“How could you not have known?”

by emily burke


I wish there was an easy answer to this question that I know many people in my life have asked themselves, and that I am still to this day confused by. There are so many layers to it that its hard to give a straight answer (no pun intended ;-p). It was partially that I didn’t have enough trust in myself. My brain, my heart and my gut would all battle against each other and I didn’t know which one to believe. You could blame it on anxiety… that I didn’t know which anxieties were just fears, and which were gut feelings I needed to listen to. I remember being young and having these thoughts about my sexuality and desperately wanting them not to be true… so perhaps you can blame it on my belief that you can manifest anything. I believed I could be anything I truly set my mind to, including straight. You can also look at my attractions towards other people. In the sexuality department I would say Im more attracted to people based on connection. I very rarely notice people purely based on the physical, and so because of that I was confused if I fit into any category at all. Then throw in loving a man so much… loving who he was, his attention, being with him all the time, being so in tune with each other, making each other laugh all day… it felt right enough.

So no… I didn’t “know” for sure. In the depths of my soul I knew. And I can say that because the thought “I think I’m gay” would pop into my brain daily.. and very often while looking in the mirror. But there were so many other thoughts, feelings, emotions that kept me from seeing that deep inner knowledge as the absolute truth, even though it was there all along. I am now, because of years of confusion, having to rebuild my relationship with myself. I’m learning not to be afraid of my thoughts, to let them in, feel them, acknowledge them, sometimes analyze them and sometimes release them. I am hopeful that slowly over time I will be able to repair the trust I lost with myself so many years ago.

So many people have been emailing me lately with stories that are similar to mine, asking for advice on what to do. They didn’t know for sure either, now they do, and they feel its too late. My feeling is that we are all different and our souls are all here for different reasons… to learn different lessons. While my story may resonate with some, and may inspire some to follow their hearts, it also may not be right for everyone. In the end, we find true happiness in ourselves. Some people may be able to find happiness in the situation they are in, and others may need to take the hard road and leave. We all need to trust that inner voice we have… what does our soul truly want? Can we create our own reality while trying to protect the ones we love as best we can? Can we live a life of truth while honoring our past? Can we find happiness in our own hearts without looking to other people to find it for us? In the end all we have is our own truth, and we want to look back at the life we lived and know that we lived it as best we could, with joy in our hearts, peace in our minds, and knowing that we did everything we could with as much love as possible.