“… Considering the violence and discrimination that transgender people endure, no one would go through this except for the most profound of motivations: to be authentic to one’s inner self.” (Nicholas Kristof, NY Times)
Authenticity to one’s inner self? It’s not just a powerful ideal, it’s the embodiment of SELF-LOVE and the perfect topic to discuss this close to Valentine’s Day.
I have never been the biggest fan of the Hallmark infused fury and blatant commercialization of Valentine’s Day. Maybe I was influenced, during my childhood, at least, having grown up in a somewhat observant Jewish household. Similarly to Halloween (aka All Saints Day), my Orthodox day school administrators didn’t go in for the whole “St. Valentine” experience. But as a hopeless romantic, I craved lace doily paper heart cutouts and corn syrup sweets emblazoned with Red40 tinged messages. Simply, I have always loved the idea of, love.
Yet I always felt this holiday would be better served by encouraging a different focus than often shallow overtures of affection represented by copious mounds of refined sugar laden cocoa bean products. Surely there has to be something deeper. What ever happened to genuine reflections of intimacy, self-love & authenticity?
There is one such light that shines in the world, capturing the essence of these far nobler sentiments. One person stands out in my mind as currently reflecting a true source and abundant supply of self-worth and self-respect, pillars that support the very foundation of where LOVE should begin. For whom does my supportive spotlight shine? A former hero, a Phoenix rising, a self-love ambassador, Bruce Jenner.
I do not wish to eclipse the significance of the accident Bruce was involved in this week, or lead us into a sideline discussion about paparazzi, who regularly engage in hapless car chases to hunt down their “celeb du jour”. Of course my prayers are with the family of the innocent Calabasas woman tragically killed, but this is about the celeb herself.
A wise friend of mine recently posted on FB:
“I realize that there are going to be a boatload of Bruce Jenner jokes in the coming months as he publicly goes through the change from man to woman, but I will not jump on that bandwagon. I can’t even begin to imagine the courage it has taken to evolve from an Olympic gold metal decathlon winner – “the world’s greatest athlete” – the idol of every kid in America, and silently, for so many years, feel not like who he really is inside. And now, because he can’t help but be a public figure, he’s going to document the change for all to see. In a way, because he’s caught in the Kardashian vortex, he has no choice but to do it publicly.
I’ve never seen a moment of the Kardashians, so I don’t know what Bruce is like on the show. I don’t really care, either. I just think he’s the bravest guy I know…and I hope (her) life as a woman will be as triumphant as his life as a man.”
As I read Nicholas Kristof’s words (quoted at the top of the blog), I feel a rising up of emotion, a powerful empathy, and a sense of peace. More than her physical body morphing, Bruce’s athleticism has itself shifted, becoming one of the most honorable and authentic manifestations of self-love, self-respect and self-compassion, I’ve ever seen. Transcendent of the focus for Valentine’s Day celebrations, Bruce’s journey can be seen as the motivation for our lives’ celebrations – our raisons d’etre.
In my workshops, with my private past life regression clients and my own children, I often talk about how, why and for what reasons souls choose to incarnate. Before we are born we decide who we need to be in a lifetime, what lessons we need to learn; to seek and offer love in an attempt to live a vibrant, integrated and abundant life of BEing. Some of us choose to share our life purpose through very public expressions of intimate and profoundly challenging life lessons in order to teach and encourage compassion, self-love & self-worth.
And I find the people who choose to embody, struggle with, and ultimately prevail are living more than their life – they are illuminating ours. So thank you, Bruce. Your willingness to let us bear sacred witness to your personal journey is truly a great and loving gift to humanity. You are my Valentine’s She-ro.
Photo & Quote Credits: Businessheroinemagazine.com, NY Times Op Ed., dailymail.co.uk, news.softpedia.com
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