Experience…Is it really what you wanted?


There’s a lot of interesting quotes about experience.

  • “The journey is the destination.”
  • “What you experience is more important than what you have.”
  • “Without the experience there is no learning.”

Yes, yes, and yes! I wholeheartedly agree with those statements. Nonetheless, as gay men, I’m curious…”Is this experience as a gay man really what you wanted?” If not, “Why not?”

To often we get sucked into this belief system that spirals us into “This is what I’m supposed to do and what I’m supposed to experience as a gay man!” Not surprising at all. How else did we come through our coming out journey? If we hadn’t bought into a belief that being gay was not what we were supposed to do and what we weren’t supposed to experience, then there would have been no need to come out or to have a coming out experience! Yet, here we stand, doing it every day in every way. Having experiences that leads to the question, “Is this what you really want?”

If the answer is “No,” then what are you going to do to create a new experience and come out of the fog of not having what you really want? For starters, might I suggest, simply making a list of everything you are currently experiencing that you don’t really want to experience. Do a diarrhea dump of the “don’t wants!” Step two, place each of the things on the list into three buckets.

  1. In my control
  2. Externally controlled by someone else
  3. 50/50 shared control

Obviously, the most logical next step is to act on the things that are in your control and take action to make a change. The next step is to then determine what you can do with the 50/50 shared control stuff to bring it more to 60/40, 70/30, 80/20, 90/10 and eventually fully into your control. The final step, and the biggie, is to determine what you do with the things you believe are fully controlled by someone else. Notice I said BELIEVE! Ironically, there’s always room in what we BELIEVE to be fully controlled by someone else, for us to take control.

Once you’ve started to check the boxes on control, control, control, you begin to shift from being at the effect of your experience and instead affect your experience.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 and Flicker User MTSOFan!

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