12 September 2009

When Jesus Helps You Find Your Way – You’re on the Right Path

On August 26, I made a decision and committed to a date. It’s the scariest thing I have ever done in my life. I set a date to go full time and also scheduled a date to see the infamous Dr. Ousterhout in beautiful San Francisco. I will start living full time as a woman of November 30 and will have FFS on December 02. Little did I understand the enormity of these two decisions.

This time around, my journey has been very positive. I have the full support of my former wife, her family, my family, co-workers and friends. The people I have met during this journey have been incredible, inspirational and most of all they have brought meaning to my life. I have gone from having no friends in my life to being blessed with an abundance of good friends. All of these riches have been brought to me by accepting myself and being honest with those in my life.

Life has always been a balancing act of light and dark for me. While I can easily see and remind myself of all the joys this journey has brought me, I also fear the unknown. Once I set a date, I began to realize the strength these fears had.

The fears started to creep in a few days after the excitement of setting a date began to wear off. The fears became so overwhelming that by yesterday, September 10, I was ready to throw in the towel. I obviously made a bad decision… While this journey brought about a lot of good, it’s also hurt a lot of people... I am selfish… I am… You name it, if it was negative; I was feeding myself mouthfuls of what ever I was thinking.

A good friend, Beth Ryan, commented on my Facebook status and asked me the following question: “Have you had that moment where you realize "oh my, I might just come out of this okay"? If not, may I suggest keeping a box of tissues nearby at all times?” I laughed when I read the comment. I never in a million years thought she would be right. Over the last ten days, I’ve lived her words.

As I was trying to find a graceful way of backing out of my decision, a little voice inside my head said: “don’t look back… you can never look back.” Ooops! What are the Eagles doing in this story? Be gone spurious thoughts. Seriously, something kept telling me to go to church. I was raised Catholic, but lost my faith around 12 years ago. At that time, I also started to question everything in my life. I lost all faith in Christianity when I started to read more about the American Civil War and learned about the South using religion to justify slavery. Shortly after that, I discovered Buddhism and found that the Buddha's philosophy really met my spiritual needs. It also filled a whole left by my abandonment of Catholicism.

I went to the church I was baptized in, married in and had the funeral ceremony for my mom and dad. It's the oldest Catholic Church in Virginia (http://www.saintmaryparish.net/about.htm). Regardless of my current believes, this church has been a sanctuary for my spirit.

When I sat down in the pew yesterday, for the first time in my life, I actually took a good – long look, at Jesus on the cross. At that moment, the lighting was perfect and I was in the right frame of mind. As I stared at the form on the cross it began to look lifelike. For a moment, I thought it was going to move. The blood at the hands, feet and rib cage looked fresh and real. For a short amount of time, I became aware of all the suffering Jesus must have gone through for his believes. I then realized "my journey" / "our journey" isn't any different. We all have beliefs about how we have felt since childhood about our gender. We can choose to live our belief and accept our doubt and suffering, or we can let the doubt get in the way and stop us from believing in who we are.

During that short amount of time, it all became clear. I understood the importance of believing in myself even when I have all these reasons not to believe. This realization has given me the courage to understand it’s all going to be good. The future is unknowable. This time is mine to live…

Don’t look back… you can never look back. =D