“Michael and I got engaged!”
“Why are you doing this? Was I a bad parent? What did I do wrong?”
**10 minutes of reassuring them they were a great parent**
“Do you not believe in the Bible any more?”
**10 minutes of theological debate over my soul and the difference in believing the teachings of the Bible vs the text of the Bible**
“How did you go from such a good Catholic boy to this?”
**5 minutes of telling them I am an amazing, caring, successful, strong and independent person, all because of them**
**Short good byes are said**
This conversation happens more often than it should to way too many people in the world.
I’ve had this conversation in several contexts over the years since I came out with one of my parents. But honestly I was hoping for some progress since last time, when I said I was moving in with Michael 4.5 years ago.
But this time something clicked in me. A sense of not necessarily resignation but a peace-like feeling. My parent was never going to change. They were not going to attend my wedding. They were not going to support my relationship, life or me as a person.
And I am ok with that.
The duration of the conversation was me coming into my own and taking on the parental role. It was me in the unconditional loving role. It was me who was reassuring my parent that they had not failed me. It was me, not only reassuring them but telling them about the amazing person I had become, even more so since coming out. It was me who took measures to ensure that my parent was safe and would not make any poor choices after the conversation. It was me who took the conversation to a higher level of context and love.
And it was midway through the conversation that I realized a key had been unlocked and that a weight that I physically felt lift off my shoulders.
I would be the one to always adore them for what they have done for me. I would be the one to always offer the olive branch. I would always be the one to unconditionally love them. And I would always be the one to never expect them to reciprocate those feelings. I was at peace with the relationship or lack thereof that I would forever have with my parent.
It was at that moment after the conversation that I knew I had grown into someone that I could be proud of and who my parent could be proud of if they knew the whole me.
It was at that moment that I was ok with the fact they thought I was Hell bound.
It was at that moment that I finally understood and embraced unconditional love.
It was at that moment I finally put at peace the battle that I’ve been fighting, for the majority of my life.
And because of that, going into this engagement and wedding (21 months and counting)and the rest of my life, I know that I am going to be fine. That I will be loved unconditionally by Michael. That I will be loved unconditionally by the family I’ve created. And that no matter what, I’ll always love my parent whether absent from my life or not for the rest of my years on this Earth.
So for those of you who have to have these conversations with loved ones more often than not, please keep this in mind:
We can’t choose who is disappointed in us, who doesn’t love us or who doesn’t approve of us. But we CAN choose to unconditionally love others and enter a consciousness of peace that can propel you to an even greater relationships with those who you do place around you.
Until next time,
Peace Love and Pandas!