Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The Double Stuff Oreo Blues: Rediscovering What I Already Know
Life is really interesting.
She has this way odd way of teaching. At one moment, she'll be like, "Hey look at this!" regarding some important discovery which empowers you enough to make a life altering change. You feel like your life will never be the same. I've heard people say this when they go to a Celine Dion concert (putting that positive vibe out into the world, pleassssee), a good book, meeting an inspiring person, a traumatic experience, etc.. And then as you go about with this life change with full purpose of heart life sneakily gets in the way of that change and makes you forget what you learned, only to later on come back in and teach you what you already knew/experienced before. "That sneaky Mom!" (said in my best kids voice)
This spin wheel of emotions and purpose I've experienced in most aspects of my life; to the joy I experience in eating well/exercising to my own pursuit of happiness, helping others, etc.
Of most pertinence in my mind in this revolutionary wheel of change is my experience in coming out as gay to family and friends this year. While still to this day perhaps the hardest thing I've ever done, it was also one of the most meaningful. I hadn't planned it, but in doing so I had learned about my own self worth and felt empowered more than I ever had before. It was like crossing the finish line of a grueling 26.2 mile marathon race and knowing you made it. I felt SOOO good. The coming out experience brought it's own rightful opposition, but I felt like I could take it all on, something I thought would lead me on for the rest of my life. Of other things I learned, I felt confident in my relationship with Derek as something good as well as my other day to day action's I had been making. I felt like I was living an inspiring life.
(This picture was taken in the middle of a very grueling marathon I ran in 2012)
And slowly, out of my noticeable eye, that confidence and purpose slowly began to diminish. Not that I wanted it to. Oh I tried alright to keep the momentum going! But life, people, thought, it all got in the way.
And it led me back to a very depressive cycle. Things only got worse when I felt like I had to be living a certain way, full of wisdom, hope and truth because I had already gone through such a trial and come out. And because of such I was (I've been) so mad with myself. It's kind of like eating a whole package of double stuff oreos (ahem) when you believe yourself to be a health guru. People were coming to me asking for advice, or on the other hand trying my beliefs, and I couldn't respond with full confidence.
This idea of forgetting knowledge/self confidence was something I had never previously been privy to or given heed to. Or I guess I mean to refer that specifically to my worth as an openly gay, equal rights affirming man. I didn't realize it was something I myself would have to upkeep. Reality check Bryan: Coming out isn't an end all. self acceptance isn't something someone just finds. Life isn't about learning something to then easily live by it the rest of your life. It's a very real and hard day to day battle that one has to face each and every new day. And there will be times where one is on top and on bottom. E.E Cummings (one of my favorite poets) once said "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
And that's Ok! (That may be forever stamped catch line for every blog post I make, or conversation I have with someone).
It is a normal human experience for each person to go through these type of stages. The only that matters is that I believe in myself, and I do all I can do to continually feed my pool of faith.
I remember reading once in one of Truman G. Madsen Books that we won't always feel the same way about something we once did all the time (he was referring to spiritual highs), and that in those trying times it is necessary to "walk in remembrance" of how we felt. I think that's an important principle to remember. I know a lot of my life lately has felt pretty indifferent, in that I try to do things or feel a certain way, but I don't. Perhaps life is such a way because if we were to always feel certain things,whether good or bad, our own health couldn't stand it. I'm not sure. I'm just hypothesizing now.
But back to my main point, there are some very important self truths I feel necessary to reaffirm once again, that I believe WHOLEHEARTEDLY in:
1. Derek is one of the most amazing people to walk the earth, and the nearest man I've ever encountered to reach such perfection. I don't know how he does it.
2. I am perfectly acceptable as I am, gay and all.
3. Loving, healthy gay relationships are not bad. They are very good actually.
4. I am of worth, always and forever.
5. Love is the only thing that matters.
5. Persistent Double stuff oreo consumption may or may not lead to coronary heart disease and or stroke.
I also find it necessary to reaffirm what I don't know which I find to be just as important and peace bringing:
1. I do not "know" that God exists or that the LDS church is "True" as it claims to be.
2. I do not know what if anything will happen after I die.
To the above mentioned statements, I'm not sure I'll ever fully know the answer to either. I find more peace and contentment in being open to whatever the answer may be while then also living my life so as to never let such questions bombard my own present happiness.
Along with my current affirmations, I also recommit to seeing the best in myself and others
and to always do my best.
In a similar light, something I've struggled a lot with mentally is establishing a set purpose to my life that I can take confidence in. I recently came across this article from the Gentle Awakening Website, which is run by a friend of mine, that I've found truly enlightening. I think others might feel the same way also: http://truthisrestoredagain.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/what-do-i-believe-now/
I don't mean to constantly be talking about my own self confidence in these blog posts, but it is an important thing that heavily occupies my thoughts. I want it and I want it for others, and if I have to say it a million times to remind myself or someone else to have it, I will.
And on a happier note to make it blogpost official, Derek and I are engaged! I intend to make a post on that shortly regarding the story.
And as I am failing to find an appropriate way to end this post in a non awkward way, I'm just going to say ta ta for now! With love and best intentions :)