By Jim Koury, Editor, Diversity Rules Magazine
© 2012 Diversity Rules Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
During the course of our lives we have encountered situations that may have been stressful, painful or just something you wanted to forget. There are also those moments that are joyful – ones that made us feel happy and contented. Most times these situations pass without much thought and life continues. However, there are some instances in our lives that can be considered “defining moments;” moments that will greatly impact how we perceive ourselves, and will influence our life decisions and how we move forward with our lives.
According to Dictionary.com, a defining moment is “a point at which the essential nature or character of a person, group, etc., is revealed or identified.” It is a time at which a person discovers their true essence or something about themselves that when revealed or identified, will allow for personal growth and an expansion of one’s worldview.
In my 51 years I have experienced many defining moments in my life which have brought me to where I currently am. The most notable, obviously, is related to the point at which I decided to cast off my façade of lies and self-deceit and came to grips with being gay. That defining moment was a two pronged decision. First I came out to myself, and second, is when I came out to others; my family, close friends and subsequently work and other professional associates. What a liberating feeling it was when my “essential nature” was finally revealed and I no longer had to hide and live within a fabricated lie. I could begin to live a life based upon my true essence and not what others thought I should be.
The decision to embrace my true self, brought other defining moments forward. While living my fabricated lie, I developed a worldview that was premised upon a false foundation. I began to question all aspects of my life; most notable my spirituality and political orientation.
I was brought up Catholic. I was the last one in my family to really cling to the traditions and precepts of the church. I would go to Mass every Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation as we were taught. But after coming out, something happened. I began to question why I wanted to be part of an organized religion who constantly expressed their contempt for homosexuality and it being the downfall of society.
After many anguishing discussions within myself, I arrived at a defining moment and essentially cast off the religious façade I had constructed. I set out on a path of self-introspection and began to research and analyze what really being a spiritual being meant. That process continues to this day but I am in no way reflective of what I once was and embraced as the “truth.”
Politically, in order to hide myself, I projected an outward, and somewhat extreme conservative façade that deep inside I despised and I hated myself for. But at the time I felt it was a necessary evil because I thought I would never be able to live the way I really wanted to. The defining moment was to finally remove the shackles of my false conservatism. With this decision, I have now become what I really was all the time inside, a compassionate liberal, dedicated to the advancement of progressive causes that help people instead of harm them.
I am currently within the midst of arriving at a another defining moment. I was told by a very special person, that I would come to a fork in the road, where I would have to make a major life decision, one that would determine and resolve many issues and conflicts. I firmly believe I have chosen the right path, as my gut tells me it is. When the time is right, that defining moment related to which path at the fork I decided upon shall be revealed.
What are your defining moments? What instances in your life impacted you so much that you made a conscious decision to reveal your essential nature or character? Have you decided to be true to yourself, and be who you were born to be? Are you living your life the way YOU want to or are you still living it according to how someone else thinks you should be living it? No one knows that truth except yourself. If you are not being the real you, then it will fester and bubble inside you until you can’t stand it any longer. You will arrive at your “defining moment” and make decisions that will be good for YOU and not someone else.
Embrace your individuality. Do not be ashamed of who you are. As Auntie Mame said, “Live, live, live…. Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” Don’t starve any longer! Quit thinking too much, live in the “NOW” and live your life according to your plan and what you want! Make it your “defining moment” to liberate yourself unto yourself. Do it TODAY!