September 13, 2008
When I was in first grade, I kissed a boy... On the lips.
It wasn't sexual at all. I had always been open and honest in my few short years on the planet. I had been growing up next to a house full of girls. One of them was my best friend. They were always open with their emotions – and so was I... Until the day in first grade when I kissed a boy.
It was friendship, not freakishness. But I might as well have dropped my pants and done cartwheels from the response of the class. Everyone said “Ewwww...” and asked what I was thinking. I told them that I loved him. I loved my best friend and a little kiss on the lips is how you show you love someone. When girls do it, no one reacts.
I did love that boy, but it obviously wasn't sexual – I had never heard that word. But I learned a vital lesson that day... I wasn't to be trusted. How could I have made such a blunder. My ears burned red with shame. I couldn't be trusted. If my most authentic self could lead me to make such a horrible mistake, then I would have to lock it up. That loving and open part of myself – the most beautiful part of myself – had to be locked up. I couldn't trust my emotions. They lied to me and would make me innocently kiss a boy on the lips in the first grade.
What a burden for a first grader, to learn that he couldn't trust himself. It would be better to hide and be quiet and not be detected expressing that stupid self that caused so many children in that room so much pain. I caused myself pain in there reaction. I had to control my emotions so that I wouldn't do anything bad again – and stay out of view just in case I slipped up.
What a burden that took all my effort to hide my loving and open nature. What a great weight to carry – and how often people found fault with me anyway. So I learned with each attack and embarrassment to hide what I was. And now...what?...36 years later? I still hide. I still control. I'm good at it now. It keeps me safe from embarrassment. Not really, but it's the best I can do since I kissed a boy in the first grade so many years ago.
I loved my friend, the one that I kissed on the lips. He was my friend until then. On that day, I lost him as a friend. On that day, I lost myself as a friend. How can I love my friend and show him that I love him with a kiss and not lose him as a friend? An innocent kiss? Is even that not allowed?
How can I trust myself if I stop loving myself because of an innocent kiss in the first grade?
Was it a mistake? No! How could it have been? It was an authentic and innocent expression of innocent love. It's not my fault that a few thought it was funny – or shocking. It was true and honest and loving. I have nothing to be ashamed of. It's not my fault my friend didn't understand it. I acted with the highest light within me. There was no harm in it. Not really.
My poor friend didn't understand the joy I felt giving him an innocent kiss of affection. He felt threatened. It's not his fault. He didn't understand. Others didn't understand either. It's time to forgive myself. There was nothing wrong with the kiss. But it was wrong of me to stop being true to myself. It was wrong of me to pretend that I could control my emotions. It is wrong of me to hide who I truly am today, just as it was then. It's time to forgive myself – not for kissing my best friend on the lips when I was in the first grade, but for failing to consistently express that innocent love ever since. For failing to love myself enough to express myself when there's even a chance that someone might judge it. I lost two friends that day. It's time to make amends with at least one of those two friends again – it's time to be my own fiend again, and support myself in everything I do, and allow myself to make mistakes that embarrass me, and to trust that innocent love within me trying to express itself, and to give myself permission to be truly open, loving, and free.