When you tell your story, tell the truth

by You Have My Word

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When you tell your story, make sure to tell the truth. It sounds like an obvious thing, but it’s so easy to elevate or negate parts that don’t sound good enough or sound too good to be true. Tell it how it is, and not how you want people to hear it.

Why the preamble? This coming Sunday is International Coming Out Day, and whether you support it or not, it is what it is. That is part of my story – not elevated or negated.

What’s the big deal? Coming out is about telling the ultimate truth – about yourself and about your world… about myself and about my world.

In celebration of telling the truth, here is my coming out story in brevity but, nevertheless, in full:

I didn’t come out. Well, not officially. The process (because it is a process) of coming out is really just a process of telling the truth – of telling a story. For some, it’s a truth and a story that they have come to accept and love for the first time. For some, it’s a truth and a story that they acknowledge and haven’t yet accepted. That is also OK. What’s important is that it is the truth.

So how did I tell the truth? Someone else tried to do it for me. They told a biased version of my story which blew up like dropping a full bottle of red wine. I’m not saying that some people didn’t know; if you have even two stones knocking between your ears, it’s fairly obvious to see that I’m not a cookie-cut-out girl. Yet, as much as it broke me to be exposed in that way, it also provided a new kind of freedom.

Sometimes pain is the most honest truth.

Hear me: I’m not condoning how out of place that person was, and I’m certainly not thanking them for shoving me out, but I will acknowledge the space that I stepped into. That’s the thing about being in the light.

“Coming out of the closet” is the expression that’s often used and although I don’t completely understand its origin, I do understand the feeling. If you’ve ever stepped into a closet and closed the door or been trapped in a pantry or anything similar, you will know the stifling, desperate, claustrophobic feeling that comes with the confines and you will also know the feeling of relief that washes over you when the door opens again.

It’s no wonder children are afraid of monsters in the closet. Some monsters don’t have teeth, but they do eat at your truth and instil fear in the dark.

Almost two years later and I’m telling the story here, as it is, for the first time. As I said, coming out is a process. It hasn’t come without its breakdowns and wreckage, but it also hasn’t come without its joy and contentment. That is my truth and my story.

So don’t see Sunday as International Coming Out Day… see it as a day for telling the truth, a day for telling your story, no matter what that story is. If it happens to be about coming out, celebrate that as your truth and commit to the process of always telling your truth. Others may not like it, they may not accept it, but it is yours. Be true.

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