In the beginning of the journey, our hero gets in the habit of hiding and condemning parts of themselves; which creates a fragmented inner environment. This is good, and that is bad. This is is worthy of love, and that needs to be banished. So this is the psychological mechanism which is operating at the root of closeted behavior.
And this tendency goes on for some time… until one day, our main character decides that they are ready to change. And in order to prepare for and initiate that change…. They learn the art of true self care. They practice mindfulness, cultivate self awareness and engage in restorative activities. And simply by showing up, and making right effort… our hero starts to feel more safe and stable in their body.
Which brings us to the next chapter of our journey - The Shift. Or a change in environment, which activates a deeper level of healing and integration for our hero.
But first, just as reminder, The queer hero’s journey is a mythology of the queer path, which provides a framework of evolutionary unfolding that can help to orient the queer person towards certain key moments along the path of self discovery and creative freedom. This is a series of conversations so check the links in the description if you want to follow along.
Okay, let’s talk more about this shift.
So this is the chapter of the journey where our hero learns how to cultivate a warm and compassionate environment within themselves… which in-turn draws out the wounded, rejected and unloved parts of themselves. And then when those feelings… and thoughts and desires and memories begin to resurface, our hero tenderly embraces and accepts each and every piece.
And slowly… overtime, our hero nurses themselves back to full health. And they begin to stand on their own two feet, as a full being. Or as a person who has integrated and embodied all of themselves.
But how do you actually do that? How do you transition from someone who is fractured, to someone who is together? And how do you shift your environment from that of separation to that of wholeness? Well, thats what our strategy is all about…
Learning how to compassionately embrace all of ourselves.
This means learning how to look at yourself through the eyes of unconditional love. And instead of saying no… saying yes. Instead of turning away… leaning in. Instead of closing… opening.
And the reason that cultivating compassion is the key for this stage of the journey is because as your environment becomes stronger and more stable… which is what happens when you learn the art of true self care… then the natural next step is that you are going to be presented with all the parts of yourself were previously rejected.
Or other words… as soon as the closeted you senses a safe opening… its going to come forth. And it’s going to re-introduce itself to you. And it will say… hey, is there room for me in this new environment? And every time that happens… your job is to unconditionally embrace whatever comes up.
Because if you remember the perspective which caused this mess in the first place… it was a turning away. Kind of like a closing. Or a shutting down and a rejecting of what is. Which means that in order to rectify that situation… and reclaim all those parts of yourself that got sent to the closet… you are going to have to learn how to unconditionally embrace your experience. Which feels like opening and relaxing and softening into what is.
This means that in our hero’s new environment… everything belongs. Even, and especially those dark scary parts. This includes the shame and guilt and judgement. The depression, and dysphoria and blame and perversion. Because according to the perspective of wholeness… all of this has a right to exist, and all of this is worthy of love.
So the real opportunity here is to extend those arms of compassion not only to your queer nature… but your entire nature. And to apply the healing balm of unconditional love to everything that comes out of your closet.
Because if you are walking the path of healing… then everything that has ever been pushed away, needs to come back to you. Otherwise, you will remain in a state of separation.
And just like I said in part two of this series… it’s entirely possible to leave the literal closet, only to remain in the metaphorical one. But again…the antidote to that is to address the underlying mechanism which is causing you to reject the undesirable parts of your experience. Which you can do by getting in the habit of unconditionally embracing all of yourself.
So this means that heart opening practices are going to be really useful to you. Restorative, nurturing and gentle activities. Connecting to feminine energy. Learning how to speak to yourself with kindness. Connecting to the earth, and to animals. Being in water. Eating a compassionate diet. Contemplating the quality of a mothers love. Physically holding yourself.
But really the main teacher here, is going to be yourself. Or in other words… your rejected parts are going to be the very things that teach you how to love again. And if you can intuitively connect with the quality of love that these parts of yourself are asking for… you will be guided towards a quality of love which has the power to heal and transform your life.
But of course, this is going to take time, and patience. So start small… and see if you can be okay with the little things. The little annoyances. The subtle pain. The quiet buzz of anxiety. All of these are great opportunities to start learning how to be unconditionally open and accepting of all things.
And slowly, over time… you will experience a shift. Or a turning around, and a coming back into yourself. And you will integrate those rejected parts of yourself. And you will start standing on your own two feet as a full being. And once that happens… you will have capacity and wisdom necessary for inspiring change in this world.
Which is what the next part of our series is all about. Alright, ill see you in the next one.