I had my regularly scheduled call with my gender therapist this morning. And what began as a check-in about navigating coming out to a particular friend quickly turned into a 45 minute session about what kindness means to me. Though we spent only 5 minutes talking about anything vaguely gender related, after this conversation about kindness, compassion, and radical inclusion, I left that session feeling more equipped to talk to my friend about my gender dysphoria somehow. I left that session saying to myself, “You know what, I’m smart. I have so much potential. I’m capable of having important conversations, even if they are hard. I have strong interpersonal skills that lead me to act compassionately. I’m feeling good about myself today. I deserve to buy myself some ice cream to celebrate.”
The thing is, when I’m stressed, I don’t believe any of that is true about me. It all becomes a center point of shame instead of a thing of empowerment.
As I seal in my learning from this week, re-reading my post and digesting the comments, I realize I have to stop telling myself that I don’t know what I’m doing. Sometimes I’m too focused on the problem and what I need to have to solve it to realize that I have gifts and talents that are guiding me to ways to participate in the solution already. If I view my gifts as not simply good enough but as good in and of themselves, then I doubt I’d feel as aimless all the time. I hope that as I move forward to continually un-shame my way of being, and recognize it as something powerful instead.
I feel like just today alone I’ve taken a step forward in my discernment process. And that makes me feel happy. Thank God for Fridays, and for therapists, and for this community. And ice cream.