— Jo K., Singapore
The problem here isn't sexual orientation, but judgment against the self. Instead of being gay, let's say you were bald. Most men are self-conscious about being bald, and it can serve as a focus for loss of self-esteem and a sense of not being masculine enough. I hope you see that it isn't baldness that is causing such self-judgments, which can become quite obsessive and overpowering.
Being gay is more difficult to come to terms with than baldness, of course, because of society's attitudes. You don't actually detest yourself; you have passively absorbed other people's negative attitudes. Religion is part of society, and when it enters the situation, one winds up with yet another layer of disapproval—perhaps the most severe of all—because to be gay, according to Christian fundamentalists, is to put your soul in jeopardy.
In your position, I would list the problems you feel inside, putting them down in order of severity and then writing down a specific remedy for each. For example:
- Feeling lonely and different
Remedies: Meet other gay people who have good self-esteem, join a gay social club, make one good gay friend, make one good straight friend who is fine with homosexuality
- Self-judgment and insecurity
Remedies: Find one thing I am good at, join with people who value my accomplishments, find a confidant to share my feelings with, make friends with somebody who can serve as a model or mentor
- Religious guilt
Remedies: Read a book on modern faith and gay tolerance, find a gay friend who is also Christian, seek out a gay pastor
- Sexual dissatisfaction
Remedies: Join a gay group that is about something besides sex (hiking, movies, dancing, hobbies), read about heroes and pioneers of gay liberation, identify with strong role models who have successfully combined sex and love
Every week, Deepak will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your question now!
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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