I've really been into helping people see that they are OK, at the core of their being. They aren't broken.
I love seeing that spark as they realise they have value, that they actually matter and can bring so much to those around them, and even the rest of the world!
But I'm realising I don't quite live it myself - not as much as I would encourage others to do! Sure, I'm happier and more confident than I've ever been, but I'm seeing that my self hatred is deeper than I thought.
I didn't fit in as a kid. Then I realised I was gay - culturally forbidden in the 60s and 70s conservative middle class. Then I got religion, and the self loathing got even worse. My whole life was one of failure - not living up to my own or other's expectations. The image I had of myself affected every aspect of my life. I lived in fear of being exposed as a fraud.
Now, I have come out of that to the degree where I feel free and integral for the first time in my life, but I still don't value my abilities. I still think I'll fail - that people will somehow see that I'm a scrambled mess, and I'm of no real value.
I still walk into a room full of people and deep down assume that they are all "better" than me - more "adult" - more "together".
So here I am, trying to make Silent Gays and my book a going concern, when deep down, there's still that sense of fraud and failure.
I'm not sharing this for pity. Its simply that in seeing this for what it is, I realised that so many of us feel the same. If we've hidden who we really are out of fear and shame, then it will affect every area of our lives!
I passionately want to help the world be a better place, to provide hope and love. We all need to help each other to be all that we can - to recognise the affects of the past and to support and encourage each other.
We CAN do this - We are not our past - We are not who we were.