As a gay transformation coach, I am not immune to the residual fallout from Covid, and in fact, it’s been quite a challenging time! I’ve experienced a flood, a bomb cyclone and a major hailstorm all in the same year and let me tell you that was only the beginning of turbulent times.
I’ve always had a strong constitution, and taking care of myself spiritually, physically and mentally have always been a prerequisite. Needless to say, this has gotten me through the literal and figurative storms of 2020, but it recently got me thinking. I personally am in a relationship with a wonderful, loving, healthy man, and this is indicative of me doing the inner work for years. However, during these trying times, sex, and intimacy for us have definitely become a healing balm and trust me when I say that there’s been no shortage of it in this house. I personally have been blessed with a good emotional support system and being able to connect with someone who deeply loves me. But what about those gay men who feel isolated and lonely?
Like I said before, it’s been difficult at times, yet while coaching gay men from all over the world, a predominant issue of abstaining, or not abstaining from sex has come to the surface. The mental challenges are understandable and in this age of microwave mentality, Grindr and Scruff have led the way for gay men to order up sex as if it were a pizza.
Plus, to add fuel to the fire, with Covid rearing it’s ugly head, anxiety and depression are at an all time high.
So, the “sex sites” as I call them are reporting surges in activity, yet the question remains…
– How are gay men dealing with the mental aspects of loneliness?
– What issues have come to the surface during Covid and with all the challenges this year has brought us?
– How are gay men handling abstaining from sex…….or are they?
-Does it feel like you’re experiencing a breakdown?
The other issue is that many LGBTQ people are closer to their chosen families than their biological families, and for many, it can hurt to not see them on a regular basis. Of course, this can be tempting to turn to Grindr for some instant gratification, but this can leave one feeling empty and potentially susceptible to contracting the virus.
This encounter can be fleeting and empty to say the least regardless of a pandemic. So many go the “sex sites” looking for a deeper form of emotional affirmation, when in reality nine times out of 10, it equates to just sex and then after sex, the guy leaves which makes one feel rejected, lonely and abandoned.
As a coach what I know to be true is that the majority of those that I have talked to over the years want a relationship so badly, but what they also say is that they can get ghosted, used, rejected, or judged.
Let’s get real! Grindr, Scruff and other similar sites are sexualized platforms! How can one really think that they are mentally going to feel better in the long run by scrolling through endless profiles when the sites themselves are not conducive to creating healthy, loving relationships?
The other pink elephant in the room that needs to be addressed is the mere fact that gay people have a huge issue with loving themselves. Why? Because we ourselves were ostracized, ridiculed, or rejected by others, and so consequently there were no mentors. This affected our self-esteem, our confidence, as well as how we feel about ourselves overall.
So, these issues were here prior to Covid and now the social distancing has exacerbated this vicious cycle of the mental breakdown of how we feel about ourselves.
However, the good news is that there’s always two sides to a coin! Breakdowns can lead to breakthroughs! Actually, this virus has afforded all of us, regardless if gay or not, the ability to pause and look within to see how we’ve been showing up in life thus far. It has provided ample “opportunities” to take stock and inventory of our lives and make adjustments by taking personal responsibility. We’re not talking blame here.
I like to break down that word, responsibility……responding to the best of our ability!
Have we been doing that?
Are we making healthy decisions that will lead us back to our real authentic self?
Is our mindset helping us move forward?
Do we need to forgive ourselves or anyone else?
Are we still blaming our past which affects our present moment?
Is the trauma we experienced as a child still affecting us today?
Have we dealt with any addictions that are still plaguing us after all these years?
These are the rhetorical questions that Covid has thrown upon us during lockdown and isolation. It feels like a spiritual tsunami and it is! 2020 is the year of perfect vision and the clarity it gives will propel us to the next level on our spiritual journey.
We get to examine our thoughts, our beliefs, and our feelings as a way to recalibrate and reboot ourselves. This gives us definition and insight, which gives us clarity, which in essence gives us power! Personal freedom to step into our authentic self because we are living a life of integrity, feeling good about who we are and not compromising our values or sitting on our laurels any longer.
Can it be mentally challenging to raise the bar in one’s life? Absolutely, however the seed must germinate out of the clammy, dark soil into the light of the day. The baby chick must leave the comfortability of the darkness within the shell to become the chicken. Plus, the caterpillar must start cocooning in the darkness, only to develop into the butterfly.
We too must go through the darkness to recognize our true essence, a spiritual being having a human experience.
It can be emotionally draining at times, but we are here to become the better version of ourselves. That means sometimes we must walk through the fire like the Phoenix Rising, not to get burnt, but to be purified of the old paradigms that have kept us from our greatness.
There are techniques to guide anyone to help deal with the mental aspects or challenges of being gay in a modern world. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” seems apropos and like the figurative or literal storms that I faced this year, you too can get to the other side of the challenge to see the opportunity. If you’re at a point in your life where you really want help and need coaching, contact me at gregorygoebel.com. You can also find me on Facebook in the group, The Gay Man’s Guide to a Healthy Relationship With Yourself. Remember the most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself!