The challenge of trans is compromise.
As transpeople, we are very clear that we are not simply one or the other but rather have elements across a range of continuous common humanity that we need to balance, need to hold, need to compromise.
As we do this, we hold the truth that the challenge of all humanity is compromise, finding a way to create tame shared structures while respecting wild unique individuality.
The challenge of awareness is compromise.
To become aware, we need to engage the world as it is rather than trying to force it to be the way we want it to be. Understanding that we are never the centre of the world, that our view is limited and the only way we get a bigger picture is to embrace the shared truth is at the heart of being really aware & present in the world.
To be aware is to be aware of connection, aware of how we are just a part of something bigger, something awesome, something beautiful.
Many people want this kind of awareness, want to be able to see patterns and reveal facets that are hidden to most people who live in their own limited view.
What they don’t want, though, is to have to see the costs of holding illusions, of clinging to ego, of trying to avoid discomfort. They don’t want to have to face their fears, don’t want to have to go through hell to burn away rationalizations and reveal the crystalline face of something much bigger than they are.
We cling to what we believe protects us, not willing to understand that anything that puts a barrier up also blocks our awareness and connection. We want to sort the world into good and evil, sort ourselves into good and evil, keep ourselves compartmentalized, isolated and looking nice.
In other words, we don’t want to have to do the hard work of compromise, even with our own mind, heart and soul. Instead, we want to impose the “right” solution, the one we believe should be correct, the one we have clung to for protection from fear for so long.
Transvestism is about changing your clothes.
Transsexualism is about changing your body.
Transgender is about changing your mind.
We know what we don’t want so clearly that we shape our identity and our choices in a negative way, by struggling to avoid what scares us about our own nature. We struggle to assert our ego rather than being open to the divine surprise that brings awareness and enlightenment, working to close our eyes and ears from any reflections that might hold revelation we feel the need to reject.
Finding affirmations for our own ego, especially when they are wrapped in the name of enlightenment, is always more comforting than real awareness. We want our comforting assumptions to be affirmed, not our rationalizations to be challenged. We don’t want to have to compromise, we want to force the world to change so it turns in our chosen way.
The gems of awareness, though, ring rue and pure. They are emotionally compelling as they untie the knots of confusion, quiet the noise and reveal profound truths. We resonate with them as we hear them spoken, knowing they carry the power of clarity.
Moving to understand the price of owning those gems, though, is much more difficult. To take them we have to take the awareness that comes with them, awareness of the limits of our own twists, illusions and fears.
When awareness spotlights how others have limits, we rejoice in the brilliant beams, but when it reveals our own limits we run and hide, striving to reject the lessons that come with such illumination. Our own humanity and responsibility to others is tough to see, as it demands an accountability & mastery that it is much more comfortable only to project onto others.
To take that insight within is to accept the obligation to compromise, to do the work of enlightenment which opens us to the golden rule of not doing to others what we would find hateful to us. It demands that we apply the compassion and wisdom we want to be treated with to others, even those who trigger our fears because of their surface differences. It requires grace and humility, working to find common ground and accept our own continuous common humanity, even when it seems a bit queer.
Putting our own pain, fear and raging emotions aside to do the right thing isn’t easy, but it is the enlightened way, the only way that clear awareness supports. Your beliefs can be certain, but the facts will always throw you a curve, one that demands your presence rather than your presumptions.
Finding the compromise between asserting your own will and embracing the revealed truth is at the heart of living with awareness. What is the knowledge that underlies your own moral and constructive choices and what is the openness that leaves you sensitive, receptive and aware? Yin and yang, finding their form in the multitude of choices that make up a human life.
It’s often easy to see where others need to find that compromise, letting go of old habits to embrace the new, discovering healing & growth, but very difficult to actually engage those clear lessons in our own life. Instead we cling to “woulda, coulda, shoulda,” trying to find a shortcut that avoids us having to face the facts and make the hard choice to move beyond the frail illusions that block transformation.
It’s easy to love the idea of awareness, simple to believe that life would be better if the people around us were more present and aware.
It’s hard, though, to actually pay the price of becoming aware in our own life, moving beyond doctrine and wishes to embrace the sharp lessons that shared reality offers us. Letting go of our defences to look deeply at what is is never easy because it reveals where healing & growth is required, where our own beliefs keep us small & broken.
The challenge of trans is compromise, finding a way to create an effective and reverent life that contains multitudes.
That is the challenge of all aware human life, though, balancing the many needs and forces to create healthy, caring and creative choices.
For me, the price of awareness has been worth paying, even if it makes my life challenging rather than comfortable.
You, though, get to make that choice for yourself.