There are questions I ask someone when I invite them to know me, see my heart, more intimately. See, I need to be known, and more importantly, I want to be known. It is human to need to be understood and loved for who you are. I haven’t always known this, though.
Most of my life I’ve carried a core wound that has given rise to a tragic lie that defined all interaction, with everyone: I’m unlovable. That simple, powerful lie kept me from being authentic and vulnerable, from being known by the people in my life who want to love me.
It was finally with a stranger I let myself experience grace and compassion. Together we shared our fears, struggles, failures, and heartache. All while supporting each other. While mutually participating in this delicate dance of authenticity and vulnerability I call Gentleman’s Practice.
Today, I am fortunate to have a core group of friends I’m able to share this. In Gentleman’s Practice, we encourage each other to consciously engage life with grace and compassion. Willing to walk through each day authentically, knowing that we don’t have to be alone. And with a willingness to be vulnerable we find acceptance, understanding, and love.
I adopted the phrase Gentleman’s Practice from one of my favorite spoken word poets, Buddy Wakefield, Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars (Hope is Not a Course of Action):
“[…]but I still show up for gentleman practice
in the company of lead dancers
hoping their grace will get stuck in my shoes.”