The idea that much of the suffering we endure is of our own making is an idea that I’ve considered before in various fashions. Buddhist thought places a lot of emphasis on these concepts, however, and stresses the liberation of self from the mental shackles we create. Ideas are presumeably what separare us from other creatures, and yet for all of their obvious worth they can be poison as well. When bad ideas are given substance…when they are used to create a definition of this mental construct we call "I" or "self."
I’m a late-bloomer in many ways. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I even suspected I might be gay. Such an interesting word, gay. From a conservative background, the word’s negative connotation is unmistakeable, right down to my physical well-being. To use the word in context with my idea of "self," tension manifests within my torso, carrying up to my throat and constricting it, as if to prevent the release of this naked truth. One that cannot bear to see the light of day, lest others shun and judge me like a leper. Three letters arranged in Latin script, spoken aloud in regards to me cause change due to one of two probably causes. Either it’s coming from my imbalanced mental states, or the word itself somehow taps into a biometaphysical energy triggered by the idea of same-sex union. A word of power; magic, if you will.
So I’ve realized that ‘gay" is a word describing the preference of same-sex union. Clinging to a negative perception of the word due entirely to exposure and upbringing despite clearly seeing the reality and professing to believe otherwise in my heart is a contradition I must shed for my own sake. Despite being born in a diverse, potentially accepting country, having lived in some of the most liberal-minded cities in the world and having true and supporting friends, I’ve had to fly across the globe to peel away the last clinging layers of Christian dogma and come to terms and accept what I am because of my fear of being labeled and characterized by the perceptions I had of the word. Isn’t that sad? Given that many of my Austin friends attended pride parades in their teens, I believe so. Ironic that I was the one blinded by indoctrination, even as I came to denounce most organized religion in my own thinking, and believed myself to be truly open-minded.
There’s so much more I need to write. Baby Steps, though.