I have shared here many times about the pain and confusion of living parallel lives. It goes beyond simply having a public life and a private life. For as far back as I can remember, I have lived a compartmentalized life. As a child, I had my family life, I had the secret life of abuse and a parallel life of my own escapism, I had my school life and I had my church life. There's always been a part of me that excels and seeks to lead and a part of me that I long to live undetected.
After many years, I am coming closer to living a more integrated life. I have friends who I allow to see my flaws, and I have made a conscious effort to become more humble and less manipulative. Rather than trying to shape others opinions of me by "leading" them and wowing them with my "perfection," I am learning to be myself, accept myself as perfectly imperfect and flawed, and let others be themselves. Perhaps they are in a place to form opinions of me, or perhaps they really don't give a shit about what I think or do -- despite my once grandiose ideas that I was the center of everyone's universe. Either way, I have no stake in what others think of me. Instead, I have a vested interest in how I feel within myself.
It may sound as if I am being a little too harsh on my past self. Trust me, I love myself more today than I have in a long, long time -- maybe ever. And it's not because I'm so much better than I was before. It is because I accept this journey that I am on as my pathway, my journey. I am simply at peace with what is.
In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of kindness... I see what people call God in all these things. Pablo Casals
This is not to say I don't struggle with non-acceptance and self-hatred and feeling overwhelmed at times. I most certainly do. These are emotions that sometimes show up every day. But those are not the places that I dwell. I seek, today, above all things, peace in my soul -- peace with all that is around me. And I find it not in complacency, but in acceptance and and immense gratitude that, thus far, the God of my understanding has found a purpose for me.
I may be a fat, depressed, sex and love addict, without a real job, with more questions than answers sometimes -- but despite those things, God has found things for me to do in this world. The AA Big Book talks about "We had a new employer." And I am grateful beyond words that among the work that was meant for me was the task of making peace with myself. It seems to be making all the difference in being at peace with the world around me.
Again, I don't mean to imply in any way that my life is perfect. It is not, and I am learning plenty of things the hard way. I am simply saying, I know more peace than I have known in a long time, and for that I am immensely grateful.