How do we go from experiencing fear to openly loving ourselves and each other?

The definition of pride is to acknowledge one’s courageous achievements whilst understanding the strength and bravery this action has carried. I would say that our pride didn't come naturally. This pride has grown from days of tears and nights of pain. Feeling like you are worthless, feeling like you are all alone in this big scary world, feeling like every step forward is three steps back. It creates an endless cycle of despair. Falling into this trap meant that our lives were controlled by how we thought society would treat us, by what we thought we deserved and by pure anxiety and stress. Running on adrenaline and fear impacted our relationship status, we were Liv and Jess – bestfriends, not Liv and Jess – lovers. Hiding our relationship from our parents, from our friends, from people on the train. Being ever so careful not to come across as the stereotype, not to fall into a category, meant that every behaviour and action made in the public eye was carefully censored and monitored. But one day, one day it hit us. Why? Why put ourselves through something so painful and detrimental? Why hurt ourselves everyday over something we loved behind closed doors? Why be scared over something we can't change? 

‘Coming out’, so to speak, was one of the longest battles we have ever tackled. One may argue, it is a war that never ends. You will forever be coming out to the world. While others say, “don't let the hate and fear hurt you, be free from the burden of acceptance, be who and what you are.” And this is the approach we have started to adapt to, as the right way to embrace our fears. Head on. 

And that's what we did. We grew from our fear each day. We supported each other. We promised each other. We openly loved each other. 

That is what this photo represents. Our promise rings, supporting each other. Our mirror image, our subconscious, reflecting our strong bond and foundations. Instead of just four rings, you see eight. You see that there is more then meets the eye; the picture captures the support beneath us that has helped us to be here today. You see these rings glistening and sparkling light. The rings show our pride in our love, pride glowing and reflecting off every inch of metal. Off every inch of strong secure metal. Pride is something I never understood. How could something I, yes me, have done, be considered an achievement? To be considered worthy and important. Well now, now I understand. I see how joyful, delighted and honoured I am to be where I am today. To hold a sense of pride in something, that not so long ago carried fear and disappointment. I am Proud (capital P), of who I am. 

Pride: Being proud of who and what you are.