"Find out who you are and be that person. That's what your sould was put on this Earth to be.
Find that truth, live that truth, and everything else will come."
Over the years I’ve been privileged to work with many clients who have had challenging issues surrounding their gender bias, LGBTQIA sexual orientation and preferences. Not because they don’t know, understand or accept own gender and sexuality, but because of society's discrimination and stigma about them being supposedly "different".
Unfortunately our advanced, modern world is still tained by so much bigotry. Ironically, this world may be technologically advanced, but our emotional intelligence and empathy as a whole needs much improvement. One only has to think about how neglectfully animals and children are treated, and the number of wars still ravaging the planet, let alone the environmental degradation and destruction.
Interestingly, there hasn't been much reaction towards Facebook's 71 gender options, which the company apparently successfully integrated within the USA, and then rolled out to the UK in 2014. Perhaps I've been living under a rock because I don't own a TV, and limit my social media use. If there was an outcry, I wasn't aware of it. I fully support so many gender options!
That aside, my therapy work is deeply gratifying. More especially when clients welcome me into their innermost scared emotional space where they feel safe to freely express their deepest fears, pain, trauma, vulnerability and insecurities. Many clients say society’s attitude towards them makes them feel unloved, rejected and unwanted, while some say they feel like an abandoned "outcast".
Without a well grounded sense of safety and belonging, the discomfort and unease creates anxiety, depression, fear, panic and stress etc, which is deeply unsettling and exacerbates those unwanted outcast or rejected feelings. It’s a vicious cycle that can so easily be resolved. In general, society with all its criticism and judgements can be so unbelievably harsh and cruel.
Family members can be heartless and brutal; whether this mean streak is intended or not it is deeply painful to be on the receiving end. My role in helping clients through this painful quagmire is to also help them understand that a family member’s painful treatment is so often misdirected. "Hurt people, hurt people", and this couldn't be more relevant than in the context of LGBTQIA community, more especially when one's family background is staunchly conservative. The emotional abusive rub off is usually far greater.
The typical cliche, ‘when you point a finger, there are alway three fingers pointing back at you’ couldn’t be more relevant in one's healing process. After all, people react to situations (positively or negatively), based upon their own perceptions and internal fears this may trigger.
Everyone views the world from their own internal framework - aka, rose tinted glasses, and these veils of perception can be deeply deceiving. This is why many people struggle to accept truth; it simply doesn’t fit into the ‘reality’ created by their own beliefs and perceptions. Cognitive dissonance at its best.
Let’s take this a step further; people who continually criticise and judge others, are often the worst critics and judges of themselves. Their own internal dialogue is brutal. People can only see in others that which they see in themselves. Their outer world is a mirror reflection of their inner world. Once that is grasped and internalised, the pains caused by hurtful remarks or verbal attacks of others can be let go of, healed, and forgiveness then becomes automatic.
There is a saying, ‘we hurt the one’s we love’. Although hurting others is mostly unintentional, our boundaries become blurred through familiarity, so family members are more likely to easily lash out at those within the immediately family circle. To be on the receiving end of such an attack may be painful, and this also causes guilt, remorse, regret, shame, fear and so on.
About 25 or 30 years ago, my own family went through a total upheaval when my younger step-brother ‘came out the closet’. His truth literally caused all hell to break lose at home. I was stunned by family's reaction, and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. From my point of view, and growing up together, it was obvious his mannerisms, behaviour and interests weren't the same as his brothers. Surely my family were all awake and aware of this reality? But no, his news was clearly a huge shock to the family.
My view is that the core issue this triggered were all the deeply held dogmatic religious beliefs that until then, had never been challenged, and put to the litmus test. Suddenly the family had to look themselves in the mirror, and confront their innermost fears and demons. According to their own rules (biblical interpretations), he was suddenly doomed to hell and damnation as a result of speaking his truth. This was a stark contrast to their belief that God is love, and Jesus loves everyone unconditionally. I couldn’t believe, nor understand their hypocrisy. What a harsh judgement and sentence to pass on anyone, let alone one’s own family.
Fortunately, from a young age I was free spirited and open minded, even as a conservative, naive farm girl. This was further embellished at 18 years old by traveling overseas to New York where I met the most intriguing, colourful and multicultural personalities with vastly different sexual orientations than my own. During my years in the textile industry I had the privilege of mixing with some of South Africa’s top fashion designers, many of whom were openly gay, and or transvestite. I simply adored these larger than life glitzy glamourous characters, their wild humour, and the quality friendships we developed. When 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' became a massive hit in 1994, and my love and adoration for my gay fashion clients was firmly sealed.
Sadly however, my family didn’t share my sentiments, and left me gobsmacked by the ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude. Witnessing firsthand the callous judgements from within my family, I naturally developed an even greater empathy and compassion for the plight of folks with a "different" sexual orientation. This included whomever else may be considered "different" as defined by the shortsighted, hypocritical and bigotted societal standards. During the 1990's South Africa's society was still deeply entrenched in apartheid, and anything "different" with respect to culture, race, religion etc was largely frowned upon. At the time I remember feeling utterly horrified by this.
In hindsight, my family’s reaction was such an invaluable lesson learned long before I started my therapy practise. For years my step brother was subjected to interrogation, but fortunately the family calmed down, accepting him for who he really is, and all is well today.
Ironically, another decade or so passed when a nephew ‘came out’. By this time the family were more empathetic. What a totally different reaction he received, and quite rightly so.
I firmly believe when one develops self respect, respect for others is natural, and this is the greatest honour one can bestow upon another human being. With respect, acceptance, tolerance and love automatically follows, and there is no room for criticism or judgement.
Live and let live is a very simple motto to follow, besides life is far easier without negativity, judgement, criticism and so on. Ellen Degeneres, whose attitude of kindness, "be kind to one another", is such a great ambassador, not only for the LGBTQAI community, but the whole world. Bring on more loving kindness ... sprinkle loving kindness everywhere!
If you feel, or have felt hurt, rejected and outcast, perhaps afraid, anxious and stressed, or even guilty about your gender or sexual orientation, please feel free to reach out ... Let's connect and have a chat! I'd love to support you.
You are ENOUGH just as you are! Self care and self kindness are so important ... Love yourself now and always! <3
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Testimonials ... Relationship Issues
Personal peace following a traumatic narcissistic relationship
“Dear Bridget, it's becoming easier and easier to get up in the mornings, and this morning I actually danced around my cat when he came in. It's such a WOW-WOW-WOW feeling because that's the way I used to be before all the @#$% problems. (This is a lady who woke up feeling nauseous every morning for 4 years!) I wrote you a testimonial - please feel free to share it:
By the time I approached Bridget, I had been consumed by anger, fear and disgust after having broken free from a narcissistic situation. At the age of 60, and having lost everything I had spent my life working for, I had come to a point where all I did was agonise and despair. I longed for peace of mind. At first I was hesitant about doing a 2-hour session with Bridget, as well as about using Skype but I found Bridget to be extremely professional and well-prepared. She clearly aims for 100% results, does not lose focus for a second and utilises every minute to get you where you hope to be. I had imagined it would mean a lot of hard work and would most probably be quite traumatic, as well, but that’s not at all the way that Bridget works. Added to that, I found Skype easy to use and it definitely saves one the time and cost of travelling. By the end of the session I had experienced an overwhelming sense of relief. I now feel liberated from the fears, thoughts and feelings that had been dragging me down for so long, and which had made it impossible for me to move on and to forget. What’s more, it’s great to know that there are ways to treat the suffering and after-effects of trauma quickly, immediately and most effectively!” Margie, Somerset West (One Session only)
Breaking free from a draining narcissistic relationship
“Oh my God babe, I'm feeling fantastic!!! I am bouncing off the walls with happiness 😊 (Name withheld) called me today, I didn't answer and didn't feel a thing. I haven't contacted him back. I got all my work done today! I feel so great babe. 😊 Thank you!! I am definitely keeping you on speed dial. 😊😊😊. VP, Johannesburg (One session only)
“EFT has not only changed my life in a single session but is gradually increasing the effects, like peace and inner tranquillity every day in my life. I was ‘mistakenly’ struggling with a relationship that made me sad and very emotional. It started draining me of everyday pleasures in life. I started living in the past and in the future instead of the Now. Only to realize at the end, that I had an emotional pile up, of thousands upon thousands of negative thoughts that were completely draining me of my true self. It was like a black board that needed to be erased … this is the exact effect it had on me. Thanks Bridget.” Jolanda, Pretoria (One session only)
Relationship break up, and considering an abortion
“Hi Bridget, all is indeed well on my side – thanks to you! I still tap and my baby actually reacts to my tapping now! It’s so amazing and I am so grateful to have made the choice to keep him despite the turmoil in my life. I have amazing friends who support me and I am so excited for my son’s birth on 15 September. Will send you a picture as soon as I can OK? Take care and once again, thank you for calming the waters for me. Lots of love” PF, Gauteng (One session only)
Turbulent Relationship Breakup
“My life got turned around in one afternoon, it’s as if you cleared years of blockages in one sitting, and I can be sceptical of certain alternative healing methods. I still can’t believe that such a simple, non-invasive healing can have such dramatic results. I can’t wait to tap again with you and see what else I have been burying deep inside my stubborn brain … if only everyone knew about this! Best wishes.” Byron, Cape Town (One session only)