April 11, 2014

Finding liberation from the pain of secrets

I’ve shared a lot here about the pain countless people have suffered at the hands of a cruel disease.

I’ve also shared how my recovery really began when I decided to tell my story.

Telling my story unloaded a heavy burden of shame and guilt. As I have shared before, I learned something I hope and pray others who are hurting come to know. Shame loses its power when we tell our story. 

I get a lot of feedback from folks who read this blog. Some of the best I’ve ever received came from little brother, Bill.

Bill is my hero in many ways. He’s the smartest and toughest person I know. The only thing bigger than his boundless personality is his heart.

There is one more thing about Bill some of you know and some of you don’t. Bill is gay.

He’s on my mind tonight because I’m on a plane bound for Washington, D.C. to see him. A bunch of other friends and family will also be making their way to Washington this weekend. Bill is getting married.

Another reason Bill is on my mind is I remember a conversation we had about the power of light to ease our pain and take away our shame.

Bill said he and millions of other gay people could relate to what I had written. They know the pain of holding onto secrets they should be able to share. They know what it is like to struggle with figuring out who they are.

They know what it’s like to wonder why they are different and if it’s okay to be different. They know the pain of finally figuring out who they are but wondering if they can be who they are.

I can only imagine how liberating it must feel to figure out who you are and then share it with family and friends. My guess is any shame melts away.

I think a lot of people can relate to what Bill must have felt. People who have suffered because they weren’t sure they could be who they are. People who have been abused but somehow think it’s their fault. People who have suffered in silence, scared and alone.

Part of me hopes this blog doesn’t offend anyone, but most of me doesn’t really care. All of me hopes those who are alone with their pain can someday find healing in the light of day.