We recently took Caroline to New York for her birthday. Part of the trip included seeing Wicked at the Gershwin Theater. The show was spectacular. I’m in a bit of a rebuilding phase of my life after opening lots of compartments of my life that I have kept hidden from practically everyone I have ever known. Watching Wicked at this particular time in my life was useful. Elphaba’s struggle with what others saw as a flaw hit close to home for me. I have come through what I think is the worst of it now. Here are some conclusions I have drawn.
I am not the sum total of my flaws.
I may be broken in many places, but that brokenness does not define me.
I am no more special than anyone else, but I am just as special as anyone else.
The repair work I have done does not erase the history of abuse I experienced. The repair work does, however, take that history and uses it to make me stronger, to draw me to deeper compassion, and to celebrate the me that I am becoming.
I am loyal, faithful, and caring. These traits are not perfected in me, but they are being perfected in me and will continue to be until I cease to breathe.
I cannot dwell on my failures - times when I have been less than honest or times that I have been uncaring and unkind. I can look squarely at those failures, seek forgiveness for those failures, and live in authenticity and with pure intent so as to reduce the likelihood of repeating those failures.
I love my family more than I love my life. I love Karen, Daniel, Caroline, and David. I will not hurt them by remaining in the prison of betrayal. I will come out of the prison, and I will live for perhaps the first time in forever.
I refuse to be labeled. I am not a Christian man, a church man or a non-church man. I am not a straight man or a gay man. I am not an abused man, a weak man, or a strong man. I am simply a man. That is all there is to it really. I am simply a man on a journey to somewhere unknown.
I will not settle for walking with a limp. I will learn to run with the limp. I will learn to soar with the limp. The limp may always be there. I don’t know right now, but I suspect it will be. I do know that I cannot pretend the limp is not there. I reject anyone or any organization that would have me dress up and pretend the limp is not there. I do not live in Oz. I think I’ll try Defying Gravity.