When I was recording my audiobook, it struck me a few times how intense and traumatic my journey has been.
I never really gave myself the "luxury" of saying, "hey Jim, that was some pretty crappy shit you went through" and then taking the time to actually feel the impact of that.
When I've read about other gay christian stories of struggle and trauma, I feel for them with a passion. But I've always felt a bit emotionally detached from my own story. Of course, its a protection mechanism, one of the fruits of a good British family - stiff upper lip old chap!
Many of us tend to do this with all sorts of stuff. We can acknowledge the pain we've experienced, but devalue its impact by saying things like "there's always someone worse off", "no use crying over spilt milk" etc.
But there's a paradox here as well. We DO need to realise that the past is gone, despite the effects on our lives, it's only a memory, and yet we have to acknowledge and actually feel the emotions of our painful past. It's an integral part of our psychological make up.
So I'm letting myself, a little at a time, finally embrace the pain of my past, and emotionally embrace the words I write and the memories in my heart.
I'm totally into the belief that "now" is the only thing that has meaning, but if we don't allow the full experience of "now" in all its emotional glory, we keep robbing the next "now", and the next...
The emotional process allows us to embrace the moment to its fullest, provides healthy context for the next moment, and frees our hearts to be fearless.
Its OK to feel