From rejection in coming out to self-love, a spiritual journey to find authentic life and family

I would love to say my coming out experience was filled with ease and grace.

It seemed to start out that way with friends in 2006, the majority of whom were not the slightest bit surprised by my long-kept but apparently not well-hidden secret.

The faith tradition I grew up in condemned same-sex relationships, and when that denomination split, I found myself isolated from the rest of my family.

It was hard enough to share my truth with my immediate family, and it was considerably harder when they realized this wasn’t “a phase.” I was met with passionate disapproval and months of silence, which threw me into deep grief.

From Disappointment to Acceptance

I didn’t understand how the family who, until now, supported me in every possible way could suddenly be filled with such disappointment and disgust.

Eventually I concluded that showing any sign of support for me would go against their faith in God and their view of the inerrant word of the Bible. They believed it could jeopardize their salvation.

As I sought comfort from those in the LGBTQ community, their enthusiastic suggestion that I might create a family of choice was an upsetting invitation. I wasn’t interested in a family of choice. I wanted my family and their support. I knew they loved me, and I also knew I didn’t want to live an inauthentic life.

In time I found a spiritual community that was like a salve to my heart, and I began the process of what I call the “debridement of my soul.”

It didn’t happen until I was ready and willing to be loved by others, and then the miraculous formation of my family of choice began.

From Family Love to Self-Love

Each chosen family member offers a gift by their presence and unconditional love. They believe in me, cheering on the inner and outer transformations taking place in my life. They reach out to ask how they can support me. They call me on my BS (Belief System) and know my love language is food, which I never turn down. They are willing to sit beside me and hold me as I cry, because sometimes I just want to be held and reassured that everything is all right.

We already have the power within to create the life of our dreams, to transform our lives one thought at a time.

When we speak the desires of our heart, the Universe responds. When you say, “Show me love … joy … hope … peace,” it will be revealed.

You will be amazed at the barriers and blockades that crumble in the face of love. There’s always someone longing to become part of your tribe, to celebrate your value, and to walk through life with you, no matter the duration.

The television character Gloria Pritchett on Modern Family said it best: “Family is family, whether it’s the one you start out with, the one you end up with, or the family you gain along the way.”

I still have the love of my family of origin in addition to the love and support of my family of choice. Add to that the budding of my own self-love and the infinite love of God.

If there’s anything I know for certain, it is that I am loved.

About the Author

Jen Dickey (she, her) is a digital media specialist for Unity of Houston, Texas.


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