STEP ONE: Be The Captain - Part 1


No one is in charge of your life but YOU! Don't rely on anyone for your happiness, your safety or your well being. This is a harsh statement...or is it?! We rely on people all the time, we have to, we are social creatures by nature and not meant to be alone. The world is in a really incredible place right now where we don't really live in communities anymore, although we cling to them and try. Our family and family values seem to be more fragile than ever. Certain communities have strong ties and some families actually function well….but what if you’re gay in a very christian community? Does that community still want you when you come out? Not usually….

When I came out to my Aunt, a German Mennonite Evangelical Christian, there was the ‘love the sinner not the sin’ attitude. Fuck you, was my attitude. I accept that you have a religion that I don't believe in but you can't accept my heart. Nope sorry. Love is love and if you can’t love all of me and vise versa then you get non of me. Is this harsh? You bet it is!! I’m not a serial killer….I’m just gay.

Tough love is tough. There is no room for half way in this life. The more I dig into myself and the older I get the stronger my belief system is. Which is ‘Love is Love and Love is unconditional but lifestyle is not.’  This is where tough love comes in. I’m at a place of living a life practice of no judging, right and wrong are out the door. This isn't an easy practice which I fail regularly...but I keep going on this path. It’s very buddhist I suppose...but feels very good. I look at it as a form of tough love. If I can accept things just as they are and not label them then my ego will not get in the way of my path.

When I was 6 yrs old I came home from school to find a note on the fridge. My parents had just divorced about 6 months earlier and we, as most kids in the early 70’s, went with our mothers. My mom left my dad for this guy Mike, who she met at AA or Alcoholics Anonymous. Often a recipe for disaster…..and it was. He beat the living shit out of her every time they drank. Which was often.

Since I was in grade one I finished school at 3:00pm. My older brother and sister, grades 6 and 8 were finished at 3:30pm. I couldn't read the note on the fridge, it was in writing and I was still barely reading print, so I waited. Everything seemed normal, the furniture was there, all our stuff was there, there was no food in the fridge…...sadly that was normal. 3:30pm finally came and Jody and Jay got home and immediately freaked out! The note said I’ve left, call your father. She just walked out….just like that! Left her 6, 11 and 13 year old children. Left us all for Mike, the guy who beat her. chest contracts and my head still gets fuzzy when I think about it. How fucked up was she…..that’s not even a question.

Dad came. We packed up what we could fit in the car and the rest went to the dump. Just like that. As a little girl my biggest memory was that most of my stuffed animals were leaving. As a shy introvert this was the worst thing ever….they were my friends…..

Side note: If you met me now you wouldn't believe that I'm an introvert, or shy. I'm not shy anymore and love people, but the best thing I can do for myself is to interact about three times a week. The rest of the time I like being alone.

My older brother and sister went to an Aunt and Uncle’s who had kids the same age. So it made sense. I went with dad to live with his new girlfriend Maxine ( soon to be my step mom ) and her son, Tracey. He was 2 years younger than me and we were soon best friends. We grew up together, went to the same school and had the same friends. We also started this field on fire once playing with matches…..we got it out before it was a close call. I haven't told my Step Mom this yet :)

Being the Captain is setting up your life to win.

Being the Captain is setting up your life to win. Not letting a person, a family or fill in the blank tell you what to do or how to behave. If family or religion or whatever lines up, that's cool and Awesome, but ultimately this is your life and if you follow kindness compassion and love you will always follow your heart...which ultimately is your personal destiny and passion. I Was always let down by family, religion and AA. Everyone in these three categories always said they would be there for me...but they never were. That doesn't mean I don't have a strong belief system now because I do, but it's been challenged repeatedly and so getting to the root of my beliefs has been very important.

I’ve had what I think is an overwhelming amount of therapy. But thank God really. This helped me sort out all the stupidity. My tough love attitude came at different times with more and more practice. Do you practice tough love? Or even know what that means? I guess it’s the building block for “Be The Captain” when I think of it and that’s why I wanna start here. What's your mission in life, stick to that, align your world around it and be tough.

If you don’t have a personal mission or know what that even is for yourself don’t worry, its step 9 and we will be diving into that later. Remember there is no rush to being the Captain of your life, just be present and move forward. Things will all line up as you work the program and stay present in your life. I used to not be able to sit still. It was painful, especially as a kid. I’m sure the captain crunch cereal and hotdogs for lunch didn't help….FYI: Captain crunch is not a distant cousin of Captain Awesome. I always wanted to go, move fast or do “something”, even if that something was not aligning with my life, it was something. Now I have a motto of “when in doubt do nothing.” Saves my ass every time.

As a child your life is in someone else's hands and hopefully those hands are caring and loving….. as an adult we generally follow suit with most of the examples we have learnt. When those examples don't work as adults we need to change them and so here we are. Step One! What is not working? My relationship with my mother never worked. My relationship with my father never worked. Thank God I had my stepmother…...

I’m going to keep adding my moments that have affected each of my steps of Awesomeness. I’m the Captain NOT a bad moment! Sharing and putting this out there helps to take the power away from the situation or moment and to support one another. We all have dealt with or are dealing with things that are challenging in our lives. Thats life! It will never and love is a process. It’s about doing that process well. So keep writing! Add your comments or thoughts, interact with me or others. We are all on a path of being the Captain, so keep going!

- lisa