Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Goals, and Seeking a Little Advice

I spent a long time Monday night writing a depressing post. The words kept sounding trivial and flighty, in spite of how seismic and strange the emotions motivating them were.  I tried for about an hour, never getting past two poorly written paragraphs, before I abandoned the pursuit in favor of some milk and cookies and an hour of car racing on XBOX. It was a temporary solution to a problem that felt too real to handle with a blog post.

I went to bed early that night. I was tired of dealing with the day and spent the last part of it counting down the minutes till I could go to bed late enough to avoid feeling like an old man. Before I laid down in bed, a said a quick, but earnest prayer.  I told Heavenly Father how I felt.  I told him how worried I was that I was always attracted to my friends.  I asked for some kind of solution, so that someday I could have a good, fulfilling "best-friendship" with someone I appreciated and who appreciated me, without me adding a hopefully-invisible element of being a attracted to him.

Evergreen International says that male homosexuality isn't driven by poor relationships with women; instead it's poor relationships with men that cause our alternate attractions.  Sometime, probably sometime early, we had some kind of experience that left us wanting for genuine and appropriate male bonding, and that desire became toxic as it grew.

Anyway, the next morning, I began thinking of why I felt like I did.  I was happy in that I had been making good choices and had lots of blessings, but I was forced to confront the reality (again) that faithful obedience doesn't mean that I won't still be attracted to men. I'd made those bargains before, that I'd stop looking at pornography, that I'd serve a mission, that I'd go to BYU, that I'd accept any calling He had in store, if He'd just make this attraction go away. But that's just not how it works.

At work, in my hours of alone time, I mused about what to do with the friendship in question. I knew the standard answers, like losing myself in service, magnifying a calling, and improving myself, but those solutions, while worthwhile uses of my time, seemed like they beat around the bush. What I really needed was a way to feel like I could have a healthy relationship with someone.

I decided to make a list of things that make me happy, either superficially or really deeply, and decided that I'd make goals to correspond with each of those happy-makers.  For example, I'm putting money into a savings account that's dedicated to repairing and customizing my car.  I've also gone through my bookshelf and made a pile of books I'll be reading over the next few months. I found some old piano music that I like, so I'm going to start playing again. If this all sounds familiar, it's probably because I've said it before. These are the things that make me happy and I want to give them more prevalence in my life.

The only goal I'm really struggling with is trying to find fulfilling relationships. I'm not really capable of them, at least with other guys, as it turns out. I've outlined my shortcomings, but just have no idea how to approach them. As I was muddling through my list of interpersonal weaknesses (and strengths too), a sentiment I read years ago popped into my head.

Erin Eldridge, author of Born That Way?, writes that in her quest to overcome her same-gender attractions, she was able to supplement her emotional needs and find solace in friendship and fulfilling relationship with the Lord. (Interesting sidebar: Sometime early in the book, she writes that she subconsciously mistrusted God because of his maleness, because of her bad experiences with men in the past, but eventually overcomes that fear. She writes, and I'm paraphrasing because I lost my copy, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are perfected in their gender.  They are both male personages, but in their flawlessness, they have grown beyond the shortcomings and limitations mortal males have. Interesting insight.)

Does anyone have any experience/practical advice with cultivating such a close relationship with the Godhead? I'd love to hear some insight into the matter. Also, looking for book recommendations.

My life is a good one. I generally am happy, but there's always room for improvement. Seems like getting better at living is a more effective solution than griping into the ethereal blogosphere.


  1. The only way that I, as a human, know how to cultivate a friendship is by spending lots of time with a person. So I guess that's how I have to build my friendship with God. I remember Elder Wirthlin saying in a talk, "Do you love God? Then spend time with Him." That simple sentence hit me like a ton of bricks. DUH, RACHEL! I guess this means I need to pray more and read more. I need to talk to God about everything, as I would my best friend. Tell Him the highs and lows of my day. It sounds like you already do this. I've sometimes thought of how cool it would be if I had the kind of relationship with God where I could laugh with Him about some crazy experience I'd had that day.

    Question: Are you attracted to all of your best guy friends? Because I've had best friends of the opposite gender in whom I simply did not have romantic interest. I LOVED them, but the spark wasn't there. I assume it's that way for you with some of your guy friends, right?

  2. I agree with the things Rachel has said. Spend time with God and you'll get to know Him! Work of PRAYING rather than "saying prayers." Also, serve your fellow beings more. That alway translates directly into increased time serving God (and thus spent with Him).

    And Rachel, I don't know about GMP, but I too have SSA, and I'm not attracted to all my best guy friends. Just some of them.

    Hang in there, GMP! I have hopes for you to go on a mission yet!

    My Best,



Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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