My Phone Was Stolen But I Got Something Even Better

A month and a half ago, my iPhone was stolen from right in front of me. A mobile phone is a small, relatively insignificant thing, but I learned a lot from the experience. Not just about myself, but about people. I posted about it on my Facebook page, and the response was overwhelming. Here’s what I posted: My phone was stolen tonight by a man who reached around from the booth behind me, grabbed my phone, and ran. He had a friend outside waiting in a car. Despite our best efforts, my friends and I couldn’t catch him before they drove off (but thanks for the workout, fellas!) I am not at all upset about having my phone stolen. My heart goes out to the guy who stole it, though. I can only imagine what circumstances in his life have driven him to be a petty thief (in well-lit, security camera-covered restaurants/adjoining gas stations, no less). Worse, he has chosen to live a life that is victim to those circumstances. I’m not a victim here – I’ll be fine. He’s the real victim, and I hope that he will one day take ownership of his life and create a life worth living according to his wildest hopes and dreams. Playing the role of victim is a choice, even if we’re not aware of the option to choose differently. We, as a species, will evolve when we make it our mission to raise up and hold capable all of our fellow men and women. I don’t wish that this man will go to prison (unless that’s what it takes for him...
Forgiving and Not Forgetting

Forgiving and Not Forgetting

“I forgive, but I never forget.” Like clockwork, I see some variation of this pop up in my Facebook or Twitter feed on a monthly basis. It seems someone in my life has been wronged and wants everyone to know that, while they are generous enough to “forgive” (if you can call it that), they most certainly won’t be forgetting. It’s a lot like, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Okay. Here’s the deal about forgiveness and forgetting. First, it’s not actually forgiveness until you are completely unattached to what the other person(s) think, feel, or know about what you think, feel, or know. Reminding them of their transgression is not a part of forgiveness, it’s a part of holding a grudge. Second, to keep bringing up that you “won’t forget” is to keep your transgressor(s) in an endless cycle of punishment. Not only is that impossible for them to overcome, but it keeps you in an endless cycle of punishment as well. You aren’t actually keeping them in check and making sure people will behave – it turns out that guilt and shame aren’t really effective in motivating people to choose differently. And the worst part? EVERYONE is a victim when you do that. Including, and especially, you. Now, an important thing to remember here is that people rarely actually forget anything. The point isn’t to forget. The point is to let go. I got dumped by my first serious boyfriend (in my adult life) roughly six months after my Mom died (which was a horribly tragic situation that I’ll share about...
The Power of “Why”

The Power of “Why”

My friend, the one and only Jenna Phillips, said something to me once that changed my life. And, since then, the definition and uses for the word “why” have continued to open up in new ways for me. A little back story: I was struggling with “tier-ing up” in my career. I wanted more money and I wanted bigger, better business. But I had a big, thick wall between where I was and where I wanted to be. I was resistant as hell to making that vision a reality. What I knew was that I was avoiding success because the “committee” inside my head was afraid of taking on new ground. To be successful like never before was uncharted territory, and my survival instincts said, “Hold the phone! We have no idea what is ACTUALLY over there! Let’s stick to what we know!” That was really tough for me. I couldn’t see how to shift my perspective so that I could be bigger than my circumstances or my committee’s conversations. Then, like a goddess floating down from the sky (ok, to be fair, it was a rooftop restaurant and the sun was shining from behind her as she walked in), Jenna brought to the table a revolutionary (to me) concept: What is the WHY behind your goals? Why do you want all of these things? Ho. Ly. Shit. I ran down the list of all of the things that mattered to me: with increased success, prosperity, and exposure, I can spread my message of transformation further and touch more people’s lives! I can create a life that I’d be...
Selling Out on Who We Really Are

Selling Out on Who We Really Are

I’ve noticed recently that I bristle when LGBT people celebrate coming off as “straight-acting” or having people not know they’re gay unless they tell them. In the interest of full disclosure: I’m gay. And, apparently, straight-acting(-ish). Here’s the thing. We spend most of our lives trying to be acceptable. And that sucks. As a gay person, I’ve been alive just long enough to watch the level of acceptance of LGBT people change drastically. I also grew up in a small town in the south where the community’s leaders went out of their way to encourage me to understand that my feelings were “wrong.” And those who weren’t doing that said nothing as the LGBT people they knew suffered. When I moved to Los Angeles almost a decade ago, it was a radical shift. Even then, my friend was at a red light one evening during the lead up to the vote on Proposition 8 (a measure that sought to ban gay marriage in California), when I heard a teenage girl, holding a sign that said: “Prop. 8: For Families”, yell, “We don’t want AIDS anymore!” Her parents (and possibly pastors) probably said that first. Here we are, finally allowed to marry in some states, and we still seek to be as unnoticeable in our orientation as possible. Many of us want to be just like straight people. And THAT is a perfect example of how we, as humans, work daily to reject the things about ourselves that we don’t like. I saw a video recently of an Irish drag queen talking to a theatre audience about how she checked...