Own Your Truth
No matter your background or vocation - we can all live in the truth we connect with and allow it to guide us. It all starts with the power of vulnerability.
Growing up I always knew I was different. I learnt a term for this type of different in college termed Other. Basically it’s the feeling of not subscribing to societal norms in a way to question, benefit and inspire positive change within said norms. It wasn’t until I experienced my second coming of age in my 20s did I realise that being that Other was actually my super power but in order to get to that revelation I had to do something I normally hate doing. I had to be vulnerable.
Your story matters.
You see part of my identity awakening came from the fact that for a very long time I denied myself to be gay. Growing up it was never demonised within my family but it certainly was within the Christian worlds I was a part of. On one hand I knew that I would be accepted by my family but on the other hand I wouldn’t by the community I felt I belonged to. For a very long time I volunteered, worked and gave my life to my religion in the hope that this desire would leave me. It didn’t. When I came to this realisation I was at the end of my efforts, my mental health had taken a massive beating and I knew that I needed to make a decision. I needed to be vulnerable with myself first and own up to the truth.
So after months of therapy (done privately because this was still a taboo subject within the Christian community I was apart of) I decided to come out publicly. It wasn’t easy. I had to stop volunteering, I was told that my life choice was fundamentally immoral and I lost some of my closest friends at the time - their silence was deafening. That was the cost of real vulnerability. That was the cost of owning my truth. I walked away from that struggling in my belief in God and had to reevaluate my worldview entirely. But the freedom that came out of that dark place released me into my purpose. If it weren’t for the support of my family I would’ve remained in that dark place. Not a lot of gay boys have that kind of support and I am immensely grateful for it.
Truth is a force in this world that is undeniable and inevitable in its existence.
No matter the circumstance, it will always show up. It will always come out. It will always be revealed. Why hide from that? If I hadn’t revealed my truth in that moment, eventually it would’ve revealed itself. Being gay is not a choice but being courageous is. Part of being courageous lies within the boldness of vulnerability. I learnt a great deal of vulnerability watching Brené Brown. I find all of her current content to be so relevantly Zeitgeist that it truly is a message for the world right now. Do yourself a favour and watch the TED Talk, just do it.
Courage led me into my purpose. I had to choose it.
I am here to tell you to do the same - to own up to your truth. Regardless of the identity you subscribe to - this applies to life in its entirety. Truth can propel you into the future that you design. It can open up doors of opportunity that you never saw possible. Why stop that? The very essence of truth in all context of the word is pure and unsaturated. In the end truth will fight for you if you allow it to.
Spiritually and professionally truth has always showed up for me. When you are brave enough to speak your truth you reveal hidden agendas, expose prejudice and inspire people to do the same. It won’t be easy but it’ll be worth it. From my encounters with churches to boardroom meetings with clients. It reveals areas of growth and allows organisations to evolve forward. Whenever the truth is spoken openly with the intention to positively build it can have a tremendous ripple effect in the paradigm of not only your own life but of those around you. That is the power of owning your truth.
Ultimately, if you are a person that upholds truth as a value and you carry its essence in all that you do then your life and vocation will reflect as such. Wear it wherever you go, put it on like a robe and watch how people will recognise you for your authenticity.
It took me a while to see this and I’ve managed to jot down some steps that helped me on my journey. To be honest I’m still on the journey, we all are. I hope these will help you.
A Guide To Owning Your Truth
Step 1 Know Thyself
Understand your strengths, talents and passions. Do not find them in the opinions of others. Actually seek them out for yourself and you’ll realise that the only person that knows you well enough is yourself.
Step 2 Create Purpose
Purpose is not some weird essence you acquire. It is simply the action of being intentional with everything you do. Take what you know about who you are and apply it to making the world a better place. Purpose is always linked to genuinely helping other people.
Step 3 Be Unapologetic
Stop apologising for your positive attributes. The more you apologies for simply being you the more you define yourself as being a mistake - and sweetie you are no flipping mistake. Own that.
As we celebrate Pride Month this month it’s important we reflect on those of us who still feel trapped for living our truth. If you’ve experienced abuse or neglect for being LGBTQI+ or know of someone that is struggling feel free to contact these helplines: Love Not Hate | Triangle Project | Gay & Lesbian Network
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Art Direction: Mr Passos