Over The Top by Jonathan Van Ness

“But even more, I hope sharing my story encourages people to be more aware and compassionate on issues that may not directly affect them and spread that compassion to more people who need it. I have come to learn, though, that the more you love and accept yourself, the less you need other people’s approval.”

p. 256

Hello everyone! Another book recommendation for Queer Eye fans! This book is all about Jonathan’s (aka) JVN’s life story regarding being gay and LGBTQ+ struggles and successes. JVN talks about how the LGBTQ+ community needs our support and highlights all of the complexities of life that these individuals face on a regular basis when it comes to community acceptance, family acceptance, school, bullying, sexuality, career-life, relationships, and more. I hope you enjoy reading the quotes below and pick up your own copy of JVN’s book on your own life adventure. 🙂 ❤

“Like Maya Angelou taught me, I was hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, so that nothing could catch me off guard.” (p. 2)

“Because when you have this much personality, there’s a fear lurking just below the surface: If you knew all of me, you wouldn’t love me anymore. You would no longer want me as your new best friend.” (p. 6)

“I love an uplifting, feel-good moment. I love everything packaged up neatly and put into an easily understandable box. I continue to realize that this is not how life works. Joy can live beside sorrow. Life is messy, unpredictable, and seldom tied into neat little boxes.” (p. 6)

“Comparing ourselves to people on social media is as risky as using WebMD to diagnose yourself. You’ll end up way more stressed than before–just don’t even go there. Comparison is that stop we can just ride on past because it smells bad and is relentlessly draining.” (p. 9)

“All I had to lose was the moment, and a moment is something that we should never let go to waste.” (p. 63)

“It took me a long time to learn I was perfect just the way I was.” (p. 81)

“Joyful accomplishments exist next to painful memories. I found a lot of my healing when I realized that my suffering didn’t undo my joy.” (p. 85)

“But just like joy and pain coexist, so can discomfort and humor.” (p. 86)

“From hating being alone to now loving my alone time, that evaluation has been the most important to my well-being.” (p. 101)

“I understand that this is probably très jarring to read. But the reality is that LGBTQ+ people face challenges at disproportionately higher rates than their straight counterparts.” (p. 117)

“Joyce Meyer once said: “Don’t put God in a box.” And it’s true–you never know where you’re gonna end up.” (p. 146)

“Growth often happens when we’re uncomfortable.” (p. 153)

“I had more importantly learned the worth of saying “This isn’t worth it.”” (p. 153)

“Just because we mess up doesn’t mean all the lessons we learned are undone. Healing can be imperfect.” (p. 173)

“Just because I was able to be honest with people in my life didn’t mean the habits were magically cleared.” (p. 175)

“Life is so much a daily exercise in learning to love yourself and forgive yourself, over and over.” (p. 207)

“Sometimes our insecurity and fear about being alone or independent in the world can be our Achilles’ heel.” (p. 222)

“At the end of the day, the people we let in our space affect our ability to get to where we want to go, so if they’re in the way of realizing your potential, it’s okay to disconnect because you must choose yourself. I used to think that was selfish but really it’s just healthy.” (p. 222)

“My philosophy was very much to embrace yourself and love what you are, instead of making you something you’re not. Refine what you already have–don’t change it at its core.” (p. 232)

“…acceptance is the key to so much, and we find so much freedom in feeling fierce about what we’re accepting.” (p. 232)

“”It’s not about what the products are so much as how you feel,” I told my pretend hero. “That’s how self-care starts–you take care of yourself from the inside out.”” (p. 237)

“Fake it till you make it and make it look graceful.” (p. 241)

“What I’m really saying here is, being flexible with myself through the ebbs and flows of what life has brought me has been really important. As things shifted and changed my life, I’ve had different needs. […] If I recognize that no matter how much my life changes I am enough, and I am loved in and of myself and by myself, I’ll be good.” (p. 251)

“Being gentle with myself when I [eff] up helps. My default is to be really critical of myself, but the world will do that for me, so I gotta make sure I always know I have my back.” (p. 252)

“I’m literally just as lost as you. I’m just as grateful. And I’m just as much of a perfectly imperfect mess. People are all layered–good and bad, filled with joy and sorrow. The key is being grounded in the relationship you have with yourself. Basing my worth in how I treat myself despite how others treat me has been the key to my success–and I want that for you too.” (p. 253)

“All I’m trying to explain is that every person you look up to, in whatever field they’re in, is still just a person, with their own insecurities, worries, selfishness, and endless well of love and forgiveness. Famous or not, people are all onions with many layers.” (p. 255)

“Because at the end of the day, all we can control is ourselves in the vast array of situations we may find ourselves in. Controlling others and their choices is impossible, try as I might, so being compassionate and loving with myself can soften those uncomfortable outcomes.” (p. 255)

“What we see on the outside doesn’t always reflect what is inside, and vice versa. The only thing that matters is keeping your facts straight about how worthy you are of your own acceptance and love.” (p. 256)

“I wanted to share my journey because we have all done things we never thought we could and been places we never thought we would go. Good and bad. As scary as this can be I want you to know no matter how broken you feel, and how seemingly unlikely it is, we are never too broken to heal. More than that, there will be people who love and accept you completely, and there will be people who do not. If you love and accept yourself all the way, no matter what, through thick and thin, then either way you will make it through. If my story helps younger LGBTQ+ people, then my fear of sharing my truth in this book is worth it.” (p. 261)

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