Monday, September 29, 2008

Ideals are like stars...

Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the ocean desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny. -Carl Schurtz

I came out to my bishop back toward the beginning of summer. I talked with him two weeks later and then never went back. I felt so gross talking with him about how I'm attracted to dudes. Out of the blue, he called and asked if I would meet with we did, last Sunday. I was scared to death, but I figured: "He set up the meeting, I'll let him have charge and see what he wants." We chatted in general about life and such for a little and then he asked; "So, how are...other things going?" (I think that he's as uncomfortable as I am). I told him that this has been probably the hardest summer of my life, maybe matched by a summer or two from the worst of my teenage years. I told him about smoking and drinking...and that I've quit that (I have). I told him that at this point, I wish I hadn't ever even gone to that meeting where I came out and confronted this; but, I acknowledged that life goes on and I told him that I knew my feelings would change somehow.

The other night, I talked with Hillary for about 90 minutes. We had a good talk, but when we ended it, I was troubled cause I couldn't see how things were going to get better. So, I've been thinking about it. I think I've forgotten that some problems don't get fixed, some challenges can't be vanquished, and some trials are life-long. So, what's left to say but "get over it!"

Today, I was thinking about the things that I have that I can be happy about. Dang, there's a lot. I've got some of the best friends, roommates, cousins, sisters and parents that a person could imagine. So what if I'm gay and can't seem to change it. I remember when I was working with others that were experiencing trials and challanges, I would say to them that they needed to focus on things that they both wanted to change and could change...or cause to change. Worrying about anything else was not only futile and wasteful, but harmful and destructive. Well, it's plain to see that I need someone to share that very principle with me. I've been concerning myself so strongly with things I can't change that I haven't even had safe control over things I could influence or change for the better.
After thinking about the good fortune I experience in life, I thought about some of my most cherished memories, including touring the museums in Washington, DC, with Hill(ary). In one museum of art, there were tons of quotes on the walls accompanying masterful paintings. One of the quotes was from Carl Schurz: "Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the ocean desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny." I think I've been following my feet - or at least looking down all the time while saying that I'm trying to follow the stars. Yeah, doesn't work. I think he means that we've got to stay focused on the things that we do want and can accomplish and not let ourselves be distracted or turned from our path by other seemingly valid concerns - concerns that we might be able to affect, but that would prove to be less important than the grand plans and ideals that we chase and could otherwise be accomplishing if we would but stay focused. So, I'll spend the next while working on understanding how best to stay focused on the stars and be guided by ideals. Of course, it'll be a process; but perhaps, it'll be the reminder that I need to recall to me the way of being I once had - the one that brings joy and fullness to work and relationships, and love and life.

Ok, I know that sounds kinda corny, but I really mean it. There is a way of being, a song that your heart can sing, a presence that you can develop; whatever you call it, when you are this way, the people and places and events in life are all good and right. They didn't change, you did. It only ever results from or is the sum consequence of the fine choices that you make every day inside yourself that nobody knows about. I say this mostly to myself, because I forget it too easily. The way that you are inside - your way of being - is not something that you get to choose directly; rather, it is a sum of the choices you make in your thoughts and heart throughout the days. This presence of yours is ever-changing, formed by who you are in the places where nobody but you and God can see. I feel ashamed for being who I've been this last little while...kicking against the pricks. So...change doesn't happen in an instant. It requires time and effort. I've already started towards it; now, I need to continue and soon, I'll start to see as I was able to see some time ago. There'll be more light, more purpose, and more why's to work every day and follow the ideals that guide.


Sean said...

Another source of direction is finding something that you are extremely passionate about and focus on that. It sure has helped me out lately and I have never been happier. I've noticed that life doesn't seem so hard anymore and that I can do almost everything I want to and put my mind, time, and efforts to. Life has become fulfilling and has a direction rather than many places that I could go, but not sure which one to take.

I hope everything continues to go well for you.

Michael said...

I'm glad you're positive and trying to figure stuff out. I know how hard it is and I truly wish you the best. I'm not sure I'm much of an example, but you know I'm here for you if you even need someone to talk to or whatever.

I, for one, am glad you came to that first meeting. You've been a good friend and I appreciate your sincerity in everything you do. I'm sorry for the times that I've been too selfish with you. Let me know if there's anything I can do.

Love you tons!

Z i n j said...

I often am required to live by faith as I don't understand many things. I can at least hope for mercy and justice and fairness and compassion and peace. It is your stories and struggles and triumphs that lift me up to a higher vision of my world and life. Thanks for sharing.

Alan said...

Sean is right. Find the things you're passionate about, develop your talents, look for ways to bless other lives. Everyone has challenges and disappointments and trials, the key is the attitude you adopt toward them. Attitude is everything. You decided to focus on what you have to be grateful for and what a difference it made. I've done the same thing and the results are wonderful. If you have a grateful heart, life will be good. Keep going!

Robert said...

Sean - Yeah, I totally know what you mean. There is a lot more to life than sexuality, and those other things should be paramount. I do take hope in other aspects of life that are going well. Thanks man.

Michael - You are a great person. I know you don't agree, but I am glad that we met and became friends. At the same time, before I came out...but you can't undo coming out, so I guess I'll quit thinking about it. :)

Zinj - You're awesome. I live off your stories. And WOW, every time I read your "about me" I love it even more. So well written and descriptive. I feel exactly the same. I don't know of anything that I love more than the wild - be it desert, pine forest, or whatever esle. Things are just so true and umcompromising out there. Yeah, I love it. Keep me updated on your adventures. They take me back.

Alan - Totally. The embarrassing thing is that sometimes, it just seeme too much to be able to keep a good attitude about things. I suppose anybody can lose the good attitude, it's just really important to get it back real quick. And you're totally right. Gratitude is the best remedy for despair.

UTMOHO said...

Hi I just ran across your blog. I to have the attraction to the same sex, I am a 22 year old LDS Boy, well I use to be a member till a month ago. I came out to my bishop and then I was ex-comunicated. I have no hard feelings toward the church, But I can tell you that I have never been happier in life just being me. Without any pressure from the church. I totally understand your fear of being gay, cuz it is against everything we were raised to be. I can tell you though that if you do decided to come out to people don't be scared most people will still love you for you. If they don't that is there problem.

Some Like It Hot said...

Just today I was thinking about how good my life was. I don't like my SSA but there really is worser things in life.

As far as telling Bishops about my SSA, it's sort of like water off a duck's back now. I remember the first time I told my Bishop at 16. We were alone in his office, I was so scared to tell him, I couldn't do it verbally, and I ended up writing it on a piece of paper right in front of him.

A CROW'S VIEW said...

You don't need to feel gross about something you didn't ask for. And you have every power to control it. You need to stop thinking of yourself that way.

I was looking at your pic, now one piece of advice I'd give you is not to play soccer with sandles. That is really stupid LOL!

But besides that, you talked to your bishop, thats amazing and very brave and a step in the right direction, so be please with yourself.

That Sean guy is pretty brilliant by the way, he's also kinda smart. He gave you some good advice, so you should follow it.

I've always had an issue with the term coming out. You haven't really come out of anything, you've been honest about a struggle. No you can't take back honestly but now you don't have to hide the way you feel and you are the one who decides what direction you go with it now. You can be a good example to those who also struggle but feel alone. Remember you choose who you follow. Set a good example and those who see and feel your spirit will see it and follow it to.

If you want another friend, I'm here. at anyrate, I'm impressed with the things you say. I think you're a good example.

Forester said...

I know this is a very confusing time for you - I'm confused myself. But reading through your posts, I'm grateful I've made it a little further down the path than you have. Just remember that it's okay to accept yourself for who you are, including all your faults and struggles.