Imagine waking up after a full night of sleep, wrapped in your partner's arms. He wakes up slowly, and he smiles in your direction once he opens his eyes. You smile back. You kiss each other. There's a moment of pause as you look into each other's eyes, smiling back at one another.
Between the both of you, it's going to be an amazing day full of laughter, joy, passion and energy.
You love yourself. He loves you. You love him.
We all have the desire to love and receive love. As human beings, we're wired to be with other people. All we want is to share our joy with another human being who we are attracted to socially, physically, and spiritually. We desire intimacy with our closest relationships, especially our partners.
Somewhere along the line, we realized that we express our love different than the majority of the population. We felt different and alone. We wanted things to be different, but we felt stuck and didn't know how to change.
When we see joyful partnerships, straight and gay, we crave what they have: security, safety, love, and connection. We want to wake up in the same bed next to a partner day after day. Eat meals. Go to the movies together. Travel to Italy, Spain, and Greece for three months over a summer break. Share laughs, tears, hardships and victories together. We want to be close and in love.
When we experience homophobia, this dream appears far from reality. People say "the gays are going to die and go to hell," and then we feel like we don't belong. When some gay kids come out to their parents, they are kicked out of the house and forced to figure things out on their own. These experiences made us fearful and afraid. We may have hid it for 20, 40, or 60 years. Maybe our entire lives. We conceal our true identity.
I denied my sexual orientation until I was 18 years old.
One day during my freshman year of college, I walked into ballet class early to warm up. I didn't sleep well the previous night. I was tired and depressed. I put on a smile because I knew that's what was expected of me. I wanted to be a performer and I wanted to be on Broadway, so I stuffed away my true feelings of fear and loneliness.
While I was stretching, I peered over at another male dancer in the studio. In that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought: I'm gay and there's nothing I can do about it. Fuck.. I hadn't told anyone at this point.
Ten minutes into class, I told my dance professor I felt under the weather. I ran out of the class and back to my dorm room where I burst into tears. I knew I was living a lie and it was the worst feeling in the world. It was heavy, dark and frightening.
I asked myself three questions:
- If I come out, what would become of me?
- If I come out, how will people treat me?
- If I come out, will I ever fall in love?
I asked these questions seven years ago.
Now I'm an out gay man. I love myself, I love men, and I'm no longer afraid to tell people who I am, what I want, and why I want it. I declare my truth each and every single day and it's the BEST affirmation in the world. I'm courageous and confident in myself.
What did I do?
I learned to love myself. I learned positive psychology, mindfulness, self-care, and self-love. I learned that life is wasted when we feel bad for ourselves. I woke up and realized that life is not worth living if I'm going to live by other people's standards. I decide to live by my own standards and follow my heart. I make this choice every single day. With consistency and discipline.
You can do the same. You can live from a place of confidence and courage. You can be bold and express yourself to other people without any shame and fear.
Power plants do not have energy, they generate it. When it comes to confidence and courage, we can generate it if we don't have it. When we do this, we declare who we are with self-love and pride.
All you have to do is decide. So what's your choice?
Max DuBowy is the author of the Ultimate Guide to Self Care for courageous gay men who are ready to love themselves and break free from self-hate. Are you ready to be confident, attract friends, and love yourself unconditionally? INSTANTLY DOWNLOAD A COPY OF HIS FREE GUIDE HERE.