Hope—it’s such a small word. In our house there’s a lot of hope because of our grandson. It’s easy to have hope because the future is broad, filled with all sorts of of possibilities. I’m not saying everything is perfect, far from it. There have been things that have happened in the last few weeks that have devastated our entire family, but we still have that tiny bundle of joy that is hope.
Many of us lose our hope early in life. So much stuff goes wrong. There will always be someone stronger, prettier, smarter, lovelier, braver, kinder, and just plain better that we are. Life goes awry when we realize we’re not good enough. The evidence is out there in little whispers, on billboards, in movies, books, TV, at the mall, at work—You’re Not Good Enough! It shouts in the night, enveloping your mind, stealing your hope. The words conquer your peace, take your future, and leave you staring at yourself in the mirror, knowing that you will never measure up to the hope that was placed on you when you were younger. You were supposed to be the beauty queen, the athlete, the president, the CEO, the banker, the best chef in the world, beautiful beyond measure, or just plain better than you are. It eats at you, consuming you from the inside out, taking your life one second at a time, drilling into you that you should abandon hope, leave behind your future, and just die.
But all of that is a lie. You are good enough. Yes, we all have issues, and if you do have something you need to work on, then work on it. We make mistakes, but you can overcome your mistakes, you don’t have to believe the lies. You are good enough!
The issue I have with the article that has been making the rounds is that gay men have bought into the lie. Women have been living the lie forever, but two wrongs don’t make a right. What I mean by that is just because women have been told this lie from day one, doesn’t mean men should have to live this lie too. Yes, books with covers that have sexy models sell better. Just like commercials usually feature attractive women and recently the slovenly male figure in commercials has started to fade and be replaced by the hunky young, perfectly chiseled male figure to sell products. But it’s a lie. People come in all shapes and sizes, skin colors, hair styles and lengths. We are unique and we were meant to be unique. I wish it would be as easy as saying love the you that you are. Love your body, if you want to change something, then work on it, but know that you’re never going to be perfect. We don’t have teams of airbrushers following behind us, fixing every little flaw and I’m glad we don’t.
It has taken me years to move past the lies my father repeatedly told me. One of those lies was that no one would ever love me because I was too ugly to find a husband who would stick with me. He started telling me that when I was around 12 years old. It’s a lie, but it was my truth for a long time. Not all gay men are perfectly chiseled. Life hurts and people have hang-ups, but you don’t have to be your hang-up.
Learn to hope. I know it’s hard. Trust me, crushing things happen to us all, but don’t believe the lie. You are good enough! People who tell you that you aren’t good enough shouldn’t be given the power to dictate your life. The media shouldn’t be given that power ever. Be unique! Be yourself! Love yourself! This is the only life you have, live it to your full potential and stop allowing others to dictate your feelings.