Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A quote overheard at Church...

Sometimes you hear something at Church and you just can't forget it. This is one of those times...


I'm working with a couple who are struggling with their faith. They are really working hard and trying to be open to a new way of thinking. They seem to want to believe only if it can be "proven" to them. They are closed to ideas that require faith, and exercising faith to believe, though I see a hope and desire in their eyes to want to open that door in their minds of believing. They want to hang their faith and rely on scientific proof. I struggle with scientific proof being the source of my faith. What I hear reported in the news as "fact" by one group of researchers on one day is countered by another "fact" by another group on another day. Where is the foundation of truth in that?
I hear of my need to find my "authentic" self by some in the homosexual community, that I will be only happy when I am authentic with my true self. I struggle with this concept of authenticity just as much as my friends are struggling with their faith, particularly when authenticity contradicts that faith of what I "know" to personally be true. Is that closed-mindedness on my part?

I may have a hole in my head, and just don't know it, but being open to faith, to the spirit requires open mindedness.


Scot said...

What I hear reported in the news as "fact" by one group of researchers on one day is countered by another "fact" by another group on another day.

That’s because it’s reported by reporters and not scientists who’d never make such a silly claim ;-)

(Oh, and I forbid L from baiting me on this topic :-p).

hear of my need to find my "authentic" self by some in the homosexual community, that I will be only happy when I am authentic with my true self.

If it makes you feel any better Beck, I don’t much understand the authentic argument; not that I’m sure there couldn’t be merit in it but I don’t get it. I can see getting pleasure from being “true to” both combating selves, though I do think one is a better choice, if you meet all the necessary requirements ;-). I guess, I chalk my lack of understanding here up to coming out early.

Foxx said...

The way I see it, being your authentic self is to eschew self-denial. Your authentic self may be right where you are, but you have to first accept it, desire it, and go for it. Nobody can tell you where you belong, it's something you have to search deeply within yourself for.

You could feel, like me, that if truth cannot contradict truth, it is your responsibility to research the truth of what is being reported rather than how inconvenient it is were it true. I can only be true to my self if I'm tuned into what is true. That's how I work. That's who I am.

I consider L to be quite authentic and self-aware, but he chooses a different path from what I might choose in his stead. He may be closer to your authentic self.

More likely, you are completely unique. You just have to dig.

That being said, being yourself isn't necessarily going to be the easy path, nor does it mean you can stop trying to change or better yourself. You have to know and accept where you are right now, know and accept your ideal you, and make realistic efforts to become your best self rather than just to appear that way.

SG said...

IMHO, your true self is a child of Heavenly Father. Don't let go of that truth. Is being open-minded the same as having a heart and mind open to the promptings of the spirit, as well as being open to new ideas and thoughts? I think it is. Does it require that all those ideas and thoughts and prompting be proved? Not to me.

As I've said before, I'm not sure what elements of our earthly existance are temporary and which are eternal. My personal feeling is that I didn't need to experience some of the things I did to find out they were wrong; I didn't need to learn the hard way. I didn't find out by acting out that I was not being authentic; I found out that I was sinning. Sure, it felt great. But I forgot for a while that I am a child of God, and He made me. He loves me; He knows what's best for nme.

To be authentic to myself is to look beyond my earthly self to my eternal self. Maybe that's self-denial, but it's only temporary. And it is ultimately worth it.

Loyalist (with defects) said...

I have two funnies. One "go authenticate yourself" sounds like a cool epithet. :) and the picture drives me to go and get my Stix CD out and listen to 'mr. roboto'.

Domo Aregoto, Mr. Roboto...:)

MoHoHawaii said...

... authenticity contradicts that faith of what I "know" to personally be true.

I think this is the core of the issue. What happens when your faith contradicts who you are? Your avatar image is of a person split in two. The illustration at the head of this post shows another split face.

I'm all for authenticity, but I don't think that that means everyone has to make the same choices. These are personal issues that each one of us has to deal with on his own. What we need is respect for one another's best efforts.

BTW, I think open-mindedness means a willingness to embrace truth regardless of its source. Joseph Smith taught this, incidentally, but it has been deemphasized.

Good luck to you.

Beck said...

I find the response to my incoherent post intriguing. You guys think deep thoughts and are very helpful.

Though I may portray things otherwise, I'm pretty anchored in "who I am" though I have spikes of energy and passion and infatuation of duplicitousness that I struggle with in finding my "authenticity"... that having been said, I still "know" who I am (very similiar to SG's feelings)with the knowledge that I currently possess... With examples of Scot, and Foxx, Hurricane/Chris and others... and more recently MOHOH, I find this "knowledge" evolving and changing more rapidly in the last two years than in the previous two decades!

Just as my thoughts of the relativity of science (based on current understanding), so too is my knowledge of "who I am" based on my relative current understanding - but some things are fundamental and they serve as an anchor for me - and that anchor may go against the flow of authenticity that some would choose for me! I am grateful for MOHO friends who respect and encourage me to find MY PATH and not a prescribed path.

What was just a passing comment from a passing church tidbit has turned into a very thought-provoking week.

Thanks everyone! I appreciate your comments.

Forester said...

I believe that being true to yourself is making choices based on your set of values and beliefs. It's sticking to your guns when you have to make a difficult choice and the outcome may not be what you thought you wanted it to be. I'm an intuitive thinker and I tend to trust my gut feelings. However, as with all of you, there are times when my desires get in the way of my values and beliefs.

Beck, I know what you mean by feeling a dual identity. I think most of us have numerous identities. I was introduced to Parts Theory by one of my therapists about a year ago. Here's the idea: every emotion that we have is actually an individual sub-personality. It has its own concerns, its own ideas, it is a separate part of you. This personality was formed when that event that they are looking for in regression, occurred. This part's job is to protect us from similar events occurring in the future. This is a basic self-defense mechanism. There's nothing complicated or difficult about it, in theory.

Where it becomes difficult is on the conscious level, in how these parts do their jobs. I've learned a methodology whereby the parts within me can exist together in balance. At times, one part, such as my attraction to men, dominates. This isn't good because allowing one part to take over compromises our core center and things become unbalanced. Sometimes, when this happens, I find myself thinking and doing things that contradict my core values. When this happens, I have to take some time to restore balance - communicate with the other parts of me and encourage my SGA to step back.

The thing to remember is that all of the parts put together equal the whole and the whole is governed by your inner core self. My life is much better when I can accept each part for what it is. One part does not define who I am. All of them combined make me whole. It's not a matter of one verses the other, locked in eternal conflict.

It is believed by some professionals that you can rid yourself totally of one part if you want to and if you need to. It's a long process and can only be accomplished with professional help. I came to the conclusion that I didn't need to try to get rid of my SGA completely, just keep it in check with all of my other parts.

Beck said...

"I came to the conclusion that I didn't need to try to get rid of my SGA completely, just keep it in check with all of my other parts."

That is what I've been doing for the better part of two decades... I think I've done a pretty good job in keeping in balance. It ain't easy sometimes! And I get spikes of anxiety and angst at times. But, I'm well past the idea of "ridding myself" of this legitimate part of me. I actually really like this part of me! It's when this part becomes more important than my values and beliefs and principles that I occasionally freak out... yeah, I should probably seek professional guidance (Did I really say that? Where's -L-? Don't let him know :)), but I'm always struggling with what I really want help with - like I say, in the end I've been able to stay pretty level headed overall... but could I do better? Sure!

Anyway, Forester, thanks for your thoughts - I've got a lot to contemplate.

santorio said...

imagine how boring life would be without struggles.

i know a couple who say they never have quarreled. that's either deep denial, total martyrdom on the part of one or the other, or total boring.

i'll take struggles.

granted that this is not a struggle i would have chosen, but... maybe i did choose it

Beck said...

Santorio: Life is certainly not boring because of my struggles and internal conflicts. It keeps me on my toes...

And as for my marriage, I couldn't imagine how boring life would be with a wife who always agreed with me! She's got a mind of her own and speaks it, and we struggle sometimes to get to the same page - but I can't imagine it any other way.

playasinmar said...

I'll point out that picture is an old PS2 ad.