Roles vs. Authenticity

I don’t know what truly comes from the real me versus simply how I was trained. When I have an urge, how can I distinguish?

I feel like I am the captain of a ship, well below deck and rooting around in the cargo hold. Problem? I am on the high seas during gale force winds at times. I have to keep the boat afloat in the meantime. But it is in the cargo hold that the map to where I am going is stored. The answers are deep within.

Authenticity is everything to me now. Being married for 29 years erased what little sense of self I had. It was all about Barry. I understand how spouses often die within a few years of each other. If being the spouse of this person is who you are, who are you when that is taken away? What I love about LGBT people is their willingness to pioneer their own lives and not just live the roles imposed upon them by society. We had a manager like that at Goodwill. The man wore high heels, had fabulous hair, and had a boyfriend. I am far too binary sexually to blend into that crowd. I was born female, identify as such, and have only wanted to date men. Barry, when I met him, had two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend. There was no doubt as to “what side of the buffet he ate from.” I could only date that type of man, no iffiness or questioning of his sexuality, period.

It reminds me of the saying in the Bible, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he shall not depart from it.” What I love about Buddhism is the mindfulness aspect. Meditation brings about awareness of the voices that were trained into your head. It is the ultimate untraining or detraining. Buddhism is more of a threat to Christianity than the latter can ever comprehend. Christianity indoctrinates and Buddhism says, “Are you sure? What proof do you have? What if the preacher or Bible is simply wrong?” To which the church replies, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Only listen to the voice!”

Do I have enough years to sort all this out? Is an urge coming from subconscious programming from my dysfunctional parents or my authentic self? I am uncertain how to find the needles of authenticity within the haystack of parental training.

About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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