We live with labels, even when we hate them. As Panti said in the previous post's video offering, it feels oppressive to feel you have to check yourself out because of concern over what others might think.
Life for this past five years has been a journey to a very new place for me. In every situation of everyday life, and family life, the way I am is not who I was. Not... at.. all.
Today, it is possible for me to calmly accept limitations that seem to be, and to be aware of an unlimited aspect that does not require outward expression. It is a freedom that is difficult to describe.
Do I self-label? Of course. I am human.
Am I ashamed of the way I self-identify? Not at all. In fact, I love who is inhabiting this body. That seems to be possible though because of that second aspect of myself that defies labeling.
On the first level, I am sometimes ashamed of the pretend-labels worn for the sake of others. They feel oppressive.
Have I been afraid of the real labels that are there to be discovered in time?
As Grandma used to say, Darned tootin'!
Why have I been afraid? Mostly because there is going to come a time, maybe soon, when Others Will Notice. Those pretend labels will dry up and fall off, leaving reality in its place for all to see. Life will have to change for a lot of people who I care about, for we all live with the consequences of labels.
We live in a fish bowl, where everything we do electronically is noticed in some way. I use technology extensively, and sooner or later information generated in this real part of my life will accidentally bleed over into that other pretend-side. This might have already happened for all I know.
In all ways but presentation I am transitioning, my body mass is redistributing itself much as you would expect a post-menopausal male's does, into a softer version of itself. For some reason, my breast tissue is increasing. If you think this bothers me, the answer is, not a bit. It has occurred to me lately that if the powers that be in the health care system would allow it, I'd have the surgery to confirm my gender as soon as possible, but continue to present as male for the sake of my dysphoric spouse.
Yes, you read that correctly. My spouse is dysphoric. She is heterosexual the way I am transsexual. To the bones; through and through and no amount of talk and arm twisting can change these things about us.
Something that is not pretense at all, is the love and the life we have shared and continue to share. It defines both of us in a way that is far stronger than sexual desires.
So, back to the labels we would wear.
It is said that sexuality is who you want to go to bed with, and gender identity is who you want to go to bed as.
By those definitions, I am bisexual and female.
What is not said, is that it is possible, in fact eventually necessary, to travel beyond that aspect of human existence.
There is more to being human, and that *more* involves allowing, yet ignoring labels. In that state, judgement is missing. Shame has no meaning. It eventually takes us all in and liberates us.
For some it is death, feared as non-existence.
For some it is re-birth and when conditions are just right, it simply happens.
It lies beyond fear.
Somehow, and it seems to be because of this new aspect that I am aware of, the idea of continuing to follow this path my ego has sent me on is no longer fearful.
I see the adventure.
I accept that life might get very "interesting" soon,
Wow, that is a monumental blog post! Thank you; I am glad that you are looking at things in such a positive light, and sharing it. It is quite encouraging, in the most literal sense of the word "en-courage".
Hugs n hopes
So happy you took encouragement away, as I hoped. Hugs back, January.Delete
Societies, really just a set of confining rules which change randomly through time and space have us rainbow creatures trying to fit within a grey scale world. Is it any wonder that some of our colour starts to bleed out...?ReplyDelete
Many of the labels with which we define ourselves are for aspects of ourselves we do not necessarily have to express. Genders, sex and how we would "like" to interact with others is often not fully expressed. My partner like yours would label themselves as heterosexual but it was when that aspect of our relationship became theoretical rather than practical from her loosing interest in that aspect of our relationship then I became freed to explore my true nature. It has not affected our desire to be a couple and as of yesterday it has finally been announced that a bill has been passed to allow old male female marriages to be morphed into two women marriages.
Who could ever have dreamt that one up as happening in our lifetime?
Life can be more interesting than we ever imagined...
Wonderful news that your marriage can be official again!Delete
With the right perspective and patience life can be so very interesting.
Something to be grateful for Caroline.
Halle, an interesting post. I won't comment further at this time, not until I have studied what you have said in more depth.ReplyDelete
Looking forward to your observations and insights Tom, as always.Delete
What I have to say, I do so from my own experience, as a seeker after truth, as someone desirous of psych-spiritual development. The more I read your post, the more I read a story of transition from what you were to that to which you are becoming. I would like to pick up on a few point which you made, points which I suspect you have already dealt with in your life.ReplyDelete
It may well be true that we live with labels, but that doesn't mean that we must own them, identify with them, or be ruled by them. I inwardly blanched when you said, "Do I self-label? Of course. I am human." I have to ask just who is in charge here? If it is the ego - which just loves labelling, tagging, sorting and ordering - then of course you are correct. Furthermore, the 'I am human' label can be used as an excuse for all sorts of delusory behaviours. (That may be indulgent fun sometimes, but hardly real.) If it is, on the other hand, what you call the second aspect of the Self, then that latter will have no truck with labelling, because in the end all labels are false; they are illusions. In my view, shame and guilt serve one purpose only and that is to draw our attention to something that may need to be addressed. In this case I would suggest the requirement to get rid of any labelling in which you may indulge.
Our True Selves are not enslaved by our behaviour patterns, therefore for that second aspect of Self there are no problems. It may well be that others will be discomfited by what they see in us. But we must ask the question, "Is that our problem?" The answer is of course that it is not. This does not mean that we do not care, only that we see with open eyes. As far as the electronic connection that you mention, that can be a cause for concern. This connection brings in our vulnerability to unseen others, some of whom may choose to exploit our vulnerability. That is something which we all risk.
It is sad, but understandable, that your wife is ill at ease with your current situation. There is an unhappy parallel here with families of alcoholics and other substance addicted people, e.g. hard drugs etc. When their addicted family member, more usually the spouse, perhaps, successfully comes to terms with their condition, and gets into recovery - physically (hopefully) and spiritually - there is a sense of 'what about me'? They may feel that they have become side-lined, and victims of circumstances. They didn't ask for this to happen to them. It is equally true that homosexuals, lesbians, trans-sexuals, heterosexuals, the injured, the mentally damaged, addicts, didn't ask for it either. Nevertheless, there is a problem for those whom the world considers to be 'normal' (ugh!) to be lovingly addressed.
You are correct when you say that it is necessary to travel beyond labels to a non-judgemental state of being. It may feel to be, and indeed to actually be, deathlike as far as the ego is concerned. But death can also be seen as rebirth into another state. And experience shows that it does lie beyond fear. Yes there is always more, and it is always exciting, as we are discovering.
I do wish you well, Halle; and my thoughts also go out to your wife and family. God bless you all.
There is a danger of confusion in the use of the word "I" in the context of this discussion. Let me add my own comment here in order to clarify and indeed to some extent reflect back what you have said.Delete
"I" am human, in that it is necessary to live in the world, and interact in a way that allows others to carry on in the way they have. I am not trying to sell anything. If there is a discussion where passing along changes in perspective such as the one I have experienced is useful to another, that will happen within the context of that discussion. I don't ever expect for instance to attempt this level of introspection with anyone in my daily life. One never knows however.
"I" am human, in that in daily life one experiences labels, and must acknowledge them and avoid becoming too removed from that life to function. By acknowledging labels, one does not have to be enslaved by them. They exist, are noted and allowances are made that are necessary.
What you so correctly call my True Self might be likened to a very patient observer. "I" am that observer now.
For the past year, I have noticed and written about a calm feeling that I could not explain, but felt was inexplicably present. As well, I have written here before about a power I named Love.
It seems to me fear and shame and judgement cannot coexist with that power, and it is in my True Self that I have found the calm, and the connection with that power, not a power to manipulate or control, but to accept and see worth that exceeds any sort of judgement.
Tom, I really appreciate your paragraph connecting my wife's feelings to those that others have experienced. I want to understand her and recalling events over the past years, these connections you suggest make so much sense.
All the very best to you once again Tom.
Honestly, I have no comment other than, wow!. A very deep and very revealing post, Halle.ReplyDelete
Thank you Hon.Delete