What it takes for me has been a progression, “stepping-stones” if you will. As, I’ve gone further into my journey each one of the steps I followed, took my transition to a deeper level. This will address the first of a series of “stones” in my progression and my on-going journey.
The first step I took was “self-awareness”. This meant acceptance of me, who and what I am. It meant looking very deeply and recognizing my own strengths and limitations. It meant accepting that I must grow and change as an individual by looking outside of my boxes and seeing the world and all of its challenges through a broader view. I had to develop a strong belief system and build my on my own integrity. I had to set goals and begin to plan for my growth as an individual before I could take on the task.
Taking a hard look at me and my own weaknesses was one of the hardest tasks I had to work on. We are often labeled perfectionists because of our endless need to become more pleasing. Accepting that I had faults and areas to improve in humbled me in many ways. Later I realized that learning more about myself taught me to recognize what I was looking for. I learned to distinguish between what was fantasy and what was a reality in my life. Again, I had to reevaluate myself and learn even more acceptance of the many possibilities ahead of me. I learned to respect myself and all that I had to offer – first as a human being.
I began by examining and listing all of my talents and skills. I created a resume of sorts so that I could clearly see my own accomplishments. This helped raise my self-esteem and built my confidence. I later used this as a way of presenting myself and my potential. The key is to be able to present your strengths without coming across as ego based, arrogant, or overbearing. When presenting your accomplishments always maintain an element of respect and humility.
Next along my path to self-awareness came taking a hard look at the truths about my weaknesses. I had to release my pride and accept some realities. I did this through long hours of self-reflection and embracing my faults as seeds that needed to be nurtured and developed. I had to stop holding on to my weaknesses as if they were a treasured purse. The reality was that this treasured purse was unwanted baggage that was weighing me down and slowing my progress. I had to look ahead and have vision into what I could become. I learned that “the best way to predict the future was to create it”. Forward thinking and looking ahead would allow me to become a person I could admire and desire to be. I accomplished this on-going task by setting both short and long term goals for myself. These goals provided me with structure and guidance. I was taught that the most effective types of goals are those that are: measurable, specific, flexible, and challenging yet achievable. My short term and day-to-day goals were “stepping stones” or pathways to achieving my long-term goals. They established clear direction and built concentration and motivation. I became a more disciplined person and was able to improve my focus.
Now that I had a grasp on whom and what I wanted to become, I needed to develop a clearly defined system of beliefs that embraced the true spirit of my pleasing nature. I looked inward and began to explore my own beliefs. I had to understand my true inner self and why I had become a total person. This involved examining my own integrity and having faith in the beliefs I had embodied. Beliefs should be made to withstand the challenges that life throws at us. To accomplish this we must be firmly grounded and stay true to our beliefs. You must practice and live by your beliefs or they may shift and crumble underneath you at times of change or troubled waters. My beliefs have been tested time and time again, but staying true to them has been a painful but rewarding experience.
A statement I was taught when I first began in this lifestyle was “Your power is your integrity.” It wasn’t until several years into my learning and living the lifestyle that I truly started to grasp what that one simple statement meant. To me, it means understanding that I am, being who I am, and living a life that incorporates these ideas. When I accepted these simple words I found a power inside of me. This power was in agreement with my true nature. When I understood my nature as a transsexual, a part of me that had never been discovered became whole, perfect, and life sustaining. In return it generated creativity, joy, and calmness within me. Through self-awareness, growth as an individual, and having faith in my personal beliefs I was able to take the leap to the next stone and offer myself in a mutually rewarding relationship based on honesty and respect.
We will never have the total answers, but we must go with the flow with the most respect and integrity.