I have struggled through most of my adult life to answer some of the questions in my life that were a contradiction within my life and in answering those questions, and being certain of an outcome, I have enclosed myself in a life of isolation, anger and fear.
One of the coping strategies which I am developing and evolving into through Integral Coaching is be content in “Living in the Questions”
Here is an example which I pick from a choice of many:-
Question: What will happen if I tell my wife that I have a same sex attraction (i.e that I am gay!) ?
Answer: (in my head) My wife will leave me, I will be forcefully outed, I will lose access to my children, I will have to move away, I will suffer deep shame and these feelings might go away on their own (honest – as if!) .
Result: I suppress my truth for twenty years in which time I get more and more anxious, controlling, angry, stressed, unhappy, isolated, scared, feelings of guilt, feelings of self loathing, feelings of suicide until the time came in November 2012, when my truth demanded to be heard.
I found it within me to tell my wife that I love her, I have been faithful to her, but I am gay and I cannot live in isolation a moment longer regardless of the consequences.
Result: Tears, hugs, re-assurance, declarations of love, she knew all along something was wrong, hopeful we can work through it together.
So, I lived in the wrong answer for twenty years, but I acknowledge that those fears may have come to pass, but now two years on from those events, I am still married and I am still gay.
It is a struggle at times to reconcile the two apparently conflicting pulls on my life.
I now live in the questions in respect of whether we will be strong enough to sustain our marriage in these circumstances. When things between us feel good, I tend to think we can, and when things feel strained, I tend to wonder if we can.
I try to avoid trying to predict an outcome in the future, what matters is having an ability to keep living in the question with my wife on this and other issues, and if today, in the present we are content to do that, then, that is all that matters.
My next blog will be : My Life Without Fear