“Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes, turn and face the strain… Ch-ch-Changes, just gonna have to be a different man.” These lyrics from David Bowie’s song “Changes” are as powerful and meaningful now as they were when Bowie first sang them in 1973.
The power of change is strong. It can propel one forward to new beginnings depending on the reaction to it. Change can also create chaos in one’s life. Strength to overcome chaos is the biggest challenge to meaningful change.
As a closeted youth in the 70’s, many instances of chaos were presented to me. Looking back I see how my reaction to those changes determined what decision I would make and which direction I would go.
Due to the inability to adequately conquer the societal issues over homosexuality and the prejudice that prevented one from coming out in the 70’s, along with my own internal conflicts, my chaos created reactions that produced even more chaos, thus drifting aimlessly for many years. So it seemed at the time. However, I now clearly see that was not the case. The events and decisions I made in reaction to them, determined my path; the right path that I needed to traverse.
My turmoil over being gay and being in the closet was difficult but this time in my life would ultimately get me to the point I am at now; an out, proud, self-confident individual, not afraid to take chances, and accepting change as a blessing.
Chaos can be draining. At times I have allowed myself to be immersed in the river of chaos, struggling to find the next high spot along the riverbank. The high spots do come. Once change occurs, it is a remarkable feeling to know that a significant challenge has been overcome, due to tightly holding on to the vision of a higher purpose.
To the many closeted LGBT people reading this column, it is YOU that I am trying to reach. Accept your chaos as a blessing and make the changes you need to make in response to it to move you forward toward your higher purpose.
I encourage you to find your next high ground along the river of chaos. You need to find it by digging deep within yourself. It is there, hidden. All you need to do is find the strength to get beyond your chaos. Make your decision to change and not drown in the river.