For me 2016 was an interesting year, it was a year where I came forward with something that I never planned on sharing publically, I left my corporate job to pursue a passion project which is turning into a career, and I started living in deeper alignment with who I am.
Admitting that I was bisexual and that I’ve had sexual affairs with men for many years was something I never imagined doing. But the shame and depression leading a double life had on me became unbearable.
I knew that by coming forward my pain and suffering could have a purpose. To shine light on a topic that is taboo for men but socially acceptable for women.
That one decision had a ripple effect on my entire life. I have committed to living in my truth and have started living a life of deeper purpose which has only brought me joy and fulfilment.
If you want to hear more about me coming forward you can check out this podcast or read about How I Overcame My Struggles With Being a Bisexual Man.
Now let’s dive into the 3 biggest lessons I learned from my podcast guests this year as that’s what you came here for.
1) Celebrate Your Emotions Versus Punishing Them
This came from my interview with Preston Smiles, when I asked him how he responds to moments down days or low moments in his life.
For me, this was critical advice because I pivoted it to my sexuality. Talking to Preston made me realise that I needed to start celebrating my sexuality and not punishing it.
Even though I had come forward with my sexuality, I was still having a difficult time coming to terms with it, which resulted in a lot of emotions and confusion.
We live in a culture that believes you must be attracted to one or the either which isn’t true. I’m living proof of that.
Taking Preston’s philosophy of celebrating my sexuality versus punishing it, suppressing it, denying it was a huge shift for me.
When we suppress how we truly feel, we’re only exacerbating the problem.
2) Take Responsibility for Your Life
Whether it was Ruby Fremon talking about “Living a Hell Yeah Life”, Kelly Davis for Overcoming Mental Illness or Giordana Tocecilli for How to Create the Romantic Relationship You Want, it all began with taking responsibility for your life and current situation.
In order to move forward, we must begin with accepting that the life we’re living is a direct representation of the actions we’ve taken.
I’m currently reading Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (which I highly recommend) and sure enough his first principle for a counterintuitive approach to living a good life is understanding that we have the power of choice.
We have the power to perceive how we choose to look at the problems in our life. We have the power to take responsibility for everything that we’ve created.
And whether I turn to my good friend and mentor JuVan Langford, his principal of “choose higher” this idea comes up again.
This is an inescapable truth of life. We are responsible for the life we live. We are responsible for the actions we’ve chosen and the life that we’ve created for ourselves.
Change your choices, change your life.
3) Life is Perfectly Imperfect
The last point I want to leave you with is that life is perfectly imperfect and this comes from my interview with Alexi Panos.
I fucking love perfection. It’s something I strive for day in and day out.
I know that it’s not realistic and I know perfectionism is something that cripples me, thus I keep working on it.
Life is rarely perfect blue skies, sunny and with a hint of wind to cool you down. That’s not the way it goes.
We must learn to appreciate that life is perfectly imperfect in the way that it is.
My niece and nephew who are currently visiting me remind me of this every single day.
As much as we value having family dinners together, the idea of sitting in peace and quiet, having a meaningful conversation about our lives does not happen with a 1 and 3 year old at the table.
We don’t even get to sitdown at the dinner table at the same time.
But between the mess of food on the table, the spilt waters, the train truck choo chooing on the table this is a reminder of what a perfectly imperfect meal with family looks like.
It’s not about having everything perfectly aligned because it’s not going to happen.
Life is perfectly imperfect the way that it is.
And if you can take that with you into 2017 you’ll already be miles ahead in living a happier and more meaningful life.
With love and wishing you the best 2017,