I had a suicidal day about 6 years ago…
Yes. That’s after I started Sensophy (a life-coaching company). And no, the irony doesn’t escape me.
I couldn’t explain this at the time. But in hindsight, I was having a panic attack trying to grapple with massive amounts of uncertainty about my future… and even more scary, about who I was.
It took me 10 years to learn this excruciating lesson that I’m about to share with you. But first, let’s rewind for some real-talk about how this all started.
Growing up, I had this big shame that I wasn’t man enough. And it came from everywhere. Society. Hip-Hop. Even my pops. So I was always afraid about being seen as feminine…
But as as a teenager, I didn’t understand the difference between being feminine and being gay.
Seemed like the same thing to me. And so I would obsess over this question of “Am I gay? Am I gay? Am I gay?”
As a scared little boy trying to validate his manhood, I did everything I could to prove I wasn’t gay.
And as I grew up into my 20s, that scared “Little Jacob” was still inside of me… trying to prove his hetrosexuality by doing manly-man things like kick-boxing, racing his motorcycle through rush-hour NYC traffic, and sleeping with as many women as he could.
But no matter how many notches I got under my belt… every so often there would still be this voice that came into my mind and said… “But you’re gay, though. Stop pretending.”
This wasn’t the voice of wisdom, intuition, or truth. It was the voice of fear. The voice of shame. The voice of “not-enoughness”. And I tried everything I could think of to make my mind shut the fuck up already.
When the external action didn’t work (kick-boxing, motorcycling, sexing), I tried to cover it up internally with standard personal-development stuff… affirmations… meditations… mantras.
But there was no amount of “self-improvement” that could make up for a lack of “self-acceptance”.
And while on my blog I was preaching about “knowledge-of-self” being the gateway to happiness… I still didn’t know (with 100% certainty) that I wasn’t gay.
It was bad. Really bad. So bad, that I considered taking my own life one day. So I pulled out a journal and listed all of the reasons not to.
The only reasons I came up with were people’s name that I cared about. But even then, I was so ashamed of what these people would think of me.
At this point, the voice in my head was pounding so loudly that I could barely hear my own thoughts. I finally decided… “Okay. Fine. If I’m gay, let me be gay.” I thought that’d be enough to quiet my unrelenting mind that just wouldn’t stop yelling at me.
But. even. after. facing. my. worst. fear. and. leaning. into. it…
The questioning still didn’t stop!
And THAT’s when I learned one of the hardest lessons ever…
It wasn’t about making peace with being gay or not… It was about making peace with the fact that I’ll never know.
When I came to accept the idea of “I will never know”, THAT’S when I found peace.
Now, one of my superpowers is the ability to thrive in uncertainty, which is why I can provide so much peace of mind for clients when they’re scared to take risks.
Here are 5 jewels of wisdom (from this story) you can apply to your own life:
1. Learn to make love to uncertainty. “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”(That’s a Tony Robbins’ quote).
So, where in your life are you looking for certainty or trying to pick the perfect choice? How can you expand the amount of uncertainty you can thrive in every day?
2. What you resist, persists. The more you push something away, the more force you give for it to come back at you. If you’ve got OCD, read this point again.
So, what have you been resisting in your life? What would be the worst-case scenario if you were to stop fighting it? And could you live with that?
3. Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs. When we “break down”, we finally give up on the way we’ve been trying to control things. We think control keeps us safe, but more often than not, it just keeps us trapped.
So, how can you ease up on the need for control and trust that things will work out?
4. Suicide is necessary. But not *physical* suicide. Instead, it’s a death of our current identity, persona, and ego. This is life’s way of guiding us toward reinventing ourselves more authentically.
So, what parts of yourself have you been holding onto that it might be time to let go of? Where are you people-pleasing and pretending to be someone you’re not?
5. Relationships are everything. But we spend so much time sacrificing them to focus on our success and ambition. There is no happiness without quality connection.
So, what’s one action you can take right now to strengthen and appreciate your relationship with a friend or family member? Take that shit. Now. :)
I’d love to hear some of your answers to these questions in the blog comments.
In conclusion, nobody really knows shit. And anytime you find yourself stressed, anxious, or trying to control things, remember…
We’re all just flying through infinite space on a tiny rock at 67,000 mph with no inherent destination.
Now if you wanna enjoy that ride a bit more, it’s time to make peace with the fact that it’s okay not to know or have everything figured out.
That’s part of what I call having a solid “Inner Game”. And next week I’ll be inviting you into a free “comfort-zone challenge” to help expand your sense of what’s possible while becoming more confident navigating uncertainty.
Especially for all my dudes, ;)
PS: I’m still yet to bang any dudes. We’ll see how it goes.
PSS: Everybody is on a specturum of hetrosexuality and homosexutality. Nobody is completely straight or gay. And our social conditioning has much more to do with our sexual orientation than most of us acknowledge. The ancient greek philosophers were super gay. And tons of hardcore thugs hookup in prison. #KeepingItGayngsta
Featured image courtesy of the #1 travel photography blog, Stuck In Customs.