Sinning is a learning experience…

Be forewarned this topic is Rated R for adult themes.

It has been easy being celibate. The hard part is to get past the urges and the memories of the flesh from before. I find myself falling into pornography every once in a while to relieve the tension, and once in a while I fight the urge to go out and give in to lustful encounters. It is usually at this point that I move towards porn. I know this is just as bad as acting since it is all considered “sinful” to give into these desires of the flesh. 

I feel thus far that I have done a good job at not straying too far off of the path. While I am still on dating apps, I have not gone after meeting anyone yet as I would rather get to know people for the long haul. I’m, in a way, focused on myself; making my life more active on my time off, being more social with friends and family, being more healthy, and walking my path with God. The hardest part in all of this has been keeping a consistent support team around me. 

I don’t feel as though I have those that are close enough to me that know my plights that can relate enough right now to support me. I have been using this realization to keep me talking to God and remind myself that He is all the support I really need. The sins of life have been ever close with the distance attained by those who were close to me the last few months. 

I remind myself not to fall into those sins of being a whore, of ego, and selfishness. I push myself further while trying to better myself, to increase my understanding of others, to increase my patience and temper those aspects of myself that do not enhance my well-being and life. 

I have recently succumbed to my greed and traded my 2015 car in for a new 2017 car that is more expensive. I reason these evils out so that they do not seem so bad at the time. I put myself into situations that are not good, and then I feel bad about walking away and leaving the other person “hanging” as I feel it jeopardizes my integrity.

I will admit I have pride in my integrity as it is one of my finest qualities. I am honest and trustworthy to a fault these days and there’s no way around that, not that I would want that anyway.

All in all, I feel as though I have been weak, but at the same time, other qualities make me strong. I must remember to remind myself of these good qualities and to fix those that aren’t good. I must remain vigilant and attentive to my actions so that I do not wrong those that I love, because putting them through pain causes me pain as well. 

I feel as though my sins and not so good qualities are learning experiences that are helping to mold me into the person that I am meant to be. 

Goth night?

I humored my friend and finally attended “Goth Night” at a local club. It happens to be in a club I used to frequent when I was younger, but when it was an 18+ gay club. The vibe was quote the same for me as it was back then with it’s large, dark rooms. The rooms were all the same except got a few small changes. It was nostalgic for me at the very least. As for the change in culture that know surrounded this place? Well, it’s quite different. 

It’s an extremely interesting experience. The music is loud and electronic and the people are different. I look at them and I do not judge them as they are here and apart of this culture because of what they have experienced in their lives. 

Their dancing is not the traditional type you would see in a normal club, but they are expressing themselves through dance nontheless. They are “feeling themselves”. Their music is about being weird, queer, and family issues. The beats are very high energy and dancy. 

Here they have freedom. The freedom to be who they are and express themselves, something many of them may not have or have ever had the luxury of doing. They dress differently and act differently than most and are judged daily just for trying to be who they feel that they are. 

In observation, it seems like they are not immune to being normal club goers. There are still wall flowers and there are still those looking to hook up by the end of the night. 

I wonder what kind of issues they do have in their lives/pasts which has turned them to this culture. Most are not unattractive, so it makes you wonder what their self esteem is like and why. 

I give them all the credit in the world as they have great confidence to be able to be themselves unapologetically. 

A Difficult Weekend, Show Me The Light

Becoming more religious and spiritual is definitely having some interesting effects. It has had an effect on the way I feel, the way i view myself, and even the relationships I have with others. Thus far I have had friend that have reproached me because I am gay and on this journey. I understand where they are coming from and their worry, but they are also misunderstanding what is going on with me and my life. If God wills it, they will open their eyes and see me and where I am going. 

My life is on track finally and I feel like everything is just right. My life is looking up, my light, my joy, and my future are bright. If I become down, I will look at the silver lining and make the best of every situation. 

——BREAK——

I started this post on Friday and haven’t had a chance to write it all weekend because of how busy it became. I celebrated M’ s little sisters birthday, my nephews birthday, mothers day, and my grandparents 60th anniversary. This blog started out very light and happy, but this weekends events have caused turbulence once again. 

The one person I was connecting with and loving his acceptance and non judgement was the one who changed it all once more. He got drunk and ruined his sister’s birthday party, he definitely changed the glow and the flow of the night. What was 7 people quickly got melted to only 3 of us, his cousin, my friend and myself. 

His drunken outburst caused havoc among a family, and tore people apart. His love and acceptance, his non-judgement, his compassion; all became revealed as a sham. His non-preaching became a preachy, judgmental and ‘holier-than-thou’ burst of anger and arrogance. He attacked the very person we were celebrating, and another of the least likely person I have ever met, the most positive and upbeat person I know, his brothers girlfriend. 

I have my doubts, I have my questions. I know he is somehow hurting inside and that he is unhappy. He is broken on the inside and he is trying to “fake it until you make it”. I don’t know what set it off, but I have suspicions. Conversations with his brother, sister and cousin have shown me that this time isn’t the first, and doesn’t sound like the last. 

We can only keep up facades for so long, there is a limit on how much we can handle on any one thing until we finally burst at the seams and can no longer contain it. Alcohol can only decrease this threshold. I am the son and grandson of alcoholics, mine is a steep and slippery slope that I tread. I have seen the damage this can cause first hand. A part of me wants to always hold on to hope and help the person, but I also know the reality and know that you can only help those that seek and want it. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. 

It took my father until age 63 when he had a stroke, to finally stop all of his own drinking and start a better life. It is never too late for yourself, but be weary that you will destroy those relationships around you, driving away all those that love you and all for poison. It will financially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically destroy you and typically before you even realize it. 

Know your limit, or get help and quit. If people hinder progress, get rid of them, you don’t need that negativity and poison in your life. 

I don’t know what I will do about M, but I already know that I need to be accepting of him and love him. For many, love during your darkest hours will set you free, just as his love and acceptance has helped me. I feel that his own faith and unconscious screaming for help have brought me into his life at this moment to help him. Even if it is to shed light on how this issue can be detrimental to his life. 

I will remain positive and I will keep shining what light I can on those around me  

A not-so unhappy Birthday

I ended up having the best birthday weekend ever. It, by far, has surpassed my expectations as it fulfilled my want for spending it with close friends and family. It was a busy weekend to be sure, while sleep deprived, was well worth it. 

My friends took me for a pedicure on Friday, while I wasn’t fond of it being overpriced, it was a good experience. We were able to chat of nothing in particular while being pampered and massaged. Afterward we ended up bar hopping in our little local town-city. We called it a night at about 1030pm and went home. The next day was just as amaxing. 

We went to an early brunch on the river at 10am. We started with “the hair of the dog that bit [you]” us, some Hibiscus Mimosas and Bloody Marys. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was just perfect as we relaxed on the patio next to the fire pit. Once finished we headed to the city nearby where we commenced our full day of bar hopping yet again. We did this for the next 10 hours, hitting one of my favorite spots  (a German bierhalle) and traveled to a few other spots after. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. 

We spent all day on the patio of each spot soaking up the cocktails and warmth. I paced myself only having a drink every hour or so, as I didn’t want to get too sloshed. We ended our night back at the German Bierhalle with another friend of mine that showed up around 630pm. We called it a night at about 10pm as during our travels, my doctor that I work with called me and invited me to go sailing the next day in the San Francisco Bay. 

I awoke at 730 the next morning and got ready. This was the most exciting thing I have done in my life. While I have been on small fishing boats in lakes and on a barge getting ferried to Alcatraz before, this was a totally different experience. I arrived at 10am as expected after my Starbucks stop ok the way out of town. We left the marina and headed out into the bay, just me and him. About 3 minutes into our escapade, he handed me the helm. For the next 4 hours, we sailed the bay while he taught me how to sail, sharing the most amazing experience with me. I have always seen people sailing and thought it looked so beautiful and thinking it must be so very relaxing, but to my revelation, it was hard work. Don’t let me fool you, it was also relaxing and very fulfilling. 

We pulled back into the marina and relaxed for a half hour or so before I had to depart. He enjoyed a beer while I had a glass of white wine with out glamorous chips and salsa. I then headed out with me and my sunburn/windburn to fight the traffic to get home. It took me longer to get home than it did to get to the bay, but it ended up working perfectly. 

I arrived in time for my birthday dinner! I took a quick shower, changed into something more comfortable, treated my sunburn with aloe and headed into dinner. We enjoyed great food made by my grandma and an amazing pineapple-upsidedown-cheesecake made by my mom. All my immediate family that I love showed up. This was such a perfect day, but it wasn’t over yet!

I headed to my 2nd family’s house (neighbors of 27 years). I got there at about 730pm as they were starting dinner. They invited me to grab a plate of course, which I had to decline as I was already stuffed, and we all enjoyed eachothers company. After dinner, we started a fire in the fire pit in the back yard, grabbed some red wine and relaxed around it. 

We had amazing conversations about society, politics, education and God. My 2nd family is very religious, but the type of such that you aspire to be; Wholesome, loving, open, accepting, and model Christians. I sat with my 2nd brother (we will call him “M”) and cousin (“B) until about 130am talking about God and forgiveness. We spoke of my depression and transgressions. We spoke of homosexuality and God’s love for me. M made it clear that he did not want to reprimand me, or try and convert me, he could only speak of God’s love and forgiveness and how sin is forgiven. We spoke of my fear and skepticism of religion due you past experiences, but he was adamant of God’s forgiveness. His certainty of this made me feel so much better, and I will be going to church this Sunday for the first time in 15 years. 

We had one of the deepest and intense conversations I ever have had, and definitely the first with him. We opened up about our fears, insecurities and the things we have caved to in weakness. I told him about my scare with HIV and the negative test results, my fear was his judgement and his rebuke, but all I received was his love and acceptance. This was one of the most empowering experiences I have had with someone, even of my own family. It was refreshing when he let me know that, even though I am gay, he loved me and called me brother. I was surprised he said he heard 2 years ago that I am gay and never said anything about it, asked or even probed with questions. 

My weekend ended on Monday with the military interment of my 2nd grandma. All in all, I had an amazing birthday weekend, and today, I will be ending it with dinner of my favorite kind, sushi, with family. What started as depressing last week had become the best birthday I have ever had in a short amount of time. 

I am not my darkness. 

I try to spread a message of peace and happiness. I try and live by Buddha’s 6 paths. I try and be a good person. I try to be positive. I try to be happy. I try to be a ray of sunshine for those around me. I try and bring joy to those around me. 

Regardless of the hurt and pain I go through. The cover up I try and establish. The deep faucets of my soul still ooze light and hope. A hope that will never perish, even when I doubt myself and show my sadness and darkness inside. I still bring my aura to bear upon those that need it.

I try to be supportive of my friends and family. I try and be happy for them regardless of their situation though I know they will be happier elsewise. I try and be the bigger person. I try and not let it all get to me. 

I have always been resilient. I don’t let things keep me down. I look to the past for inspiration and the future for motivation. I breathe deep and look at the world with fresh eyes everyday. I take the time to smell the roses. 

My humor and happiness are contagious. I smile big and hug meaningfully. I do everything in earnest without ulterior motives. I am genuine. I am me.

I believe in those around me. I believe there is something more to life. I believe there is a future for everything. I believe it gets better. I believe I am a positive force to be reckoned with. I believe in myself. 

I value those connections I have made. I value my friends. I value my family. I value my acquaintances. I value love and honesty regardless the pain it may cause. I value my health. I value my mental state. I value myself. 

I am not my darkness. I am not my illness. I am not my sadness. I am not negativity. I am not afraid. I am not what you make me. I am not what I don’t want to be. 

I am not my darkness. It is a part of me. It does not define me. It is not who I am. I am who I am. 

Who are you? What are you? How are you? What do you do? What do you value? What do you believe in?

Yearly depression 

Around this time every year I stress and get depressed. I wonder to myself if people care about me or not. I know it’s silly of me to think this, but it still happens. I put myself into a depression because of it and it gets worse with each passing year. 

How do I expect people yo care of they don’t know? If I don’t say anything about it, no one would know. I cannot expect people to just pick up the gauntlet when they don’t know that I want them to. I think of all the things I would love at this time of year, and how they could be executed, but it always fails to happen.  I always have to get the ball rolling myself. I have to start the plans and then be let down when people don’t show. 

I get it, life happens. I feel that if you truly care enough you would find a way to make it work. For some, when this happens, it’s more offensive to me than when it occurs with others. I try not to be offended but it happens non-the-less. 

Why do I make such a fuss internally about this? Why is this something that’s so important even though it shouldn’t be? Is this why I vie for attention so often throughout the year, so that I can try and avoid the pain when this comes up?

My family does the same thing every year for everyone, a dinner with everyone that can be there. Typically it ends up pretty small, but I do enjoy it. 

I don’t care about going out and getting drunk, or acting up just because of this event in my life. I have been there and done it, and now it’s old. All I would like is to do something with those I care about, so I feel they care about me. Why do I expect this of my friends when I honestly shouldn’t?

Why do I think so much of my Birthday?

Are you there God?

I’ve always struggled with religion, and now that I’ve come to terms with being gay, it’s even more of a struggle. I’ve always followed the philosophies of Bhuddhism, and always trying to be a good person. 

Growing up I’ve never been a fan of organized religion as it always turns out being the bad guy in situations. Followers are seen as fanatics, crazy, or just weird. My ego has always kept me away from the church because, while I don’t care, I do care about what others think of me; I also never want to do anything that will embarrass me. 

Now, I’ve grown up next door to a family of pretty religious people and I consider them family just as they do of me as well. We all have knowm eachother for about 27 or so years. I have always envied how honest, nice, caring, considerate, happy and perfect they all are. I know they are not all of these things all of the time, but they are exemplary people in my book and I aspire to be like them. 

One of their sons was done with church the way I am and fought tooth and nail to never go again because of how it is portrayed and makes him feel. After a few years he finally agreed to go because of everything going on in his life and he felt he needed help. He went and they prayed for him. With this, he felt nothing. As they were leaving at the end of the service, a woman came to him and said “God wanted me to heal you.” She simply touched him and he felt a wave go through his body and he began to cry. 

In my eyes he has never been one to cry; he’s always been tough, went through the marines and went to war three times in Iraq. To hear that he, an outspoken and forward person, was crying and speechless, makes me feel this may be the place for me to find God. 

I have fears and reservations still about going along with questions. I fear nothing will happen to me, that I won’t find God after all. I have never felt him or seen a sign when I ask for one, but am I mistaking the signs? I fear that maybe, if he is real after all, that I have been abandoned. Will I still receive his love for all the things I’ve done? Will he accept me as I am? Will he take the gay away or smite me because of it? Are these things that are even things to worry about? 

All of the evidence from my friends and family, testimonies, point to God being real in this instance. My head thinks so many thoughts about God, deep thoughts that tend to paralyze me and make me afraid. In retrospect, all I can think is “what am I really afraid of here?” If He’s real and I never found him, what will happen to me? If I find him, how will my life change? Will he let gays find him? I guess we will have to find out. 

I have plans to go this upcoming weekend with my neighbors. We will see what happens from here.

Mourning. Loss. 

It happened so fast, yet so slow. As we sit in the little chapel to mourn the loss of a loved one, I can only observe the sadness and emotions of others around me. I didn’t know him well and I saw him rarely, so I cannot share the same emotions those around me feel. 

I can mourn for him as a human, as a loss of life, a loss to those around me. I find myself shedding tears as I feel the sadness and happiness in the memories my cousin shares with us of her uncle. The pain in her voice is overcoming. 

I look at those around me here in this place of mourning. The right side of this chapel has a good amount of people, with the left side sparsely scattered, there is no set seating arrangement as we are all here for the same person. Family has come out from the wood-works that normally don’t show and you can tell there are rifts from troubles long passed. 

It’s a telling of people able to come together to honor someone regardless of their own rifts and troubles. Everyone is able to be under one roof, they may ignore those involved in their troubles, but it is plainly evident that there are people who all know of it is between and why. 

Still, we mourn. Loss is significant no matter on what scale you see it from. Are you the one departing? Who are you leaving behind? Why are you leaving us? Is it on purpose? Is it purely natural? Did you consider the feelings of those you leave behind and how it would affect them? Will the loss of you in our lives cause more rift or heal the ones already wounded?