A few months ago, I posted an entry called, Hungry for Heaven, on one of my blogs. One of the pictures in the piece was this edited photo making it look like a big hole in my soul. It seems like you can see the bay through the hole.
Someone must think my hair always looks that bad. The wind was whipping through my hair and there was sand and dust blowing across my eyes. Though it was cloudy, the clouds were bright and I was squinting.On the basis of how I look in this photograph, I got one comment on the post from a woman who adjudged me to be an unhappy person. It wasn’t just the photo. It was also my perspective on the inevitability of suffering in this life.
I do find life to be difficult. I also find same-sex attraction to be difficult. Even without the same-sex attraction, I find marriage to be difficult, raising families to be difficult, work to earn a living to be extremely difficult, and every day an “opportunity” to grow by surmounting the difficulties.
This is the theme in almost everything I write. It is the basis of my experience with life. I would find a life without challenge to be utterly uninteresting. I thank God for difficulties.
I often find that responses to my posts are from people who have filtered what I say through their own experiences and make their comments based on their own unresolved acceptance of the difficulties in life. To many of them, life shouldn’t be difficult and you aren’t doing life right until you find a way to do it without challenges.
Often, this involves giving in to things they’ve previously considered wrong and discovering that they felt happier when not fighting them. My posts are not really even about that. Heaven knows I understand how a person might feel more content by not fighting same-sex attraction. I don’t want to even begin to judge that.
The choices I’ve made to stay faithful were not made in the absence of difficult experiences. I don’t maintain those choices easily, and on some things, I’ve chosen the easier route of not fighting.
The important point is that I choose which difficulties to fight and which ones to cease to fight. I also choose how I cease to fight. There are more ways than one to surrender. I order my life according to my own ideals and desires and this makes me happy.
Latter-day Saint theology is based heavily on the idea of opposition (2 Nephi 2:15). We believe that we can’t understand happiness without experiencing sadness; we can’t understand pleasure if we haven’t felt pain; we can’t appreciate light if we haven’t walked a bit in darkness.
At the same time, I write about life’s difficulties. Varying reactions are inevitable. If I write about something I don’t like, people assume I’m an angry person; if I write about something that makes me said, people assume I’m depressed; if I write about my experiences growing up, people assume I have not resolved family-of-origin issues; if I write about things I admire in another person, people tell me not to compare myself to others.
They filter what I say through their own experiences and pains. Nothing wrong with that, actually. It is my purpose in writing to get people to look at their own lives. I wish people were more willing to look at their own lives than to pick apart mine, but I have no control over that.