Ian Thorpe’s revelation about his sexual orientation this week reflects something about our humanity. We all long for acceptance and approval and fear rejection.
That he felt he had to hide this despite his fame, his achievements and his sporting greatness shows what a powerful driver this longing for acceptance is. If I read what he is quoted as saying in his televised interview with Michael Parkinson accurately it is like he knew he had done great things but doubted that his achievements would be enough for him to be truly accepted if people knew who he really was.
That’s an awful weight to have to carry on your shoulders. I don’t know how he managed it. It raises huge questions about how we treat others whether we have the same or different view on life as them.
I understand that longing for acceptance. I did not carry Ian Thorpe’s burden, but I had my own. I never felt good enough or acceptable. The greatest ridicule I endured was from within. That’s why finding unconditional acceptance through Jesus has been so liberating for me. The fact that I am valuable enough for him to give himself for me says very positive things about my worth to him.
I am choosing to let his acceptance of me shape how I see myself.