This blog is from the heart, informed by having been married to a closeted gay man and understanding how that experience changed the trajectory of my life, both as a woman and as a psychotherapist. Please add to the conversation and "Follow" if you're so inclined; all voices are welcome!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Grrratitude

This dinosaur recently discovered the joy that is satellite radio. All those years spent driving around without it...who knew the treasure trove of music and wisdom that awaited me?

Take, for example, Oprah's Lifeclass, Oprah's Soulclass, Oprah's anything. Oprah is my new addiction, my "Must Hear Radio."  Every single episode contains some gem, some piece of wisdom that knocks on my brain and says, "Hello? Anyone in there? Because this one's for you."  Between Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Ram Dass, Iyanla Vansant et al., I am veritable fountain of spiritual and emotional growth. Of course, my aging brain forgets 50% of it an hour later, but in the moment, I am e-volved.

I can't recall with certainty the title of the particular program that really got my attention, but it may have been something like "Gratitude...Really?" or "Transcendence for Dummies." It was all about living in a place of gratitude, being thankful for the gifts received as a result of whatever #!*%! experiences we've been through.

I have actually preached about the idea of gratitude many times when wearing my therapist hat, and intellectually it makes perfect sense. But I am more than a little amused at how the person behind the therapist (me) was resistant to actually embracing and applying the concept to myself. The words "practice what you preach" and "therapist, heal thyself" come to mind...

So, here goes:

Rob, thank you for giving me the experience of having married you, and having shared your journey of coming to terms with your homosexuality. Because of it, I have learned or gained the following:

1. I discovered a depth of compassion within myself that I didn't know was there, because I felt your deep pain and distress even as I was going through my own.

2. I am a wiser person and a better therapist for having experienced such a profound loss...and even more so for coming out on the other side relatively intact. (You only get credit for the first part; the second part was all me).

3. Your description of your attraction to men as being "as fundamental as hunger" helped me not only understand you, but lets me now share my understanding with others that homosexuality is not in any way, shape or form a "choice" -- it's a hard-wiring over which you had no control, no matter how much you wanted it to be different.

4. Because of my own battle with grief, depression and loss following the end of our marriage, I bring authenticity to my work, and am not afraid to share who I am with my clients, warts and all.

5. I gained a credible voice in the straight spouse struggle, and am in a unique position to be of assistance to both straight spouses and those coming out of the closet.

Would I want to go through it all again? No. But am I a better person for having had that experience? Absolutely. And so, in the end, I am grateful. Seriously.

So -- thank you, Rob.

(And thanks, Oprah!)

**Please visit our GoFundMe page at www.gofundme/kintsukuroi.com to see how you can help support personal growth and empowerment weekends for straight spouses. Thank you!

To schedule a face-to-face or FaceTime session with Kimberly Brooks Mazella, LPC, please go to my website at www.straightforwardcounseling.com.  For information on our developing program of personal empowerment weekends for straight spouses, visit my Facebook page, Kintsukuroi. I can also be reached at kim@straightforwardcounseling.com.