Bruce Jenner is transgender. Who would have ever imagined! I know I wouldn't have. I was riveted this last weekend as I watched him share his story with Diane Sawyer for the whole world to see. To think that a man who was once the world's greatest athlete has been hiding this secret since he was a little boy, and is now standing in his truth in his 60s is so inspiring!
I know some people might disagree with me. I saw a LOT of negativity around Bruce's admission over the weekend on social media. There were two thoughts that stood out to me the most. One was the fact that people were concerned about how he "could do this to his family." The second was about religion. I want to share my thoughts on both.
Let's talk about religion first. I posted that I thought Bruce having the courage to stand in his truth was honoring and loving the way God created him. Some balked at this, and asked if by affirming his gender as a woman, was he not saying God made a mistake? This is a very valid question, but I don't think Bruce is dishonoring God by taking this stand for himself. In fact, I think it's quite the opposite.
There's a Bible passage where Jesus says that he is leaving us now, but that he leaves us with a counselor, and that no one can see it and no one will accept it, because it's the Truth inside of you.
In spite of the fact that Bruce was created in a man's body, the truth inside of him says differently. What it tells me is that he came into this life to be a strong messenger of God. If you look at Bruce's life, you can tell he has been preparing for this all along. If he weren't the celebrity that he is, this change wouldn't make such an impact. Bruce played by society's "good little boy rules" and now he's breaking those rules and standing in his truth. I know people who are already looking at their lives and their lack of courage after hearing his interview. And that in itself is the greatest gift Bruce can give: Helping people to muster the courage to break the rules and stand in their truths.
And that leads me to the concerns about Bruce's family. Our world tends to be quite dysfunctional when it comes to family. We hold our voices in and don't share our truths because we fear hurting the ones we love the most. But when we hold ourselves back, we create emotional chaos and dysfunction, setting an example for our loved ones to do the same. Well, I don't know about you, but I want my family to thrive from the inside out. And the only way to do that is to muster courage to stand in your truth and honor and accept who you are, not who you think you "need to be" to give and receive love.
Love comes from within. As long as we continue to hide our truths so that our families won't hurt, we will clip their wings from flying. I learned this firsthand years ago. When I quit playing the dysfunctional wife and mom role and began to stand in my truth with my family, no longer constantly trying to make them happy, but rather being an example of taking responsibility for my own inner abundance, my family shifted into a deeper love than I could have ever imagined. In fact, my late hubby, Steve, said to me, "I feel better in my skin than I've ever felt." I asked him why and he said, "When you quit care-taking me to find yourself, it forced me to find myself. And I feel better in my skin than I've ever felt."
Steve's words have helped me stay grounded in my truth, especially those times when I didn't feel I had the courage to do so.
Courage to stand in your truth aligns you with God. It means you are putting God first. In most families, we don't do this. We put our kids or our spouses first. I believe this is why families struggle. We've lost sight of putting God first. Some would disagree with this. We've been conditioned to believe that putting yourself and your truth on the back-burner is putting God first. But when you hide your thoughts, feelings, desires and dreams, you disconnect from who you were created to be. You separate from your truth. You separate from God. And in this separation, you suffer.
Like Bruce, it's time to evolve and end the suffering. It's time to do family a different way. It's time to be an Enlightened Family.
An Enlightened Family is a family committed to leaving the old family paradigm and making truth the number one priority. Think of it this way: Truth = Unconditional Love. We thought the old way of being family was unconditional love, but as long as we continue to do it the "old way" and hide our true selves, we perpetuate a cycle of pain and suffering.
Terri Britt is a spiritual coach, inspirational speaker and former Miss USA, and the award-winning author of The Enlightened Mom. To learn more about how you and your family can walk the path of The Enlightened Family, grab Terri's free audio at http://terribritt.com/family.