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Monday, May 20, 2013

Are You Living in Two Worlds?

Before I transitioned, I used to try to be both who I was and who I wasn't. To most of the outer world, I was female, while in my secret, inner world I was male. I let very few people into that inner world because I was afraid of the truth of who I was. For me, my journey is about integration--about merging the two very different worlds I used to live in into one cohesive world.

Even though you may not be transgender, chances are that in some way, you've been living in two worlds too. You may be hiding your ability to do certain things, some of your interests, some of your likes and dislikes. Some of the ways people split their world in two are:

  • Pretending to agree with what others say or do even though they actually find it offensive. Sometimes people laugh at off-color jokes or try to "go along to get along" with behavior they don't like.
  • Hiding their ability to succeed. Sometimes people don't do their best because they don't want others to be jealous or hateful.
  • Expressing only certain emotions. Sometimes people act like they're happy all the time when they're not happy at all. Or else lash out in anger but underneath, want to connect with people in a more positive manner.

Whenever you inhabit two separate worlds at once, in some ways you sabotage yourself so that people don't see the "real" you that you think is unacceptable for some reason. The way out is to practice self-acceptance. When you feel like something about you is no good or that you can't trust others to share it, ask yourself why. Then, breathe deeply into the tension you feel around the issue. As you breathe, whisper to yourself, "Accept."

Finally, take some risks. Push yourself to share more of your real self with others. It can be very scary to do so, and you may be nervous, but regardless of the outcome, it can be very liberating to do so.

In what ways do you live in two worlds? Share your thoughts in the comments below

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