by LauraLynn Jansen


So much has been given to me; I have no time to ponder over that, which has been denied.

– Helen Keller

This year, for the first time in 15 years, my partner and I are living openly on every level of our lives. I am grateful the hiding is over. If I am totally honest, I am challenged in remaining in this gratitude. Reminders of the imposed silence of our love flash back to me. My attitude of gratitudewaivers far more than I think it should considering we no longer have tohide.

Before this year of living openlywe shared our devotion to each other only in certain places and certain spaces, and only with folks we trusted to hold our love in confidence. When we legally bound our love just over 4 years ago on a beach with the splendor of the Sierras surrounding us a trusted posse of friends and a couple family members joined to witness this unprecedented moment in our lives. The societal acknowledgement of the validity of our commitment to each other was one I honestly never thought I would see in my lifetime. Not just because we are two women, but because of the restrictions placed on my partner as a military officer. That moment of deeply vulnerability, for both of us, marked the beginning of a major adjustment period we are still trying to navigate. Our capacity to find a new rhythm as we openly explore the world together is now the test before us. We must un-master our ability to tell untruths. Please know my deepest gratitude lies in the realm of not having to lie any more. Personally, as someone who tries her best to live by Yogic values, telling untruths and/or holding back pieces of what the heart is distressing.

The Yoga Sutrasencourage Yoga folk to think, speak, and act with integrity through the term, satya. The word satmeans that which exists, that which is. “Satya, therefore, is seeing and communicating things as they actually are, not as we wish them to be.” Oh the wishes I’ve had over the last decade and half. The many times I wished I could share the truth within my heart with new friends.

When we lie, the sages say, we disconnect from our higher self; our minds become confused, and we cannot trust ourselves.

This state of confusion is a familiar one to me. Over the years of hiding, my ability to trust self and others has faded, and as it dropped fear rose creating an even greater disconnection within myself and without. Now, everyday, I put forth effort to re-establish trust in Self and other. Now, I question assumptions as they arise, in the past they were a protection mechanism. I defeat fear by reaching out to those, who in the past I was uncertain I could trust. I am retraining the fear to back off and allow me to be myself with those who live around me.

It is said the truth sets us free. I wholeheartedly concur! I am so grateful we are free to be ourselves in the sense she won’t lose her job, and society is opening to the validity of our relationship. The great freedom to be who we really are, rather than hiding behind lies and untruths, is indescribable. And now as we remove the layers of cultural conditioning and find a new way to be together we struggle and celebrate. It is an opportunity to grow anew as individuals and as a couple. It is for all this – the freedom, the growth, the newness, and all that lies ahead yet unknown to us… that I find an even deeper attitude of gratitude.


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