Want to better serve your communities?
“We can only ever serve our communities as much as we are willing to grow”. How beautiful is that? That is my biggest take away from the Unstoppable Success Retreat with Niyc Pidgeon.
She told us that on day one and I thought about it all week.
It means we must continue to grow in order to serve our communities.
It means we must go into the darkness and turn the light on.
It means we must face what we’re avoiding and say what we’re hiding.
So here goes:
Yes, yes, you might know that already. But I’ve never really said it out loud. I’ve learnt to be ashamed of it.
When I first started realising it, I was 12 years old. I wasn’t thinking about guys, the same as my friends! I was thinking about my gal pals! Hmm, confusing right?!
I was so disgusted with myself I’d cry myself to sleep, telling myself YOU’RE DISGUSTING LISA. WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU.
I didn’t know ANY gay people. I didn’t even really know it was a ‘thing’, lol. Not that ‘it’s a thing’. You know I mean. I just thought I was, well, wrong. And I hated myself for it.
When I came out at 19, someone close to me said “It’s just a phase, you’ll grow out of it”.
A best friend of mine cried, gave me a copy of the bible and told me “It’s not how God wants us to live our lives, Lisa”.
Later on, someone close to me introduced my girlfriend of two years as a FRIEND because he was embarrassed.
And another person in my life told me off (on a main street) for holding my girlfriend’s hand in public. He told me it wasn’t safe.
I’m not upset with any of these people. I don’t hold any anger towards them.
We’re all just doing the best we possibly can in the world. The way people react to you is a reflection of their own views, pain and experiences. Not yours.
During the retreat, Niyc asked us: “What’s the one thing you don’t want to say, that could be shared with vulnerability?”.
I sat back, let the tears fall and said: “I don’t know how to be a gay woman”.
But I’m working on that.
So into the darkness I go.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. Hold a torch for me while I find the light!