Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fences, boundaries, borders and limits...


I've been thinking a lot about boundaries or borders... There is a lot of discussion about the country's borders, and the safety thereof, and whether a fence needs to be built, or whether increased security needs to be provided, or whether they should be open. It is for our "protection", for the "good" of the nation. In Europe pre-EU, there were border checks, passport reviews, visual inspections at each country crossing. It seemed very tedious and frivolous, but at least you "knew" when you crossed into a new country. When we crossed once from the communist Yugoslavia into Italy, or from Italy to Yugoslavia, it was a big deal... car searches, soldiers with machine guns, German Shepard dogs sniffing around, detailed passport scrutiny, questions of why we're in the country in the first place, etc. Recently crossing on the autostrada between France and Italy along the Riviera was like crossing from Utah into Idaho... you may note the small road sign or you may not and if you missed it, you may not even know what side of the line you're on.

My mind has thought a lot about other kinds of borders in my life. We recently constructed a fence around our property to keep our dog "in" and other dogs "out". We put our rabbits in cages to "keep them safe" from the raccoons.
My wife and I put "limits" on our teenage children... when they can drive the car, who they are dating, when to date or just "hang out", curfew times, etc.

Covenants and commandment-keeping are a form of borders or boundaries. In the temple, we learn to keep things "within the boundaries the Lord has set". The garment and the proper wearing of the garment is established as a "shield and a protection".

And what I'm wrestling with currently are my personal, self-imposed boundaries - those things which I have chosen of my own free will to abide by, because I have determined if doing so, I will be better off. Sometimes, in certain situations, such as on a couch in the arms of a dear friend, kissing him, I become deaf to my self-imposed warning signs, and blind to the edge of my self-determined cliff, and everything is fuzzy and unclear...

What is the point of having such limits, or boundaries, government imposed, religion-imposed, parental-imposed, or personally imposed? "Total freedom! No borders!" some say. And yet, is there safety, security, well-being, even "freedom" with such imposed borders on our life activities? Should we place limits on ourselves?

Ironically, I taught a SS lesson last week on being a "covenant-keeping people". I smirk at myself in seeing the discrepancy between what I taught verses my personal actions recently. I was encouraging less-active, and newly baptized members to learn the basic principle of the Gospel that being obedient to our covenants brings us the most happiness and freedom we can imagine. But then, a few hours later, in the arms of someone I "truly love" and have attached this "romantic aura" to our relationship (because I so desperately want it to be so in that moment), I forget all about my personally self-imposed limits, my God-given and received covenants of baptism, endowment and celestial marriage, and am willing to be caught up in just stealing that one brief moment of passion with another man... At that moment I was...

These hormones are gloriously amazing things! And being a virgin gay-adolescent complicates it even more! MOHO Hawaii was right when he said that guys like me are truly "adolescent" in the spectrum of our gay attractions...


A kind and very wise friend emailed me the following wake-up advice about my current "situation":


Two things to think about--First, if you allow yourself to let your friendship to become sexual, given the age difference and your knowledge about your friend's personal/spiritual life, you are probably abusing his trust. He isn't far from your eldest daughter's age. Consider your feelings if another person, your age, female or male, whom she deeply loved and trusted, allowed or even encouraged a physical relationship with her. Then use that perspective in your interactions with your friend. He loves you. He trusts you. Betraying that trust, even if it seems implied that he wishes it, shows that you're not worthy of such love and trust. If you wish to pursue that relationship, you should consider being released from the covenants and promises you've made to another person who loves and trusts you which brings me to the second thing--you've made covenants--and so has he. You both renew them each Sabbath. If you follow your current desires and line of thinking, you will be a party to his breaking of those covenants, knowingly so, and he will be a party to the breaking of your covenants. That's an awful responsibility, and at some point, knowing that you have done that will come between you as a trust issue. If you cannot be trusted to keep the sacred covenants that you've made to God, how can you be trusted to be faithful in a human-made relationship? The bottom line--you can't.

It's all about trust and love in the end. Yours for your wife, for your friend, for God, and for yourself. Interesting how the Lord allows us to encounter circumstances where we must find out if we can be trusted in any situation, and how, regardless of the outcome, he loves us still. Always.


There are good reasons for fences and boundaries, God-imposed, self-imposed or otherwise... If I can just keep that in mind when I see "him" and get all wiggly inside... I know his and my relationship will be better!
I'm such a gay-adolescent fool! But I'm trying to learn! As the saying goes: "Better late than never," right?

9 comments:

MoHoHawaii said...

Your post isn't clear about what exactly is happening on that sofa, but my guess is that it's leading to trouble.

Even though I have a completely secular view of this situation I come to the same conclusion as your friend whose letter you quote: Don't do this.

Or, I would say, don't go here unless you are willing to sell the farm and start your life over. From your previous posts, it sounds like this is not what you want to do.

You might be surprised what one moment of bad judgment can do to your life (and the lives of others you love). Slap yourself and make your homone-addled brain think long term.

Sorry to be such a downer, man. :-)

Kengo Biddles said...

Being willing to learn is a truly important step, so I'm glad you're trying, Beck.

And I thrid what Mohohawaii and your friend say, but you know that.

Sean said...

i believe in you Beck. Chin up. you're a good man.

thinking of ya...

santorio said...

this is what being a moho is all about, always tempted, never fulfilled. yeh, i know that the straight guy can be tempted by a good-looking co-worker, but it's not the same.

Abelard Enigma said...

the straight guy can be tempted by a good-looking co-worker, but it's not the same.

Why is that? I'm not arguing because I agree with you. But, I don't understand why it is that way.

gentlefriend said...

Thank you for being so open. This and the last post reminds us all to check our boundaries. Raging hormones can fog up our vision. Your writing may help you clarify things but it also causes us to evaluate what we are doing in a new light. Thanks.

In your last post, you mentioned that a fantasy of your friend helped you to "do it" in your intamacy with your wife. You seemed to feel guilty about it. This started me thinking about what boundaries we should build concerning sexual fantasy during intimate relationships. This gave me a chance to write down my own thoughts on this topic, which I posted on my website. Thanks.

Beck said...

MOHO-H: If you want the intimate details you'll have to email me later... I've thought I was pretty revealing in my description enough for you to get the picture. I'm not selling the farm - just recognizing from this experience the need to be reminded of personal limits and their value.

KB: I'm still kickin' and still trying - with your help! Thanks.

SEAN: Thanks for still hangin' around such foolish MOHOs like me... Keep commenting!

SANTORIO / ABELARD: I don't know that I get what you're saying here, but this I know... I can't get enough of this male attention gig, and if I can keep it in control, in self-imposed limits, where no one is hurt, and no trust is lost, and no covenants are broken as noted in the post, then I'm still seeking after it! Call me naive, but there's got to be some fulfillment here!

GF: I'm glad my willingness to share my failures may be of service to others. I try to be as open as I can, for my sake, as I have no other forum or opportunity to share such things, and right now I need all the help I can get. I think that goes without saying. :)

Abelard Enigma said...

My question was addressed to santorio. He made the statement that it is different for us gay guys than it is for straight guys. I agree with that, but I want to know why. Why is it so different for us?

Beck said...

I recognize you're asking this of Santorio, but, never having been a straight guy, how do you know it is different? What is different? How is it different?