I don’t understand being in an intimate, loving relationship with a woman. If I did, would it be difficult for me to tell others?
Today I want to share with you one woman’s story… in her own words…
I know for certain, without any doubt, that if it were the norm for people to have intimate relationships regardless of gender (as in anyone could do it and people embraced it as a general rule), I would have no issue at all. That’s right. It would not trouble me at all!
So, it’s obviously being different that bothers me. And, it bothers me a lot!
It’s not because I think God doesn’t accept it, because that simply makes no sense to me at all. God has no gender. He’d love us to be wholly dedicated in our focus to Him, but if we must be in an intimate relationship I believe it must just honor Him. It must be a loving (produce fruits of the spirit) and committed (honoring) relationship. I have absolutely no reason to believe God cares about gender… and any belief to the contrary, well, is absurd.
So, my issue is with what is generally acceptable to others; society. I want people to like me and think positively of me. What is quite ironic is both women I know well who are in same gender relationships are loved dearly. People in large amounts and in very different ways love them. So, there is not much reason to believe I cannot also develop relationships, community, that embraces me.
But going out and hanging out with large (or even smaller) groups of people that don’t know, makes me think “If they knew, they would think less of me. They wouldn’t like me.” It creates fear about being fully real. And, I don’t like it.
The struggles I’ve had through this process have been caused, in large part, by what I’ve decided in my mind is unacceptable for other people about me. Not by what people are actually telling me is unacceptable. The longer I wait to share the more I build up in my mind about what is difficult to swallow about me. So, it’s not what others say or don’t say, but the grace I don’t extend to myself on their behalf.
The bottom line is I have to decide my relationship is ok. And, that I’m ok in it. I am still just as vital, precious, humorous, sensitive, friendly, etc. I haven’t stopped being who I am because of who I love. If anything who I love just says more about my ability to live fully and embrace joy… Not let fear dictate.
How do I do this type of radical self-acceptance? How do I allow myself to be fully who I am in the world, risk criticism, and embrace joy? I think I start sharing upfront and stop waiting; hesitating. I stop looking for the person, the relationship, me to be ready for sharing.
I live transparently and in doing that I honor myself. Because waiting sends me the message “this is a sensitive topic. It’s going to be upsetting.” Screw that!
If I approach it that way it will always be difficult.
She is my person and I don’t want to hide that like I am ashamed or concerned of others’ opinions. God brought her to me and I can trust Him to bring us through whatever trial might arise. Sharing will get easier and easier as I do it.
Acceptance starts with me. And the biggest exercise in acceptance is being open about it knowing that I, my life, my love is better than just ‘ok’ – it’s really good.