Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reconciling my spiritual side

Good morning blog,

During the past few months, the one thing my forced vacation has seemed to provided to me is a lot of time for self-reflection.  Today this self-reflection is around what I would consider my spiritual journey.

I have probably spent the majority of my time over the past few years with the physical aspects of my being - they way I look or don't look and how to present myself in a way that makes me feel good.  What I haven't spent much time with is on my emotional or spiritual side.

Now I grew up in a very religious repressive environment so naturally when I think of the word spirituality I naturally become negative.   Talking with my therapist this week made me start to think of this in a different way.  I'm trying to think of my spirituality instead of in the formal religious aspect but as have I feel complete inside.  Its really a different way for me to connect so I'll try to make some sense in my ramblings here.

I know inside that I feel more female than male but instead of thinking of things in two genders I'm trying to think of myself as one whole, and some smashup of feelings and emotions of both.  I am starting to realize that regardless of which physical gender I present myself with, I have both male and female thoughts, feelings and emotions inside.  And that is ok.   It is just me and whom I am.

Now the real tricky and difficult part is accepting and being comfortable with myself regardless of what gender most perceive.  Our environment reacts to our physical appearance, I would get strange looks if I tried to present as male and showed up to work with painted nails for instance.  What I have to reconcile is feeling content and happy with myself regardless of how my nails look and any other physical traits.   I realize that I was not born to be able to blend into a female appearance naturally and do not have limitless resources to achieve this, and if I do transition someday I will still always have some 'maleness' no matter how hard I try to remove all traces of this.  I need to find more of the spiritual strength inside to accept this and to accept who I am - with all my faults along with all my good qualities.

Do we need to lose oneself in order to find ourself along this journey here?  I feel like I have done a lot of work and still have a lot of work to go in order to get rid of all my preconceived feelings about me to get down to my core being.  Is this the key that once I have gotten rid of all the distractions that I can figure out what is really important and make some healthy steps forward to achieving a complete me inside and out?

I am not really sure about most of this, but I do feel that I need to feel content about myself in order to make a change forward or I may be always doubting what step I'm taking.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Fear of change

Hello blog,

I have spending a lot of sleepless nights recently thinking about change and what that all means to me.  Not just change of identity, but internal change in how I feel about myself, relate with others and how I can try and focus on changes to make myself positive and be who I want to be.

These thoughts are good but thoughts without action are ... well, just thoughts.  So then I start thinking of what holds me back from taking action on these thoughts and that is what I'd like to write out more about here.

If I am being truthful, there are many reasons that I don't take action which at the time may be valid and some invalid.  From I am not quite yet ready and it is safer to not make a change (perhaps valid) to it is easier to keep doing the same even if I am miserable (kinda foolish).  When I start listing out all my reasons for not making any changes, most of them boil down to one thing - being afraid of change.

What is this fear of change?  Accepting myself as being transgender I realize that this also means accepting changes physically but more importantly emotionally.  How many people and things in my life will I lose as I continue down that path to accept me is a common question that I have dwelt upon for a long time.  The more important question I am coming to realize that I haven't dwelt on enough is how much will I gain by moving ahead?

So instead of sitting there paralyzed with my fear and thoughts and not doing anything, I am trying a new approach.  I am going to try to take these large goal looming ahead in my transition (moving to full-time happy Jaclyn and being out in the world) to instead take tiny little steps and keep pushing myself to take them.  For example, I am going to try and work on social skills by trying to make new friends and search out support groups and then be patient to do these little things.  It is going to be difficult because of bad past patterns of failing at one small thing and then giving up.  Instead I am going to know that I will move ahead, then back, then ahead, then back and eventually these steps will lead me more forward than backward overall.

While I am trying to avoid the fear, I am still wary of change and of days ahead of me.  I am also telling myself to be afraid of some of the dark days behind when I refused to change and how destructive that was.  I have a long, long, long way to go and know all these changes will be a huge disruption in my life.  I am just looking forward to what amazing things I am going to benefit from with the change instead.

Hugs, Jaclyn

Here's a recent poem I have written about this long road of change that I thought fit in here.

Walking naked in the rain,
Feeling, absorbing, surrounding in pain,
Going down this fruitless path path again,
It is time for me to make a change.

Thoughts carry weight even with actions undone,
They set things in motion not yet begun,
A dangerous exciting path to start down upon,
It is time for me to make a change.

The next time I just want to run away,
The next time I think there's no reason to stay,
The next time I do not want to even face the day,
It is time for me to make a change.

I now realize my inaction has hurt so deeply,
Opportunities that I have thrown away so selfishly,
No more will I continue to act so stupidly,
 A new me, it is time to make a change

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Multiple parts of me

Hello blog,

As I start to pick up the pieces from my last crash and burn, I have been doing a lot of self-reflection and self-learning along the way.

One of the things I have been reflecting lately is around self identity and trying to reconcile my femme persona (Jaclyn) with my masculine persona (John).  Talk about a true mind-bender here.
Probably up to the last week my thought was for one to survive, the other one must perish.  Now after a couple of deep thoughts I have come to realize how simplistic and incorrect that statement really is.

As I spend the days right now presenting and functioning as John, I realize that often many parts of my personality or behaviors really are coming from my Jaclyn perspective.  I often feel encouraged by these thoughts and actions as I feel more engaging, open and in touch with my emotional side when I let my Jaclyn side out.

Conversely if this is true, then if there is a day I function and present as Jaclyn, I will still have my John side as part of me.  But that does not need to be bad as it will include all my prior experiences and I can try to work on letting the desirable John traits in and the undesirable ones go.

Thus in reality I feel like I am sorta like the ice cream swirl of personality and perhaps think of myself with a gender neutral name like Jackie to remind me of both parts.  Of course, adding more names will seem to confuse things but then again what is really simple and straightforward in a gender questioning world?

So I think I am going to take this little piece of perspective today and move further towards my quest of understanding and accepting the true me.  I have found a nearby support group with others that prize the gift of multiple gender identity and think that will be a big step to attend and connect with others.

If there is anything this past month and half has taught me, is that I cannot do this myself and I do need help in this world.  I am going to reach out to try and understand all parts of me and to chose to take the positive parts and nuture these regardless of what identity I finally present.  I hope that someday this will become more clearer for me as I keep taking those small steps towards the goal of self acceptance.  For today, I am going to realize that being in touch with multiple sides of me is really a gift that makes me special for whom I really am.