More baggage than London Heathrow!
Baggage.....we all have it in some shape or form. I know that I do! We all do. Its a part of life. Its a collection of all of our battle scars, our deepest fears resulting from years of emotional abuse inflicted upon us not only from the outside, but often from the inside.
A wonderful new friend just said something profound to me today. I was talking to him about some issues that I have been having with someone who is very close to me. This person seems too terrified to allow himself to get close and to open up to anyone. My friend said that fear is the anticipation of pain. Think about that!
Being gay is not easy on many levels but one of the most challenging things is that most gay men have an intense fear of commitment. Why is that? I have been pondering this for quite awhile now given recent events. Why is it so hard for us to accept love from another human being. Why will gay men let you use their body (without being too graphic) but don't dare ask them for a hug or a kiss or any kind of deep conversation afterward? I have thought and thought and thought about this and it just doesn't make any sense! My problem friend that I was referring to falls very much into this category. He is very affectionate, but don't ask to get into that brain of his...he slams the door shut tight and triple bolts it!
I think that we are conditioned while we are growing up to act a certain way toward certain situations. If we see an image of something bad, we react with fear, and anxiety, or avoidance. If we see something that is good, we react with happiness. If we see something as neutral we don't react at all. Our past relationships, not only romantic, but friendships and familial relationships, condition us throughout life. If we have had a series of bad relationships sometimes love can take on a negative effect. We associate the feeling of love with being hurt or abused and we relive that pain over and over again. Unfortunately, when this happens we shut ourselves down and avoid letting anyone else in....because it might hurt again ...and we learn not to trust people. As you read in my prior posts about my new found belief in Buddhist principals there is a lot that it can teach you. One idea is just what I wrote about. That what we think is what we become. That applies to situations as well. If we are conditioned that LOVE is a bad thing.....we will react that way. If we think relationships are supposed to turn out badly then chances are that they probably will for us. If we can change the way we REACT to things, like love, then we will change ourselves and that will transfer to those around us in our personal relationships.
A lot of gay men and women out there have been through a lot of hell in their lives. Many of them have been abandoned by their families because of who they are. Others have lost friends or have even got married and spent their whole lives in the closet leading a double live with constant fear of losing their children if their wife finds out. Some of us have wrestled with religion and feel conflicted about what our life means. Are we wrong for being born? Wounds go very deep in the gay community and all of this makes it ten times harder to have a normal, stable relationship with someone. Too much of our community is focused on image. We are own worst enemies. In gay culture, emphasis is placed on what we look like, and how much "stuff" we have. We even stereotype within our own community with words like bears, bull dykes, lipstick lesbians, retail queens, closet queens, twinks, and on and on. We alienate ourselves from each other. We focus on everything but what is inside of us. We bury that part of us and wont let anyone else see it when that is the FIRST thing we should be concerned with. Not if your date is wearing Gucci, or if he drives a BMW or has a six pack of steel.
A favorite quote of mine is "you can wrap a dog turd in Prada, and its STILL just a dog turd!" Its true. If you are a mess on the inside, you cant hide it! Well, you can hide it for a little while...but it always interferes eventually.
Posted by Michael Bell at 7:13 PM