For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gross Night

So the past few weeks have been particularly difficult for me. I've taken a break from meeting with my Bishop, taken a break from trying to resolve the big questions in my life, taken a break from taking advice from multiple sources on what to do. It has been a good experience for me to do that, as taking these things away has exposed me to myself. Now, it's me and my therapist, but really now it's just me, me figuring out who I am and what I stand for.

Before taking a break from the Bishop, I would try to avoid doing and thinking things because of an obligation I had to him; it was not really for me. I tried to not "act out" not for me, but for him. Now that I've taken a break from him, a burden has lifted and now I am left with just my thoughts and me trying to figure out what I really want. Now the source of shame and guilt for acting out no longer comes from the obligation I have to a priesthood leader, but rather now has to come from a violation of my own internal compass. This is proving to be much more difficult. In addition to the break from the Bishop, I've also taken a break from trying to resolve the uncertainty around my place in the church - that uncertainty and the line of questions it raises will always be there. As a result, I additionally feel liberated from the shame associated with that line of questioning.

While taking these breaks is good in that it's forcing me to search within for the willingness and desire "to act for myself," the relief of the obligation is also sorely tempting. This relief has manifested itself in a license to "act out" more. And so I have. The shame of acting out with men has dissipated, and as a result I don't feel much guilt for doing so. It's interesting that the guilt and shame left with the commencement of these breaks - this is indicative of the fact that I had been trying to avoid specific behaviors for others (i.e. my Bishop) and not myself. With this "freedom," I am now trying to find myself, sadly it has taken me to do things I'm not particularly happy about.

Last night, I moved from oral sex to anal sex. It was not a pleasant experience and actually really gross. To speak more clinically, the tip of the prophylactic had some slight remains of human waste. I suppose at some level I always knew that was the case, but I was living in some fantasy land of it being a euphoric clean experience. It was not. As soon as I finished, something inside turned. It was gross. I could not believe what I had just done. Even the addict in me, admitted to being grossed out. I suppose under different conditions it could have been a different experience, but alas, the conditions I had were less than ideal. I had developed a strange relationship with the guy I did it with last night, so he wasn't an unknown, but nonetheless, the primary emotion there was lust NOT love.

Given where I'm at with taking a break, there was something within that recoiled at my behavior - not simply because of the physical uncleanliness of the act, but because of the emotional pain it brings.

I went to church today and felt a great desire to pay tithing - I searched my feelings to determine whether the desire was simply some form of penance, as I searched, I realized I genuinely wanted to pay tithing, not because I "had" to, not because I was expected to, not because it would absolve me of immediate guilt or shame, but rather, because I recognized that what I have comes from God and is ultimately His. I wanted to pay tithing for me.

This was a good sign, I suppose I'm now coming to slowly meet who I really am and come to know what I really want. While it's not ideal that I have to discover who I am from crawling through mud, it's nonetheless nice to meet me for the first time.

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