In the course of my inner work, to know and love self, I have become very aware of what it is like to be me.
The original intention behind my decision to seek supported coaching, was for me to find ways in which I could live in community with my family and friends, without carrying the heavy burden of feelings of guilt, shame and fear in respect of my suppressed gay sexuality which caused me to be anxious and aggressive.
The developing intention, which is still growing is to know and love self through an acceptance of how things are, rather than how I might have wanted them to be.
I have felt in recent weeks that my acceptance of self, and love for the previously exiled parts of self, have been a success and a source of great joy in my life which no longer feels so conflicted.
I have asked myself, has my journey been a pursuit of individualism rather than of community?
Is my feeling of growth in knowledge of my soul, an act of growing selfishness?
These questions, have been uppermost in my mind, as I have given serious thought to new ways for me to be in the world, and new ways for me to be present to opportunities to grow in new knowledge and application of my skills.
In asking these questions, and in consideration of my search for individual fulfillment in new ways, I have come to realise that my pursuit of self-hood is not a rejection of my place in community.
My faith in the teachings of the Catholic faith remain strong, and I am guided by the moral teachings of that code, however there has been a shift in emphasis, because I approach my beliefs with a greater individual clarity, which is not blind or subjugated, it is a freely made choice on my part.
I have established links to my parents and siblings and my wife and children which has made me more accessible to them because I am less reactive, less unpredictable, less aggressive, less likely to land a damaging mood or opinion on their attempts to help me.
I am still active in my community through my visits to the elderly and the isolated in my area, and I am activated in my response to disasters by responding in prayer and fasting and donating.
I am secular in my dealings with those who want to engage with me where they are which means that they find me accessible to humour and intellect and compassion without me having to feel I have compromised my values or missed an opportunity to direct a conversation.
So, in conclusion, my deepening individualism has brought me the joy of acceptance which has radiated itself into community by being accessible, willing, loving and free.
My next blog will be: Carefree