Recently, I’ve been contemplating life. Not just my life, but also the lives of others. Some things that I thought I had put to rest had to be dusted off and re-examined again, touched up with a little glazing of the wisdom that experience brings.
Like so many others, my upbringing was suburban - unremarkable by anyone’s standards. My parents loved me (still do) and did what they thought was best for me. The only feeling that pervaded was that I lived in a world that did not resonate with my emotional, intellectual and spiritual being. It was a narrow world, a world filled with demons and angels, sin and evil and hatred, but very little love and very little regard to the truth, the two things I hold in highest regard. To me it seemed an unjust world. Through painful processes of denial, self-deception and efforts to conform to the norms of society, I had to realize that I could not change who I was meant to be. Painful as the realization might have been, as strongly as I had felt like a disappointment to my parents, I could not walk away from my responsibility to LIVE. This did not happen instantaneously or indeed spontaneously. Rather it was a cascade of events that ran its course through many painful years of hiding and fearing the outcomes of my secret being uncovered. My big, shameful secret. In fact, I tried very hard to live the life others wanted for me, but something was always missing. I could not feel fulfilled.
When you’re harbouring a shameful secret, everything takes on ominous tones. Sometimes it feels like other people can see straight through your skull. In fact, the secret becomes the melodramatic centerpiece of your life. You cannot see the wood for the trees. You feel like you’re the only one and that you are so abnormal and shameful that nobody will love you once they find out your secret. Yet you cannot see the simple truth that you cannot live in darkness and not also live in despair.
You may fear some religious people, but you will find they are ignorant of God’s extent if they do not realize that we are all in God’s plan - and God does not make mistakes.