Parents often warn us about the dangers of putting trust in others. They want to protect us from the potentially negative forces that others can hit us with. In order to master your dream, however, you must realize that the only human you should be worried about trusting is yourself.
My freshman year of high school, I engaged in some supreme messiness and gradually eased into a relationship with my somewhat-of-a-friend’s girlfriend. Who raised me? Irregardless, they ended up breaking up and we got together soon thereafter. We were in love. For months, her ex wanted to fight me, but I just wanted to be with my girlfriend. Luckily, it blew by, and my girlfriend and I kept it pushing.
I ran track, and she hated my annual track trips to Nationals and other meets, where there would be track girls and hotel rooms. The ironic part, though, was that I was not even attracted to girls, including her. So there I was, a closeted, gay, black athlete who was somehow in love with his girlfriend. I’m talking jealous boyfriend and everything; a whole mess.
Not being attracted to her made.. "activities" nearly impossible. Like.. well, you get the picture. To this day, the anxious trauma from trying to keep my charade up for those experiences still hasn't gone away. The question was: to give up on fake straightness or to improve my acting skills?
The verdict: acting seemed to be calling my name. The thought of being exposed as gay was absolutely too terrifying to accept. I decided to take matters into my own hands; it was time to engage my scientific methods to synthesize SNCl: Straight N**** Chloride.
The week of my 16th birthday, my team had a track trip to Myrtle Beach. My mom threw me a great surprise birthday party. Afterwards, my friends all wanted to have some fun with the girls on the team and felt that, despite my relationship, I deserved a great night of cheating. After all, it was my birthday.
I really loved my girlfriend. I cared deeply about her. But part of me wondered: if I can successfully cheat, then doesn’t that mean that there’s hope for me to live happily straightly after? Even more pressingly, my straight friends clearly did not have morals, so if I acted with integrity, logically-speaking, my sexuality would come into question, right?
All of my "logical" thinking tends to be the death of me. Eventually, these inner and outer pressures got to me, so I gave in; I mildly cheated. Yes, mildly. We hardly did anything since I didn’t like girls and obviously could not experiment my way into a new sexuality, but what was happening? A gay boy cheating on his girlfriend all out of self-hate? Not only did I feel extreme guilt from wronging my girlfriend, but I had never felt more hopeless about my life. Cheating had not miraculously solved my problems, and only I was to blame for the negative internal consequences.
The dream that you live is under your control, with the help of God. When you voluntarily choose to be any less than 100% of your true self, you hurt not only others, but yourself most deeply. Parents believe that others pose the biggest threat to their children's inner-peace, but the fact is that no one but yourself harbors power over your inner-peace. The things that you allow yourself to believe as true dictate how you act and feel. No one's opinions ever strip you of the power to live boldly in your truth.
Never let the world affect the way that you view yourself. You have such beauty and light inside of yourself. Shine your light out for all to see. It is then that you will discover just how truly beautiful of a creation from God that you are. It is then that you will infinitely bless others, yourself, and the entire universe just by being authentically you. Neither others' opinions nor the circumstances God deals you are to blame for any of your actions. You always have the power to decide the actions you take in your dream.
It's not them; it's you.