Courage to Live Your Truth

Courage to Live Your Truth

Who would have thought that seeing an opera about a man becoming a woman would be one of the most inspiring shows I’ve ever seen? Before the show began, one of its librettists, a transgender woman, spoke. She shared about the human desire to be loved for our hearts beating under our skins, regardless of our gender—past or present. The show which followed earned a standing ovation and triggered many tears in me.

Why did it hit me so strongly when the topic wasn’t even my issue? The transgender one wasn’t, but the search for one’s true identity and to fully express that is my issue. In the show, the protagonist didn’t feel right being a male. He then changed his sex, faced rejection, and lived in isolation, before accepting and living publicly as his new female self.

I’ve lived and still live my own version of that path. Growing up, sometimes my family or society squashed me. My mother always wanted me to wear lipstick, and I don’t like wearing makeup. I felt unacceptable for my plain lips. Today, though, I accept myself and go make-up free!

Society also told me that “Blondes have more fun,” so I thought blond was best. I then highlighted my hair for many years in a costly pursuit of a false persona. When I later stopped highlighting, people told me that they liked my “new” brunette hair color. “Real” is always best.

Then, on a recent river cruise, one of the waiters kept trying to get me to drink wine, and I don’t drink alcohol. He persisted, “Don’t you want any wine?” “No,” I replied multiple times and said that I was happy with my water. I felt sad having to repeat my “No,” and wished that he had accepted my first one.

Worst of all, though, were the times I rejected me. I was afraid to own my truth and said “Yes” when I meant “No.” I gave up dreams because others didn’t approve. I’ve written for years, but I rarely went public with my writing until recent years.

The pain of not accepting myself, though, hit in my early twenties, and I’ve spent much of my adulthood purging past pain, learning who I am, and gaining my life as Jennifer!

And who is she? A creative, spiritual soul, with a deep faith and love of God. I am a writer and teacher, and I love the arts, nature, travel, and cultural events. I’m a health oriented, fitness buff, who only dines on healthy fare. My greatest prayer is to develop my potential and share my gifts to bless the world.

What’s next in my journey of truth? The publication of my next book—Anorexia: You Can Never Be Too Thin—Or Can You? In it, I share my journey from near death in anorexia, to healthy life in recovery.

Sometimes, I wonder if I should go public with my vulnerable stories. Today, I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time and told her about the book. She asked if I wrote under my name, and I said, “Yes!” Even though it’s scary, I need to tell the truth. That’s the only way to be a genuine healing voice and guide for others. Thus, I’m putting more of my life on the page.

The transgender woman who co-wrote the show had the courage to tell her truth. My truth is different; but I hope my story heals and inspires others, whether they have anorexic issues or not. All stories matters, and there’s something to learn from all lives.

Many years ago I heard a song called, “Return Again—Return to the Land of Your Soul,” written by Shaina Noll. It was an anthem for me to return home to my true self. It’s taken many years, but at 53, I’ve returned to and inhabit this land.

I wish everyone the courage and confidence to return the land of your soul—and to live your truth. Your soul and others will thank you because all true lights bless the world.

Jennifer K. Jordan

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