I once heard that we have to hit rock bottom before we bounce. While I know this is true, I've also learned that rock bottom is different for everyone. For some of us rock bottom can be seeing a zero balance in our checking account, while for others it might be losing our home or automobile because we mismanaged our finances. Rock bottom might be a heartbreak, while for others it could be a total devastation of heart before realizing we are the common denominator in our love life. Regardless of what we are struggling with we learn differently, and it takes different experiences for each of us to hear our wake up call.
Perhaps my greatest insight into "bouncing" came when I heard that the pain of staying the same has to be greater than the pain of changing. Regardless of what brought us to rock bottom, the pain of reliving that experience has to be greater than the pain of looking at ourselves and changing. One of the greatest conversations we can have with ourselves is "I don't like my life. I don't like feeling this way. I want to live better. What will it take for me to have a different life?"
It's fairly common knowledge that we grow the most during our greatest challenges. When we consciously decide to change the way we think, act, and live enduring the pain becomes something of a badge of valor for us. Taking this long hard look at who we are, dealing with unfinished business, internalized shame, confronting our own misconceptions, and learning new lessons is not something that many people will accomplish in their lives. However, I strongly feel that few are more capable of bouncing as high as gay men and women. It's our "two spirits" that give us incredible insight and adaptability.
I invite you to visit this blog often as we continue this conversation.