Written by Jana Miller
2012 was the year the Mayans said the world was supposed to end. They got that wrong. Except for the world I lived in.
It imploded when I came out that spring. And it’s been falling apart, coming back together, changing my perspective and how I love, and teaching me to sit with the questions, every day since. It’s been a roller coaster experience that I’ve come to know as ‘valleys of despair and mountains of beauty.’ I’ve been judged, cut deep by the words of people I love, misunderstood, ridiculed, healed, loved and saved. I never meant to cause anyone else my sorrow. But it became inescapable. And it literally just about killed me.
I told the truth not because I wanted out of my life, but because I wanted into it – real, authentic, fully who I am. There are a few chapters I’m not proud of. And grief and guilt are still daily companions. But yet here I am. In this place of hope and faith and learning so much about what it means to love with no bounds.
It used to piss me off to hear about people, organizations or churches extending ‘tolerance’ to people like me. It sucks to be ‘tolerated’. What the hell is that anyway? It used to piss me off to be told that I’m loved ‘anyway’, despite my ‘choice’. And then I realized that I was ‘tolerating’ you back and loving you ‘anyway’. And it didn’t feel good. So, I decided to just accept where people are at with it. For as strongly as you may believe it’s wrong in some way to me, love is just love– and those two things can exist together. Anyway, it isn’t your acceptance and forgiveness I need so much as my own.
I hope you never have to wrestle with personal demons that cause you to question your worth and purpose. And I hope your soul is never crushed for a time by the greatest letting go of your life. But it may happen, and if it does, I wish you a few good friends who will always stick by you. I wish you people (like maybe an ex-husband) who can sit with you on a hot Saturday afternoon and appreciate that love stories take a lot of twists and turns, but love remains. I hope you have a loving and supportive partner who encourages those conversations. I hope you act more out of love than fear.
And I hope you rise above the haters and see beyond those sitting in judgment. They don’t know your story. They don’t know your heart. And they don’t know how blessed you are for the pain. Be who you are. Always.