Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I'm doubtful about my sexuality. Since I was about 6 years old, I somehow knew I was different inside. I'm 21 now, and more or less able to recognize that "it's" part of me. By "it," I'm referring to having a queer interest in members of the same gender (I was born Christian, by the way, so you can definitely imagine the turmoil inside of me). So, when I actually realized that it's not going to go away (these thoughts and feelings), it just shook my world. Sadly, I have been struggling to "kill" this part of me since I was a kid. By playing "me" down, I could actually fit in and seem like a normal guy. So what I would want to know is: What is this condition (if it considers itself as a condition) that I have? I'm sure I'm genetically programmed to think and feel the way I do. I have even tried going against it, but it simply felt forced, and even fake. Extremely confused, and this is actually the first time I'm asking. Oh. I had my first feelings of depression in 2004. Now, I am on medication (fluvoxamine), which is preventing any further relapses. Hopefully, you do have some sort of direction for me. And honestly, I do detest myself for being queer and odd. Get back to me? Thanks a million.
— 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:
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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.
Embrace your individuality
Be true to yourself
Set your body free
Published on March 17, 2010