On my way to babysit my grandchildren this morning I was thinking about the concept of “coming out”. That idea sure has a new meaning, doesn’t it? It used to be something you’d say to playmates waiting outside on the sidewalk with their roller skates on. “I am coming out,” would be followed by something like “…as soon as I finish picking up the dirty clothes off my bedroom floor.”
Our gay friends have given it a new meaning. I think that their “coming out” takes lots of courage because they really don’t know what the outcome will be. But we all have truths about ourselves that we may find coming out about pretty difficult.
Recently I was talking to a friend who happens to be a minister and out of my mouth popped the truth about a character defect of mine. It wasn’t so bad, really. But I really admire this guy. I like to think that he thinks of me as a pretty mature gal and this certain something might be considered acceptable for a twelve-year-old. This coming out of mine bothered me later. I used to obsess over things like this, but I am getting better. I can still obsess, but I don’t give obsession as much time and energy as I used to.
A friend once said to me, “What other people think of you is none of your business.” I remember that, at the time, this was a brand new idea to me. “Are you kidding? Of course it’s my business. It is me that these people are thinking about, after all,” I thought. What’s more, what people think of me can really affect my life. What if I make a mistake and my boss thinks I am sloppy? There was no arguing with my friend. She was smiling when she said it and just kept smiling.
Since that revelation, I have come to believe what my friend told me. In fact, when I have been willing to come out about the fact that I am sometimes (stupid, forgetful, inconsiderate, lazy, liberal, conservative, …you fill in the blank) people like me better, not worse. Even if they don’t like what they learned, they appreciate the honesty. That isn’t 100%. Some people may like me less or out and out disown me, but isn’t that one way to find out who our real friends are? There may even be some consequences to my coming out that don’t seem to work in my favor. What if I do lose my job? I mean, that could really happen! I might have to ask myself if I am really not doing the job. But it may be because I have a boss who has trouble working with human beings. Maybe I will be happier going elsewhere.
Another friend told me recently that when we admit that we have a problem to someone else, we are 50% closer to solving it. I like that idea a lot. It doesn’t even have to be true for me to like it.
I am not going to tell my blog readers what I revealed to my friend. I might do that in one of my facebook groups but I know all those people. I remember Abraham Lincoln once said, “Tell some of the people everything and all of the people some of the stuff.” What a guy!