Monday, March 09, 2009

It just is...

Bravone has recently posted on the subject of searching to find the "why" behind these things we discuss here in the hope of finding inner-peace. I responded:

I personally do not put a lot of credence in the "whys" of this, (particularly from either professionals or ecclesiastical leaders). No one has been able to explain it away to me. I do not fit the stereotype of an abused child, of having a distant father, of being raised by a dominant mother, of being exposed to pornography, of early (or any) sexual experimentation with my male peers, of being overly effeminate in nature. Yes, I'm the sensitive type, the non-athlete, the good student and good-boy stereotype.

But, even if I did know the exact reason, would it ease my shame "for so many years while I was in denial"? No, that was inflicted by a non-understanding and insensitive society and culture.

But, I am not you. You must decide for yourself. If you are wrestling with the "peace with (your) past", then search and find that peace in whatever form you can. If that is achieved through answering this eternal "why", then go for it.

But, I hope someday you can stop the wrestling match with yourself and truly be "grateful for so much of (your) gay nature" and just be YOU! Just be the wonderful, sensitive, caring, loving (and imperfect) YOU!

Have faith in the path... (See D&C 58:3) and know that He knows and sees the "design" of these things.

I really like this scripture:

Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time the DESIGN of your God concerning these things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow AFTER much tribulation.

The Saints in Jackson County could not understand the "whys" of their trials and their path they were on. They had no clue what purpose their "tribulations" served in the bigger picture. They just had faith that God did see and know them, did have a "design" for them.

The scripture continues:

For after much tribulation comes the blessing.

For some, this may be a cop-out answer. For me, it brings me peace. I am not saying this gay-gig is a tribulation (though it has brought me much confusion and angst). I do not worry why I am this way. In fact, I embrace my homosexuality as who I am and who I always have been and who I always will be. I see no "why" anymore to answer. For me, to view this as just a "mortal" condition (self inflicted or from some outside source) does not ring true. I see this as part of who I have always been as a soul, as a spirit, as an intelligence, and find no "blame", no "defect", no "trigger" for these things. They just are. And I have faith that my God "sees" me with eternal eyes, not natural eyes, and has "designed" these things for me now and for me hereafter.

I love men. I love admiring men. I love connecting with men. I love embracing men. I love being me. For now, that is good enough.

Where I struggle still, is how being me fits into my marriage, my family, my culture. God certainly has a sense of humor in this "Jackson County design" He has put me in.


Bravone said...

Beck, Thanks for your perspective. It makes a lot of sense. I should probably quit wasting time trying to figure it out.

Beck said...

BRAVONE: I didn't say that... I just think that sometimes I spend way too much time worrying about things I can't control and I wonder about the "what ifs" and the "whys" way more than I should. And I've come to the conclusion, at least for me, that I should not worry about the "whys" of my homosexuality, but instead just worry about living the best way I know how, being content that this is the way I am.

I never said that you shouldn't do what you need to do to get to the bottom of it. You have experienced different things during your youth. You have an obvious genetic tendency toward homosexuality in your family. You have addiction behaviors that have contributed to these feelings. All of this makes for a different case than mine. So, do what you need to to get to the bottom of it. And if you can find the "reason" and it brings you peace, then great. I'm happy for you. But if you get to the "reasons" for your "why" questions and still don't have the peace - then what?

I just want you to be happy with who you are. I just want me to be happy with who I am. I just want you to know that you are who you are and the most important thing is to be the best YOU that you are.

Un abbraccio...

robert said...

the serenity prayer comes to mind....

Ned said...

Here's a variation on the serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change in others and myself; courage to change the things I can in change in myself and respect others with differing perspectives; and wisdom to know the difference.

It's not as poetic but it's a variation I need to tell myself at times.

p.s. Beck, I replied to your reply to my blog post. Go take a look if you like.

Philip said...

Beck and Bravone,

For me, the questions started when I was twelve years old as soon as I realized I might be a homosexual.

Funny I can't remember the questions anymore, except one, but I know there was a progression to them.

At first, I totally rejected the homosexual feelings and believed the feelings were coming from some external source so I asked myself what I was doing to let those feelings in.

Later on, as I accepted that the feelings were coming from me, the questions changed.

Regardless, I would ask the same question over and over again despite never getting an answer. Finally what happened was that I would replace one question with another.

I believe the questions would show some kind of progression that reflected my increasing (yet extremely slow) acceptance of my homosexual feelings. I know I went from total rejection to considering it possible to considering it likely to considering it to finally accepting it in every increasing degrees.

The one question I do remember is "Why is this happening to me?"

When I finally started to accept myself the questions didn't going away but shifted from Why to more What and How questions like in "What do I do now?" and "How is this going to impact (fill in the blank)?"

It's telling that I never asked any of these questions when I had my heterosexual moments. Instead I wholeheartedly embraced those moments and waited impatiently for more.

In retrospect, I never got answers to my Why questions and got answers that were hard to accept for my What and How questions.

I can't remember when but I finally stopped asking these kind of questions. I do know that by then I had arrived at some degree of self acceptance.

However, the self-acceptance didn't really kick in until I was out to enough people to interact openly and honestly with others.

What I discovered was that interacting openly and honestly with others was necessary to learn some really important things about myself.

In other words, hiding who I was from others to protect my secret really made it impossible for me to find out how I relate to others in an honest and open way and how you relate to others tells you a lot about who you are as a person.

So ironically I started getting answers to some of my questions once I wasn't so preoccupied with getting the answers.

Who knew that all those years of hiding in the closet kept me from getting my answers.


Beck said...

PHILIP said: "...hiding who I was from others to protect my secret really made it impossible for me to find out how I relate to others in an honest and open way and how you relate to others tells you a lot about who you are as a person."

That's why us closeted / semi-closeted guys are so slow to come to any conclusions of who we are.

I like your progressive nature of questions that evolved from why to how and what. I don't ask the "why" question anymore. I do ask the how and what questions a lot, but I'm not always wanting the answers...

Philip said...

Beck and Bravone,

I am always in such a rush that I forget to say things...

I find it interesting that the questions I asked said more about where I was in the coming out process than anything else.

Also, I think it shows how I let others define homosexuality for me.

It wasn't until I came to some sort of self-acceptance and started interacting openly and honestly with others that I started to learn a lot of things about myself and not coincidentally start defining what homosexuality was in my own terms.

Got to go...hope I didn't forget something else.


Philip said...

Beck: I like your progressive nature of questions that evolved from why to how and what. I don't ask the "why" question anymore. I do ask the how and what questions a lot, but I'm not always wanting the answers...

You forgot the last to come up but the most important kinds of questions - the "who" questions like in "Who am I?"

The closet delayed this line of questioning but it didn't matter if I was 12 or 32 or 52...I wouldn't stop the questioning until I knew who I was.


Beck said...

Okay. Who am I?

I know you can't answer, and I have "standard answers" of who I am, but I don't know that I can answer.