In the lyrics of Bob Dylan, “there’s no one to beat you / No one t’ defeat you / ’Cept the thoughts of yourself feeling bad”. When we feel bad, it is usually because we are in the throes of low self-esteem, and we usually experience low self-esteem when we refuse to stand up for who we really are and what we believe. In the last blog, we looked at fortitude which is the strength we possess when we are in tune with our higher self. Assertiveness is the song we sing which naturally flows out of fortitude; it is the ability to express our thoughts and feelings from that inner strength which we all potentially possess through our inner self.
When we are assertive, we honor our desires, needs, and values. If we fail to express them, it is an act of suppression, and it will invariably sabotage our self-esteem. When we allow ourselves to be devalued, we are in danger of losing sight of who we really are. Self-assertiveness is directly related to self-respect. When we stand up for what we think and feel and dare to reveal who we really are, we show the world that we believe we are worthy of respect, and we express the fact that we are someone who matters.
Some of us have come to fear that openly revealing our true thoughts and feelings will lead to rejection. In fact, we may have become so intent on pleasing others that we have forgotten how to think for ourselves and may no longer be able to identify our own thoughts and feelings. We can learn to take rejection in stride. We cannot please everyone all of the time. Rejection is a natural outcome of living and being who we are. We have to realize that others may not be in the same space we are in. Their natural reaction is to defend their space and protect their own self-esteem. Instead of assuming that rejection would be unbearable and must be avoided at all costs, we can learn to see it as a normal bump on the road of life and think about how we might creatively deal with rejection if and when it occurs.
This requires fortitude and assertiveness – not belligerence or inappropriate aggressive behavior. When we express ourselves, it is important to pay attention to our circumstances and the personality and space of the people with whom we are dealing, especially if they are people we love. Closeness in relationships naturally leaves us vulnerable, as we may have felt free to express our deepest fears and feelings at some point in the past. This in turn gives those we love the silver bullet with which they can mortily wound us. At moments like these, we have the ability to be the mature being that can rise above the emotions of our wounded ego-self. We can recognize that the people we care for are merely human beings caught in their own pain body. This situation may be part of a thought and behavior pattern that they fall back on when they feel threatened. We, on the other hand, may be in a better space which can allow us to choose to function through our higher self. We simply acknowledge that we value the relationship and wish to resolve the issue. We can listen from the safety of our inner self and help guide them back to positive feelings that will help grow the relationship. We can also be compassionate with ourselves; we also are just human and may be feeling the pinch of our own pain body. We can give ourselves permission to simply walk away and wait for a better time to resolve the issue. Carelessness and needless aggression during these moments can sabotage these precious relationships, whereas thoughtfulness coupled with assertiveness can help them as well as us grow as individuals.
Here are the five applications to bisexuality:
- As bisexuals operating within our higher self, we can rejoice in our bisexuality and our loving compassionate disposition. We celebrate who we are and seek to find peace and power within. We can choose to be assertive with our wounded ego-self and demand that it behave according to a higher order.
- We accept and acknowledge who we are according to our orientation with all our flaws and weaknesses. We express our love for our self unconditionally by looking in the mirror each day and saying, “I love you, I really love you, just the way you are”.
- As bisexuals we have probably faced rejection and fear of rejection from an early age. We can accept that our sexuality will likely be misunderstood and frowned upon by the majority of people. It may not be direct rejection, but we have become very skillful at interpreting and recognizing rejection through visual signs, especially negative body language. We can accept this as part of the feelings and fears of others we may encounter. We simply acknowledge that this is just the way it is and move on.
- If the feelings of rejection are coming from significant others, it may be impossible to move on without feeling guilt and shame. We recognize these feeling, thank our ego-self, and then choose to put these feelings aside and deal with the situation at hand. We acknowledge the feelings from others and grant them the right to have these feelings. We then help them see the situation from our point of view.
- If the significant other still refuses to accept us the way we are, we express our regret but express the desire to still have a loving relationship. We put the confrontation on the back burner and wait for a good opportunity to bring it up again and resolve it. We can choose to be patient; it may take years before they can deal with the situation.