I had a lapse in my judgment, and I’m hoping to start over with you. Since this is my third article for my column Bear Hug, I want to properly introduce myself. Since I will be injecting my advice, insights and personal stories into your life on a weekly basis, it is important that you understand my history, my perspective, and my worldview. Additionally, while you can read my shortened bio below my articles, you only get to read a small bit about me, which is filtered to save the casual reader time, effort and bandwidth. As we are building a new relationship and despite my eagerness to jump into our weekly conversation, I felt it was important to restart our conversation with a common relationship communication technique I call repair.
Basically with repair, I admit that I erred in my communication and ask for the opportunity to correct it. (This is a fantastic technique that should be used in all relationships, including the relationship with yourself.)
Here are some fundamental demographic tidbits about me: 44-year old, gay, divorced, remarried, animal lover, non-vegan, PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology, writer, relationship coach, Midwestern-raised, California resident, spiritual, empath, medium, Pisces/Aquarius, eating disorder, youngest sibling, male. And while these are pieces of who I am, they really do not explain much about me. To know me more, you need to also know that I am a hard-working, diligent, friendly, jovial, genuine, meaningful, complicated, confused, intense, environmentally-conscious resident of this planet who is working hard to matter. If I go a bit deeper, know that I lived for over three decades believing that all men, including me, were monsters. I am a wounded soul who believed that I was damaged, unworthy and unlovable most of my life. I made a habit out of verbal and emotional self-abuse, and I was incapable of having fun.
Honesty is foundational in life as trust can never be built without it. If we do not trust, our relationships will effectively end. Without relationships, we grow stagnant, stale, and pathological. You see, we can only grow and heal within a community. If we are not building and strengthening relationships, we are hurting ourselves. So, for us to have a thriving relationship, I need to be honest and hope to build mutual trust for each other. Furthermore, I know I am not alone. When we are capable of expressing our own deeper understandings to others, we realize we are not as unique as we thought. My beliefs that I am damaged, unworthy and unlovable are not exclusive to me; most of us feel something similar. When we are aware and acknowledge our negative self-beliefs, we have the ability to make changes and new choices. We are no longer owned by these views. Instead we have the power to rewrite our stories. To help us both, I took the first step.
Now that you know a lot more about me, here are a few more fun facts about Chad “Bear Hug” Cryder. I am in my fourth career-helping the self. For my third career, I worked in the beer industry for eighteen years in a variety of sales management roles. My second career was in technology, and my first career was in the food service industry. Further, I published my first book A GREAT LOVE: The Lessons in Life, Light and Love in 2010, which is about the lessons we should live our lives by to understand our true basic nature as spiritual beings. I host an online radio show on the News for the Soul network entitled Your Gay BFF with Chad, and I hate riding bicycles as you already know if you read my last column.
Lastly, I have had the honor of having wonderful teachers and guides throughout my life. Some of the best advice that was given to me was during a stage of incredible confusion and angst. I was told that throughout our lives, there is a thread of truth that stretches all the way to the beginning of our life’s story. This thread allows us to see the veracity of our experiences and find our purpose. Ultimately, the thread points us to an understanding that all experiences are either lessons, blessings or both. It is our responsibility to see it from this perspective. I invite you to look for the thread that has led you to this point-where you needed a bear hug from me because it is here for you with welcoming arms, each and every week.
Lots of Love,