A tortured relationship with Desire
When I was a kid I wanted to be the best Christian little boy in the world. Without knowing I was gay, I sensed I was different from my peers, would have to work extra-hard to be accepted and acceptable, to please God and Mother and Church. When I hit puberty I was horrified to realize my attractions were to other boys. I’d marinated long enough in the societal, religious and familial messages that told me this was wrong, evil and sinful. I tried to squelch desire, fight against it, subdue it. Prayed that God would make me strong. Believed God would. Would grant me victory if I were valorous in the fight. “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon,” and all that.
Desire called to me. I stoppered my ears. I believed my desires had nothing to say to me, were only leading me astray. How much time and energy I expended on repressing, suppressing, ignoring, burying, fighting desire. How much I could have learned had I faced up to my desires, listened to what they had to say to me.
To what potential messenger have you closed your ears?
for action (or, if you’re Catholic, penance):
Find a quiet place. Breathe slowly, deeply, four times. Listen within.
About the photo: Perseus battles Medusa in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Photo by florriebassingbourn at flickr.com (retouched by yours truly)