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Authenticity and Bruce Jenner

Old 04-25-2015, 05:39 AM
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Authenticity and Bruce Jenner

I was watching the Bruce Jenner interview he gave to Diane Sawyer and I was struck by something. Here is a guy who has wanted to be female since he was a boy. And now at age 65 he is finally doing something about it. What a shame that he spent most of his life having to suppress his "real authentic self".

I think this applies to us who are seeking sobriety as well. Being authentic is critical, I think, to ongoing success. I know that I have struggled in this area because of years of sublimating my feelings as a survival strategy. As I peel off the layers, I expose myself to a new "skin" that is fresh and vulnerable. It can be painful, but necessary to get to that goal of authenticity. Bruce Jenner almost killed himself. Alcoholics are killing themselves. As long as we mask our real selves in a cloak of alcohol or drugs, we cannot grow and flourish. We die by inches. Bruce Jenner chose life over image. I hope I (and you) can do the same.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:43 AM
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I know nothing about Bruce Jenner, but I am so pleased that finally he is doing what he needs to do for himself.

You put this really beautifully. Personally I have constantly aspired to be someone other than myself, to the point where I have lied and done myself a massive disservice.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:47 AM
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Bruce won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal. He was a huge hero at the time here in the states.
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:18 AM
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His sadness was palpable. I thought it was well done.
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ArtFriend View Post
Bruce won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal. He was a huge hero at the time here in the states.
I had no idea, that's a massive achievement. I am just sad that it's taken so long to get to this point.
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:35 AM
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I love this story as a great example that we should not think pursuing our goals and dreams is ever late -- within sensible, realistic constraints of course. Another aspect his story speaks for is that we should not be concerned and limited by external expectations, what other people and the world thinks of us... again, within reasonable and ethical limitations.

This story and post hits on something that I've always felt very strongly about as far as I can remember: individual freedom to follow our heart and our internal, authentic inspirations. I believe one reason why addiction was so devastating and endlessly conflicting for me is because it cut into this aspect of myself, which is so central to my value system and has been since the earliest of times. I'm very happy to hear about his awakening and transformation.

Thanks, AF, for posting this. I'm also glad that you are here posting this morning
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:44 AM
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Good luck Bruce J.

We had a kind of similar thing in the UK with heavyweight boxer Lennox Lewis's manager Frank Maloney becoming Kellie Maloney.

I can remember Bruce Jenner in the '76 Olympics. Unfortunately I can also remember that film he did with Valerie Perrine and the Village People. I have still not had an apology from him
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:52 AM
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The heart wants what the heart wants.

I honor his bravery.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:10 AM
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I can understand perhaps a little of what he has been through. My dad passed a few years ago and would have been just a little older than Jenner. It would have been nearly unthinkable at the time to come out as gay, much less transgender. He would have been ruined and maybe his life in danger.

We can view it as sad that he "lived a lie" for so long but look at the flip side; Jenner shows that it's never too late to go for the life you really want. We can do it if we're sober.
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Old 04-26-2015, 05:12 AM
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Beautiful post, ArtFriend. I identify in so many ways to what you have said. I spent years using alcohol to cope with life and bury painful childhood experiences. Eventually I didn't really know who I was, or what I stood for. I was constantly putting on different masks and trying on new identities. I even thought I was being authentic most of the time, but I really wasn't. I just truly honestly didn't KNOW anymore how to access my authentic self.

I'm very happy for Bruce Jenner, but it's bittersweet. I can't imagine how difficult this has been for him for so many years. In our celebrity-obsessed culture, I'm hoping that this will help shift attitudes towards the trans community and offer some real insight into their struggle.
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