Getting to Know the Stranger in me (The Hard Road of Love, Part II)


“No single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry~

Photo by Lazarus Kauffman

“When you are living your life, Miguel, What do you give and pass on to others? When you are trying your hardest, and believing in yourself and just want the best for everyone you work with, who is that person? When you are finally making an end to this life… and you have nothing left to give… what will matter most to you? What you have done, and passed on? Or what you look like in the mirror?”

When Joshua asked me these set of questions, for one single moment, my inner self wanted to react in defend mode, but instead of pushing him out, and totally ignored his comments, I told him that I was going to think about it, and let them sit in my mind for a while. In my last article I mentioned why this conversation was so relevant? “Well because there are things happening in my job, and personal life that are attempting to sabotage and change the perception about myself. Most of the time when we think about “sabotaging” is about changing something positive to negative, well in my case is about facing my low self-esteem, in order to really believe with my whole being that I am a beautiful person inside-out, and I am worth to get the attention and appreciation of the people I am helping to and with, and to love me just the way I am: “gordito, chacheton, nalgón, con tremendos ojos verdes y un gran corazón” (fatty, chubby-cheeked, big butt with incredible green eyes and a great heart)”

These questions helped me to get to know the stranger within me, and the best way to do this was to answer each question and gave it my best try. The problem is that I told my friend that once I have written my answers, I will be accountable to him. It took me almost a month to be able to answer them, because being able to look deep in ourselves is one of the hardest things to do, the most frightened, and the least done. One of my father’s favorite movies, and soundtracks was Jonathon Livingston Seagull; there is a quote from it that says: “Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly”

Question #1: When you are living your life, what do you give and pass on to others?

I would like to pass to others the joy of living, tolerance to others, being able to accept or at least try to understand other people. To be able to listen to the one that is different, who thinks different, who has a different lifestyle than me, who has a different religion, who cannot accept me, but at the same time being able to listen to them and learn from them. I want to pass on to others the beauty to restore human dignity, and social justice to the oppressed ones. I would love to pass the respect to each other, even if we do not agree or understand others, at least we can give respect, and honor. To be able to enjoy the beauty of our humanity with all its faces, imperfections, flaws, qualities, gifts, and everything we can think about it. I want to be able to share with others the beauty of what music brings to the soul, specially the joy to Latin rhythms, and be able to realize that folk music is more than just notes, but tells people’s stories, and shares different cultures to us.

Question #2: When you are trying your hardest, and believing in yourself and just want the best for everyone you work with, who is that person?

That person is someone who is friendly, who can see the beauty in everybody else, and even if the worst comes out, that is ok, because he likes to share the good and the bad in him; so people can truly identify with him, and find a commonality. He is always trying to give a smile, a helping hand, he listen to others, learn from others. He searches for spirituality and reads about it. He loves to connect people, he finds ways for strangers to meet, and may be they will become friends. He rejoices in making connections. He is reserved in the most intimate part of his life, but he does not matter to share to others. He is not prone to ask for help, but when he does, he does not care to show his imperfections, his lack of faith, his fears, and insecurities. He likes to help others, but not to create people who become help dependable, but to be able to empower them so they can find their own help within themselves. I enjoy when people are able to see their own potential and start to work to improve the lives of others. That person is an encourager, someone who empowers, to open his arms and embraces others, who is proud of who he is as a gay Latino-Mexican man, who regrets some parts of his history, and sometimes even gets ashamed; but he is trying to understand that history is something that has passed, and he needs to get all those experiences—good or bad—and learn from them and move on, step forward, and keep growing. He has a very big heart, and sometimes this heart hearts way too emotional and sensitive, and he easily gets overwhelmed, and the only way to take that pressure off is by venting out with his friends, or writing about it in his blog(www.uncomplicatedspirituality.wordpress.com)

Question #3: When you are finally making an end to this life… and you have nothing left to give,

What will matter most to you? The way I treated the people I encountered. I do not want to live my life worrying if I am eating well, or doing enough exercise—yes this is important if I want to live longer years—but I do not want this to be my life’s motto. Taking care of me is important, but taking care of someone else is even more valuable for me. People and relationships will be more valuable and more worthy at the end of my days. If I am able to encourage at least one person to continue the love, and passion I have to restore dignity to the undocumented, the indigenous people in Mexico, or the members of the LGTBQ community, then my life will be complete.

What you have done, and passed on? I hope I am able to bring a sense of community to the cities I will live, to restore human dignity and bring back social justice. To pass on the beauty of being free, and always celebrate who I am, and not just what I do.

What you look like in the mirror? I can say that after meditating in these questions asked by a good friend, after being evaluated by my boss and realized that I evaluated myself lower than what she did, and after the Spanish TV interview about my life; I am able to stand in front of the mirror and be able to see a very handsome man, with incredible green eyes, and sexy lips. I can see someone who has been able to overcome many difficulties, and he still fighting some of them, but he is able to stand up very proud of who he is and what he has accomplished in his life. I can admire his perseverance, his sense of spirituality, the way he mediate and pray through writing, listening, dancing or having a beer with a friend. His forgiveness towards others, and even towards his very difficult past is making him move on in his life. He is a good brother, a good son and a great friend.

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