True Meaning of Pride and How it Determines Your Healing, Love, and Lasting Happiness.

3 min read

yellow, orange, red, green, and blue abstract painting
yellow, orange, red, green, and blue abstract painting

As we wrap up “Pride Month,” here’s a startling yet obvious revelation: being proud of who you are at your core is in your nature. It’s also essential to happy living. Anything less is a half-lived life and causes suffering.

Hear me out.

The pride I am talking about doesn’t mean you get to think you’re better than others or worse than others.

It means that you are enough and perfect — just the way you are.

No more and no less.

Pride is about being true and coming into yourself regardless of people’s approval or disapproval. It’s about healing the feelings of not being enough, and those of brokenness, rejection, loneliness, and abandonment and then learning to love every part of yourself, even the most disowned and disavowed parts.

It’s also about learning to appreciate all the experiences, good and bad alike, because they’re what made you who you are today.

And who you are, at your core, is both good and lovable.

When a baby is born, you look at its rawness, its nakedness, its ultimate helplessness, and vulnerability -- and you don’t judge it. That baby is perfect. That baby is lovable. Whether gay, straight, bi, trans, black, white, brown, or green, or any other identifiers.

That baby epitomizes the essence of our fundamental goodness.

I am good and so are you.

No -- there are no if’s, but’s, or’s.

As the ancient Tao Te Ching teaches, nothing in the universe is what it is named. Our mind labels things as a function of easier processing, and we then identify with it, judging one as “good” and another as “bad” based on our fears, preconceptions, and misguided beliefs.

But life itself is much richer and much broader than that.

Who we are at our core isn’t taught or chosen, because no one would pick a path of rejection and suffering. In fact, our brains are designed to guide us to seek belonging and acceptance. For our prehistoric brain (the part we label “limbic” or “lizard brain”), which has not evolved much in 10,000 years, and still guides our lives (whether we are aware of it or not) acceptance means survival.

So no, a person does not choose to be anything other than what they are intrinsically and naturally. Quite the opposite; this need for acceptance is why so many people are afraid to live a life that is true to who they really are.

Thankfully, we can choose to be true to who we are, and proud of it.

We also get to choose to love and accept those different than us. We get to learn to become so comfortable with ourselves that someone who is different than us won’t threaten our sense of self -- instead, it will enrich it.

That is a choice.

A choice I hope you will make, this June and every other day, unequivocally and unconditionally.

When we judge someone, we are really judging an aspect of ourselves we are not comfortable with or—more often—something we don’t understand.

When we are OK with who we are, we don’t feel threatened by those who are different. End of story.

As children of the universe, of Mother Earth, or creations in the image of whatever God you pray to, we are meant to shine in the fullest glory of our light. Not to hide, not to cower. Who we are, whom we love, what we look like — those are not the things that can hurt others. But when we pretend they’re not what they are, and who we are, they hurt us.

They lead to sickness, stuckness, and depression. Dissatisfaction. Even suicide.

This is the essence of everything in life.

When we deny what is true, we hurt ourselves.

On the other hand, honoring that truth within and living the life we love is the most courageous and most rewarding thing we’ll ever do.

So let’s do it.

Honor the truth within, be proud of who you are, and encourage others to do the same.

This is how we create love in the world.

And you, much as anyone else, deserve all the love in this universe.

That is your nature.

You are good and you’re loved…