Monday, Oct. 11, was National Coming Out day. Congratulations to anyone and everyone who came out of the closet that day.
How about y-o-u? Have you "come out"? Or did you think "coming out" is only for gay people? You might not be in a closet concerning your sexual orientation or gender identity, but as a human being, you're likely to be in some kind of closet.
Here's a good way to know if you are: Ask yourself the question: What am I pretending not to know about myself? If you spend the time and look deeply, you'll discover that there are thousands of answers to that question. This could be an inquiry worthy of a lifetime's contemplation. Every time you discover an answer, a new closet door opens and another piece of freedom bubbles up.
Here are a few closets you might discover in your inquiry:
1) The closet of unworthiness -- believing yourself not deserving of having loving relationships or being successful or abundant or having what you truly want. The result? Scarcity, lack and limitation, money issues, dysfunctional relationships, isolation, depression, are all evidence to prove yourself right. Are you ready to free yourself from that one?
2) The closet of self-judgment or self-condemnation -- holding yourself hostage to a belief that you're inferior, not capable, a failure or somehow broken -- you cancel your own vote before even getting started. The result? Health issues like heart disease, insomnia, weight gain or other body related issues, eating disorders. Is this belief moving you in the direction you want to go? Have you suffered enough yet? Isn't it time to let go and move on?
3) The closet of arrogance, superiority, self-righteousness -- which is really masking deep feelings of inferiority and insecurity. None of this is who you are. Why keep pretending? What is it costing you to be so hidden from yourself?
4) The closet of fear and mistrust -- Life is full of betrayals, and you've had your share of them. If you're in this closet, you keep yourself closed off, protecting that which you think you are, which is really an ego identity. F.E.A.R. is "False Evidence Appearing Real." You've fallen for the illusion. Isn't it time to get clear about the truth?
5) The closet of shame and guilt -- This is the mother of all closets. It's the one that holds all the rest and keeps the doors closed. Chances are extremely high that sometime in your past, you've done something that violated your inner sense of right and wrong. You knew better at the time, but you crossed a line within yourself and perhaps now you carry shame about it. The result? If you're holding on to either of these emotions, you've got yourself buried deep in the closet. Isn't it time you forgave yourself and came out? Are you ready to be free yet?
What does it mean to "come out"? And what does one "come out" to?
In the context of the National Coming Out Day, the Human Rights Campaign describes coming out as "the process in which a person first acknowledges, accepts and appreciates his or her sexual orientation or gender identity and begins to share that with others."
Let's expand that definition for the rest of us. And our gay brothers and sisters are welcome and included in this expanded definition as well. Try this on for size and tell us what you think:
Coming out is an act of personal liberation in which a person affirms and lays claim to the absolute truth of who he or she is. It is an act of acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude for the gift of one's life and the courage to live it boldly, authentically, freely and passionately in alignment with one's highest good.
In that we are all connected, when one of us has the courage to lay claim to the truth of who we are, when we claim our personal liberation from all that has bound us and kept us hidden in the closets of our own making, when we come out, we inspire and empower others to do the same.
Just as we have been glued to the TV, watching those 33 Chilean miners gain their freedom after 69 days of being trapped underground, all of us feel freed. (An interesting observation on the recuse operations: the miners arrive in a desert as they reach the top. Given our discussion of "Crossing the Spiritual Desert" in last week's post, what do you make of that?)
Your liberation sets off ripples in the lives of those around you. Isn't it time you came out? Here's a little "booster" to help you take the first step. Complete this statement:
Today, I declare myself "out." I choose to liberate myself from _____ [type of closet] and lay claim to my _____ [highest good].
Let us hear your proclamation of liberation and coming out. Please leave your comments and share your stories below, or pay a visit to my personal website and blog at Rx for the Soul.
May I be the first to greet you as you emerge from the closet and on to your rightful path.
Click "Become a Fan" at the top of this page and be notified when new posts appear. I'm a fan of fanning!
A new eight-week session of Life Fitness Coaching Boot Camp begins on Oct. 26. This is a group tele-coaching experience at an affordable price. Registration information will be available on my website shortly. You may inquire by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Dr. Judith Rich on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dr_judithrich