You no longer have any power over me.” Forgiveness clears the way and allows true healing to take place. Finally, ask yourself, “What new quality is trying to emerge in me now? What is trying to be born? Write it down. You see, in every apparent challenge or problem in our lives, there is always some quality that is being called to emerge within.” In my case, once I was able to forgive and really let go of my own limited thoughts about myself, I began to feel freer, and more self-confident, more self-acceptable.Those were the qualities that were trying to emerge.
The healing we want to see in the world really starts with ourselves. As more of us begin to take ownership of this process and become responsible for our own lives, our own Divinity begins to emerge, our lights shine brighter. This, in turn, allows others to do the same. By Divinity I mean all those qualities of God that we inherit when we were born: Love, Joy, Abundance, Peace, Acceptance, Harmony, Power, Generosity, Creativity, the list goes on and on. As the Rev. Michael B. Beckwith, spiritual director and founder of the Agape Movement, said during the same Oprah broadcast, “PIt is no coincidence that people are gay. People are born homosexual by Divine Right. We are the image and likeness of God, just as we are.”
- I am gay for a powerful and determined reason.
- I accept my personal responsibility to be a healing force in my life, the gay community and the world.
- I release shame and internalized homophobia from all levels of my being.
- Mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually I am attuned to the vibration of deep self-love and acceptance.
- In this alignment, my thoughts, words, and actions are filled with grace, clarity, and power.
- How good it is to be gay! I’m FABULOUS…it’s true!