Lindsey Emmons challenges each of us to push fear to the side and live out loud.
By Lindsey Emmons, Photo courtesy of Lindsey Emmons
Have you ever been high?
When I wrote that question for the first time I chuckled a bit and thought, “Maybe I should rephrase.” The real question is have you ever been high on life? High on the pure, sober feeling that the world is, quite frankly, your bitch? For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, it might be time to gently flip to a more fitting page. Hopefully I only lost a small percentage of you at this point, because we have a long way to go.
Often I find myself stuck between living life out loud and cowering in life’s corner. The world has so many expectations of who you should be, what you should wear, how you should act. More than once I have sat down to write about this, only to let my internal fear get the best of me. Fear—a topic we will dive into more.
Growing into young adulthood as a “gay Christian” has shaped this outgoing introvert. The stigmas of Christian, LGBTQ, conservative, liberal, depressed and anxious have often contradicted exactly which box I should fit in. Thirty years in, I have discovered that I do not fit any one of these descriptions more than the other. This usually leads to the temptation of feeling unworthy, uninvited and just plain uncomfortable. The barrage of feeling inadequate comes from every direction and makes it seemingly impossible for my mind to overcome.
Now back to being high. Ah, yes.
These moments are fleeting for me. I have to work really hard to stay in these moments and feel the energy they provide. Mostly, my thoughts are consumed with how and why we have to strive so hard to obtain unconditional love, attention, respect. The truth is, my depression and fear come sweeping in at the smallest gesture of positive emotion. Fear of rejection. Fear of isolation. Fear of judgment. Over the past 10 to 15 years, I have felt as if there are chains attached to my wrists with people, opinions, stereotypes pulling me in two different directions. I can finally break those chains, going confidently into the next decade of my life.
My friends, we are not alone. In fact, I would venture to say that we are an exhausted majority. Now more than ever, polarization has attacked our communities, making us think there have to be extremes for everything we do, say and believe. Everyone appears to have a varying version of world events, and it feels harder than ever to sort fact from fiction. Our news feeds seem to just echo our own views. And when people post alternative opinions they are often attacked by angry mobs. We’re being played off each other and told to see each other as threats and enemies, not people. The loudest and most extreme voices get heard. Others just feel like tuning out altogether.
So how do we change this narrative?
It’s hard, hard as hell. For me, it takes mental diligence—sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis. We have to be disciplined enough to allow minds and hearts to see that everyone is simply trying to find their seat. Our future and the future of those we leave behind depend on it. If you’re a believer, remember, God never promises we won’t be exhausted; God promises to renew our strength. Life experiences push me to have a desire to serve people and learn more about how the world works. Assisting people in their search for happiness, acceptance and love is my passion and motivation. It is my life goal to promote inclusivity and community.
I’ve created a progressive and dynamic real estate model with the mission of moving people, both physically and emotionally. Everyone deserves a safe space to call home. Prior to real estate, I founded and operated a successful pediatric therapy clinic for individuals with special needs and their families. As CEO, I maintained operations of the clinic in Killeen/Fort Hood and San Antonio, specifically targeting military families. I offered a variety of services, including behavioral therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, counseling and equine-assisted psychotherapy. Recently, I started an organization, Take Flight for Freedom, to assist military members and their families through different life transitions. I maintain active membership in the community with the Metropolitan Breakfast Club and have served as a volunteer in multiple nonprofits. Some of these include the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature, Seedling and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
I have challenged myself to reflect on my downfalls, those times when I didn’t have the courage to stand up and be “me.” I invite you to journey with me on my path to a revolution, for yourself and others like us. I won’t promise it will be easy. In fact, I can promise it will be exhausting. The light at the end of the tunnel is discovering that you’re not alone. There is power and freedom in finding your seat at the table. It is time for you to be seen, heard and loved. Put fear and isolation aside and take that leap of faith, knowing there are close neighbors cheering in your corner.