Bisexuality and The Virtue of Truthfulness

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

“All our sacred traditions reveal that our life is inherently meaningful because we are the expression of Divine love, justice, kindness, and truthfulness in the world”[1].  In her book, A Pace of Grace, Linda Popov talks about how focusing on our virtues is essential in maintaining a joyous and productive life. I believe it is time for us bisexuals to take our focus off of what we do, and all the shame and guilt that goes with it, and focus on what we are and all the virtues we possess.

I would like to start with the virtue of  “truthfulness”. Throughout my first marriage, I lived a double life.  I was dishonest with myself and my ex-wife. It lead to heartbreak and grief for both of us and a mental crash and thoughts of suicide for me. In order to prevent heartbreak and depression, we have to be honest with ourselves, take an honest look at our actions, and search our feelings. Does our way of life really reflect the values we care most about? Does our life bring us joy? According to Popov truthfulness requires that we, “reflect on the meaning of what is happening in your (our) life and determine the guiding virtues you (we) need to do the right thing and to live more consciously”[2]. Truly this is the way, and perhaps, in the long run, the only way, to truly live a happy and meaningful life.

So how does the virtue of truthfulness apply to bisexuality? Here are my five thoughts on the subject:

  1. First the big one, we have to deal with the thoughts that are preventing us from being truthful with ourselves. The greatest source of these negative thoughts is shame. To deal with shame we have to first understand what it is and where it comes from. It is part of our subconscious mind developed during early childhood by the disciplinary system of our culture.  When we, as children, do something that our parents disapprove of, they try to make us feel remorse or shame. Then, as we get older, we feel this sense of shame whenever we do something that we feel our parents would not approve of.  This then generalizes to our relationships with others, including teachers, peers, and society at large. As bisexuals, we automatically fall into the shame category because our society does not understand our behavior and thus disapproves of the way we live our lives. We have to realize that our bisexuality is our own individual biological predisposition or orientation. We have to recognize that shame is coming from an outside source that is trying to make us conform to its standards. We have to realize that we are free to recognize the source, state our truth, and then respond and behave in a way that is true to ourselves and our orientation.  To live in truthfulness we must not feel forced to conform to  anyone else’s view on our own behavior and morality.
  2. Speak only the truth. This means being truthful with ourselves as well as others. We need to learn how to listen to the inner voice from the higher self that is telling us that there is something wrong with the way we are perceiving things. We have to let the voice speak without interruptions or excuses and then act according to that truth.
  3. We do not have to justify, or feel we have to justify, our thoughts and actions. We simply state the truth to ourselves and then to others as needed. It really is on a need to know basis. If someone inquiries about our actions, we should respond honestly and from the heart and give them only as much information as they need to know. If they want to know more they will ask.
  4. We should not impose our truth on others. Our virtue of truthfulness is never intended to put others in their place or to shock and hurt. We do not have to parade our thoughts and feeling before others who have no idea of where we are coming from and the truth of our inner thoughts and feelings. Truth is a private thing between us and our inner selves and the significant people in our lives. If you want to get involved in LGBTQ politically do it for good reasons but not to follow the crowd or to justify your actions to others.
  5. We must focus on the basic truth. The virtue of truthfulness should lead to a greater sense of being, purpose, and joy. If we are not experiencing these feelings there may be something wrong with our interpretation and practice of our inner truth and our development of the virtue of truthfulness.

[1] Popov, Linda K. . A Pace of Grace. Plume. 2004 (Page 25).

[2] Popov (page 25).

 

 

 

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