In Northern Lights, I recently read this quote in one of the comments:
Have you explored the possibility that the cause, when found, will turn out to be a very typical form of selfishness? … If one could even experiment with the possibility that selfishness of a very subtle nature may be the cause of this disorder, that quickly clarifies many things. It opens the possibility of putting some very sick things in order. … Consider this: One cannot procreate alone. And this: One cannot procreate with his own gender. These are absolutes. And there is a third: One cannot procreate without yielding or giving. … I repeat, we have had very little success in trying to remedy perversion by treating perversion. It is very possible to cure it by treating selfishness. -- Elder Boyd K. Packer
I am familiar with this quote, but had forgotten it and now that I've reread it, I am concerned with it still being quoted, particularly with words such as "cause" and "disorder" and "very sick things" and "perversion" and "cure" and "treating" - all of which seem to be in contrast with more current speech from the Brethren.
But, this post isn't to argue these points (as they've been argued at length on NL and other blog posts) - instead, it is to address the underlining principle of selfishness.
Abelard says that my real problem is that I "want my cake and eat it too". Well, if that isn't the epitome of selfishness, then I don't know what the word means. I mean, when I say that I long for a hug-buddy, a bromance, a platonic boyfriend on the side, while still sealing my heart to my wife and remaining faithful to covenants - isn't that ultimately the most selfish want or desire you've ever heard?
I've been missing my "cake eating" of bromances lately and feel longings for these relationships while I'm sitting here at home trying to strengthen the emotional ties of my marriage. Isn't that self-centered or selfish?
Which leads me to question the true intent behind my "friendships" with these recently married young guys. Of course I love them and want the best for them, and I would do anything to help them and encourage them to be their best selves - but I also want their intimacy. Isn't that selfish?
Feeling bad about the distance of time and location and circumstance, and longing for some connection, I individually wrote four of them the other day, and to my pleasant surprise, three of the four wrote me back wonderful, warm, welcoming emails, expressing their desires for me to be a bigger part of their lives. I can portray that my motives are extensively altruistic, yet, none of them know (though they may suspect) of my ulterior motives. So, again, isn't that the definition of selfishness - seeking contact to ease my longing gay heart?
I've blogged about this before, but like all things in my life, I just spin my wheels and come back to the same place where I was before... * sigh *
Maybe, as much as it pains me to say it, in a certain sense, President Packer has nailed it!