“God never intended for you to be treated like that”.
This line stood out in the email I received this morning from a fellow blogger. And truthfully, it means a lot to me to receive compassion and kindness from people – unfortunately, I feel the world can use more kindness and compassion. But this was truly meaningful and this blogger was referring to an event I had blogged about, where I had been sexually assaulted when I was a lot younger than I am now. I truly believe this blogger wants the best for me and she offered to include me in her prayers.
She isn’t the first to offer prayers for me. I’ve had a couple of other wonderful bloggers here offer the same. Sometimes, I think they pray to help me find peace from my depression or anxiety. Sometimes, I believe they hope I find a resolution to my sexual hang-ups. Sometimes, I wonder if they hope I become more of a believer in God – in Jesus Christ. Whatever the reason, I am always thankful and appreciative of the sentiment.
But, I would be lying, if I said I believed the same. I simply do not. Of course, there is this part of me that wants to believe the Pie In the Sky, that there is some sort of Higher Power. I have mentioned in many of my posts that this is something I believe I will always struggle with understanding. I’ve even mentioned that I have made my Higher Power – or my God, if you will – some very unsavory things: alcohol, money, sex, etc. Having been raised as a Catholic, I have a fairly good knowledge base of what the faith of my youth teaches and requires – of course, I have had many a confessor explain to me that development of my personal relationship with God is of the utmost importance, over the ritualistic practices of my faith. The reality, for me, is that I have found peace in a lot of the things I have participated in, when it comes to practicing that faith. Unfortunately, however, I can’t find a way to make my sexuality coincide with the faith of my youth. I can’t find the requisite reconciliation of my sexual preferences and I find that attempting to “force” it, makes me miserable – I’m growing quite fond of accepting myself as I am.
I won’t link each and every post I’ve made about my struggle with God, because it would take me forever, but simply searching for God or Religion on my blog, you can find quite a few things I have posted. I will always be aware that I have a connection to God on some level. I can’t simply ignore God as a myth or something made up. I even have a scientific understanding of God – and won’t go into detail about why I believe it to be the case, other than to say that the same reasoning that a lot of scientists use to not accept a God is the exact same reasoning that many believers use to accept God. But I also think that there are things about human nature that can not be ignored outright either, but seem to be in direct conflict with the God of most religion’s understanding – namely sexuality.
I can not accept that sexuality is a man made (or human made) construct – there have been a multitude of situations where people were not influenced into their sexual preferences. Of course, I would be a liar, if I did not accept that there are some things that influence sexual behavior. I mention this, because of the sexual assault I described on an earlier post and linked above. There are most certainly, situations that have an influence on how people view sex. I can even remember times in my life that I have questioned sexuality and have been told there is nothing wrong with impulses and urges, as long as some were not acted on. But that is part of the conundrum I have with the matter – who dictates that? Some say God dictates this, but the references they use are the documents that have been scrutinized for as long as their existence and they have all had mankind’s direct involvement in their creation. The nature versus nurture debate goes right along with this.
I have always felt that there is some truth to both a natural existence of sexual orientation, as much as their is a nurturing understanding of human sexuality. I can give specific examples from my own life where I felt both of these forces at work – granted, it took the totality of my life to really begin to grasp the concepts. I have been slowly arriving at a place were I peacefully know more about myself than I did when I was a 12 year old, a 15 year old, a 21 year old or even a 35 year old. I can’t ignore my attractions to women, just like I can’t ignore my attractions to men. I have a basic desire to be loved, and I don’t want to question if it comes from a woman or if it comes for a man. Sometimes, I feel masculine and yet sometimes I like the way I look in a skirt. I don’t want to feel the conflict of doing something evil – especially when there are real atrocities in the world. I want to believe in a God that loves me, but I can’t ignore scientific principles.
And, I want the feeling of sexual fulfillment.
And I value my friendships – especially those that keep me in their prayers.