Beliefs and thoughts are scattered about our minds like stars in the galaxy. They are everywhere, zooming around, influencing how we feel at any given moment.
The brain is the most powerful tool at our disposal. And it's right between our ears. The good news is that zooming thoughts can be harnessed. Harsh thoughts can be transformed into gentle ones, resulting in a more peaceful, enjoyable life.
Take a second to think about what you believe about other gay men. What words pop up right away? Without any judgment or digging for words, what first comes to mind?
And notice how those words make you feel. Notice any tension that shows up in your body. Observe how your mood may shift in one direction or the other. The beliefs we hold about other gay men have a direct impact on how we feel and what we say.
If we spend mental energy finding example after example of gay men being shallow, arrogant, or bitchy, we block our own happiness.
Too often we take an unpleasant experience with a specific gay man and allow that one person to represent gay men as a whole.
When our thoughts about gay men as a whole are constantly negative, we're going to feel anger, hostility, and judgment. We're going to miss out on having meaningful, thriving friendships with each other.
Unfortunately, some of us have developed a habit of honing in on what we don't like about one another. Is that making us a stronger, kinder community? Is that habitual thinking drawing us closer together or dividing us further?
The beautiful reality is that any of us can change our perception about each other in an instant. It simply takes a decision to change our focus to see the good.
I choose to believe and see gay men as loving, supportive, and desiring the same connection that all humans want. I've attracted so many phenomenal gay men into my life because I try to give others the benefit of the doubt.
I believe quality gay men are everywhere and in abundance.
This isn't to ignore the injustices and actual ways in which gay men harm each other emotionally, psychologically, or physically. Those must be talked about and addressed. I'd love to see loving, constructive conversations in this area.
I want to be part of conversations where all parties are at the table, where we can really hear what is in each other's hearts and minds, to witness healing where healing is needed.
It's vital to build on what's going well among gay men before we can transform what's not going so well.
Will we choose to think better of one another? Do we have the courage to do that? Can we let go of past hurt and look at each other with new eyes -- eyes of compassion and second chances?
Make an effort this week to shift your focus. When you interact with other gay men, remember their humanness. Each guy is a beautiful being who desires love, affection, and connection in the same way you do. Choose to let go of negative assumptions and your own past experiences.
Reflect on these questions: How do I normally talk about other gay men? What words do I use? This will reveal what you really believe. It's OK to be honest. Honesty opens the door for us to heal and grow. What negative words will you let go of this week? What positive, uplifting, loving words will you adopt?
See what happens. Notice how your feelings toward gay men soften, lighten up, and bring you closer to love.