Authentic connection; being true to ourselves is what matters, isn’t it?
People connecting authentically
When my daughter was three, we were catching up with friends in Byron Bay. One of my friends made a comment about a same sex couple, asking whether I wanted my daughter to see them or not. My response was to deliberately turn my daughter around so that the said couple was easily within her sight. Of course, I didn’t point out the couple, nor say anything about them. Why would I? They were just two people connecting, authentically, without a gender bias.
This was the first time I had knowingly had my daughter around a same sex couple in public. It was important to me that she see this as a normal part of everyday life – because it is. I didn’t want her to grow up with any gender bias.
In my own early childhood, and adolescence, same sex relationships simply weren’t discussed, unless the conversation was of a critical and negative nature. Society back then, in the 70’s, wasn’t as open to non-gender specific sexual connections.
That always felt odd to me, somehow wrong, but at the time I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. I didn’t understand. People were just people, right? Why should it matter who they fell in love with? I didn’t challenge the status quo at the time, not until much later, for it was simply ‘the way it was’ then.
Having to hide
In my late teens, it became apparent that my best (female) friend liked girls more than guys. It never bothered me.
Actually, that’s not quite true, it did bother me: and what bothered me about it was how hidden it was kept. That is, how hard she tried to keep it, because of how harshly she would be judged. What bothered me was how tortured my beautiful friend felt, trying to be ‘normal’, and denying her feelings.
It wasn’t until our early 20s that she became more comfortable in her sexual skin, and formed a relationship with another girl. Even then, it was a struggle for them both, trying to be discreet among certain work or social circles. It pained me so much that it wasn’t openly accepted in our society. After all, they were two consenting adults, in love – two beautiful people, connecting. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to openly express that love?
Around that time, I too started growing in love with a woman. Now, we weren’t in a sexual relationship at that time, but we were most definitely like a married couple, in so many ways. We finished each other’s sentences – or sometimes didn’t even need to verbally communicate at all. We danced together, laughed and cried together, shared childhood stories, healed together, nurtured one another, celebrated together, ate together, learned reiki together, came together to create conscious change, went to our first Mardi Gras together, and bought a pop-top van to travel together. There possibly may not be anyone on this planet that knows me as well as this woman.
We still love one another deeply, though we no longer live within close proximity to one another, and continue to share a bond that is so very special. If I had let societal conditioning and gender bias get in the way of our connection, I would have missed out on some of the most transformative and deeply profound experiences of my life. I wouldn’t now have this unique and cherished connection with this gorgeous woman, sister of my heart and soul. And, I would not have been authentic, nor true to myself.
To me, relationships – all relationships, of any nature – are about authenticity, being true to ourselves. Authenticity requires great courage, total honesty, and daily practice. The reward, however, is that these relationships and experiences – which are like brilliant, shining jewels of the heart – simply cannot be replaced with anything else. Personally I would rather take the risk of showing up and being totally seen in all my power and fragility than of appearing as someone I am not. I don’t want to have to look over my shoulder, curb my words, and hide from those I love most. That is not authenticity, nor connection. It is separation, and delusion.
In my opinion it should not matter who we fall in love with, so long as we are being true to ourselves, true to our own version of what is, and what isn’t. I believe that authentically connecting and relating needs to stem from being in love with ourselves first and foremost, and being truly honest with ourselves about who we are. It has nothing to do with gender, and everything to do with presence, love, and our highest truth.
May we allow ourselves to connect authentically, first by knowing our own heart.
In that, we can love who we be, and be who we love.
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