(Update: we ended up discussing this topic on an episode 5 of BTB. You can find it here.)
A couple of weeks ago, Bret and I recorded an episode surrounding our shift in beliefs concerning the morality/immorality of the LBGTQ community. We didn’t like how it turned out, so we went back to the studio the next week and completely redid it. The following morning I texted him and said,
I don’t like what we recorded yesterday at all. To me it felt choppy and scattered and I don’t feel like I was transparent or genuine.
Let me just say he wasn’t too thrilled about that. I mean, perfectionism is one thing, but recording the same episode THREE TIMES? And we’re trying to wrap up loose ends and get these things published! Well, he had no enthusiasm for my pickiness. So we ended the chat with his promise to send me a copy of what we recorded so I can listen to it again and see if I was just too caught up in my own head. Then we both went to work and started our days.
I’m an esthetician who specializes in eyelash extensions, so I have hours and hours of quiet time at work to think and get lost in my mind sorting through my thoughts. Thousands of lashes later, I realized that it wasn’t actually the episode itself that was awkward for me.
What was/is awkward is working through a long-held belief that alienated and damaged people and trying to come to terms with the fact that “at least I’m not that person anymore.” This feels graceless even trying to put into words.
I’m ok with the fact that I once believed in a god and no longer do. I feel a lot of freedom in that and my new (dis)belief causes a lot of problems and unsolveable questions to suddenly aleviate themselves. But talking about changing my view on gay, lesbian and transgender persons forces me to remember what a bigoted, judgemental, misinformed and uneducated person I was.
There’s this scene in one of my favorite movies, As Good As It Gets, where Simon (played by Greg Kinnear <3) is about to look at himself in the mirror for the first time after having the living daylights beat out of him. He had been recovering in the hospital and feeling ok, but when he had to take a peek at himself, scarred and bruised and stitched up… well, it was brutal.
THAT’S what conversations like the one Bret and I had that day make me feel. Like, “Yay, I’m in recovery and I’m doing great and healing and everything is going to be awesome from now on!” And then that mirror get’s held up. It’s brutal. It’s honest. It doesn’t treat me to any stage makeup. Yep, there are all of my flaws… there. they. are.
Changing your beliefs can be thrilling and rewarding and energy-giving. It can also point out that you wasted three decades of your life following and passing on a toxic belief system… and there’s some grief to be had in that.
In the end I told him to just go ahead and post it, but then I want to do an episode where we explore what it REALLY feels like to change your beliefs, what it costs and what happens to your insides when you shake them up and let them settle in spots they never sat before.
In the end, I always want to be ridiculously vulnerable. I hope you’ll listen.