Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks Giving Day

I woke this morning at 4:45 to get ready for work...and as I climbed into Hillary's little Toyota Tercel, I felt more grateful than I have in a long, long time. I feel the greatest portion of gratitude for the people - both family and friends - with whom I get to share bonds of love, compassion, care, and profound closeness. Without these people, life is cold and absolutely devoid of meaning; but with these relationships, I can see a purpose, potential, and value even in wandering. I truly hope that none of these friends or family would need to question my appreciation for them. They held my hand when I bought my first home, they kept me safe when I was emerging from the closet, they carried me through sickness and surgery, and they sheltered me when I was homeless. In all these things, they've continuously done one thing - they've loved me. Through all that we experience in life and through all the choices that we have and will make, the greatest question is, "how much do you love?" Order, read, or borrow Carol Lynn Pearson's book The Lesson: A Fable for Our Times. Indeed, Christ (whether Savior, prophet, teacher, or all three) said that the greatest commandment was to love God, your neighbor, and your own self. If we truly love, then respect and kindness and sacrifice come naturally and in turn. I feel deep, genuine, and profound gratitude in my soul for those who care and who harbor a form of love for me. It gives me life when I feel lifeless, it gives me reason when I feel there is none, and it provides truth when I feel lost. If only "thank you" could fully carry the depth of gratitude I wish to express...if only.

I am also truly grateful to God, the creator and operator of our world. I'm grateful for the resilliance of our spirits and bodies. Even though at times I've questioned whether or not I could recover from some blows, it's always happened - I've always recovered. I'm grateful that I'm healthy both in mind and body. I'm grateful for the life I was born into. My country, my family, the conditions of the time I live in and the people with whom I share life - I do not and will not take any of it for granted.

Even though some things are not well, I can still be very grateful for other things that are. Truly, gratitude is the harbinger of happiness.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Coming To My Senses?

I can't spit anything out...there's so much going on - both fun and not-so-fun - but it doesn't seem to want to be sorted out. The following are entries that I started...but couldn't see through to a final conclusive end.

October 26 - On the Issue of Repentance
[I have so many thoughts relative to this topic, but I couldn't type a one.]
October 28 - My, oh My. How Things Have Changed
I wrote this almost exactly a year ago: I'm afraid of the future...of me in the future. I'm afraid that I'll become someone that I'll regret, or that I'll regret living alone, or that I'll regret marrying, or that I'll regret something I didn't want to type.

I'm no longer afraid of the future - I'm going to choose the paths I walk, and I'll choose them out of a healthy state of mind and because I feel and believe that they are the better choice. I'm no longer afraid of me in the future - I'm not a wild-card as long as I'm not making choices out of fear, despair, or hopelessness. Regrets? Well, it's going to be a challenge, but I'll work my best to make choices that I won't regret. It might not come out clearly, but here's a thought: When I stand at a crossroads, mine will be the charge to make the choice that most befits my values, passions, concerns, awakenings, and beliefs. If I am honestly true to these things, then I will have no reason, in sixty years, to look back with the smallest degree of regret for the life I will have lived.
October 31 - Oh, Parents. What Do I Say To You?
Mom and dad know I'm gay. They've accepted that guys have a spell on me and not girls; but, I'm slowly finding that while they say they'll always love and support me, their actions say otherwise. They told me that they want to know what's going on (I would guess that they said this because...well, that's what parents feel is the right thing to say); unfortunately, they've given me two options to chose from when I tell them what's up: "Hey mom and dad, I hold a current temple recommend and I'm going to the temple regularly" or "I'm working with my bishop to become worthy to go back to the temple." So, what if neither of those is the case? Well, then they don't want to hear it.

At the beginning of the month, I told them that I've started going back to church. I asked if they would like to read something that I recently wrote. My dad said yes. I told him that it would reveal some of the things that I did last year to cope with the hard times. He said that he'd still like me to send it. I sent them the post, The LDS Church and Gays. After a week of silence, my mom wrote a letter and called me to shame for having turned to drugs to cope and because I'm "speaking against the prophets and apostles of the church," my sister phoned me in tears because mom told her that I'm "writing anti-Mormon literature," and just last Monday my dad told me that he would rather that gays stayed hidden in fear because at least they didn't have such a negative effect on society like they do now. Wow, that didn't go well. I told them that they had terribly misunderstood the message of what I wrote; I said that we would just have to agree to disagree on a few things; and I worked at being patient toward them and not taking offense at what they said or believed. But yesterday, I failed.

By nine in the morning, I was so angry and frustrated. I just didn't know what to do. I almost went to the liquor store for a bottle of something strong, but I decided to go to the Borders bookstore instead and get lost in a good novel. It worked, the anger and frustration went away, but the problem remains. I really don't know what the future will look like and I've quit using absolutes like never and always; so, I've been thinking about where my parents are coming from and what I could do to slowly wear away at the irrational, traditionalist, and narrow sight they seem to have. Eh, whatever.
November 3 - Closets are for Clothes...and Me!
Oh, no. So, my cousin told my aunt and my aunt told the rest of her family. Their reactions: one didn't have a problem, one cried, and the others? S__t, f__k, damn, and hell. Those were their reactions, respectively. This was why I didn't tell them. Oh, no...
Like I said. A lot of jumbled stuff and it's not falling into any sort of coherent framework. I guess sometimes you're just jumbled, and that's ok. Also, it's interesting to see the way that emotions and stress can so strongly influence my thoughts and opinions. I'd like to admit that I was quite frustrated or discouraged as I started writing some of these entries. I think that I was somewhat unfair to my parents in what I said - it's hard for them too. Mine isn't the only heart that experienced fear, hurt, and despair. I submit this only because I want to remember how easily I can become jumbled and confused. I think it's added to because...well, there's this someone...