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On Sex, Relationships, and God

When I found my light, and began living life to the fullest, I felt that I was slowly becoming free of the binds other men and women, including myself, had to their misery. My light was shown to me after a few near death experiences, and then refortified through very deep transcendental meditation and finally solidified during my ayahuasca ceremonies in Peru. All of these took course over 5 years and started with my journey into sobriety, the biggest leap of faith of them all because I always believed there would be no way to be without my drugs and booze.


Before this I felt like it was me against the world. I thought I needed to control and manipulate the world to fit my needs and my needs were, at that time, defined by what the world said I needed. These things are the things you see on TV and the things you see when you drive down the street. The perfect wife, the big house, the nice car, the newest things. The world tells me I need to fight for these things and the way I do that is maintaining my story line, my drama. The problem is, we are not in our drama, we are not the center of the universe. God is, and when we see this, we see the light.


It's hard because so many men and women have their life and the little dramas with the ones they love and keep it all the center of their focus. They do this because it’s safe and familiar, and they’ll fight to keep everyone and everything in their little box, where it’s safe. They do this out of the feeling of “love.” They do this to hold onto that feeling of being at the zenith of their drama, because they don’t see the bigger picture and they are stuck in what I call the theater of life. In the theater of life sometimes we forget we are in a theater, which is really just a little box. When we do we lose touch with ourselves and become lost in the theater of our lives become small and insular and all the characters become angry, fearful, and frustrated, included ourselves and then we sit in there baffled and fight one another.


I noticed that the way I wanted the world to fit into my box just wouldn’t work. My theater is not big enough to fit everyone in it. I fought and tried every way I could and I couldn’t make it work, until finally I decided to take the leap of faith into sobriety. After I did that my focus shifted from fitting people into my box to seeing how I can fit into what I call the beautiful stream called life. In essence I jumped out of my box I created and into a stream. I jumped from feelings and dramas that controlled my life and I began seeking a deeper spiritual truth that would explain why we acted the way we did, had the problems we had, and what we could do as individuals and society to solve these things. I floated from my box a long time ago and now my focus is on the stream, not the box.


Our focus determines our direction. When we fixate on minor personal conflicts, we become trapped within them. This realization brought me significant distress, knowing that life offers so much more. The most inspiring examples for me are the narratives of underdogs and victors, or those of individuals who build vast empires by identifying and resolving issues, while others merely observe and lament. Fear confines us to these well-trodden paths, leading to a cycle of complaint about our circumstances, yet remaining paralyzed by fear and continuing to complain. In contrast, every protagonist in a tale of triumph breaks free from this cycle, rescuing themselves through a bold act of faith.


I have found my greatest joy in being a hero and an overcomer, always prepared to embrace leaps of faith. I must not allow myself to be ensnared by life's dramas, or to insist on manipulating everything according to my own designs. Such attempts drive me to distraction and are no way to live. My aim is to steer events towards the manifestation of God's intentions, with love, kindness, courage, integrity, and compassion. These virtues, though intangible, serve as my focus and the milestones that help me discern God’s presence throughout my day, though they demand sacrifice.


Embracing these virtues means not letting dramas or even my own preconceived notions of life obstruct my path. It's about surrender. I embraced this surrender years ago when I wrote "My Suicide Race." Upon its publication, I entrusted my life to God’s will, hoping to bring solace where there was none, no longer striving to confine the vast and wondrous world He created into my constrained perspective.


Years into this practice, I lead with my heart in all my endeavors, trusting in God's guidance. This pursuit of joy is what I term 'following my bliss,' a concept echoed by numerous secular philosophers, including the esteemed Joseph Campbell. The key to comfort in this lifestyle is learning to be at ease with life's natural flow.


During my tenure with a rafting company, I had the privilege of experiencing the psychological state of flow firsthand. This sensation parallels the very essence of existence. Though it may be challenging to discern, we are akin to effervescent bursts of light, mirroring the celestial bodies above. We possess our unique orbits, trajectories, and even at the cellular level, an intrinsic motion that is unstoppable. This perpetual motion is the edict of nature, immutable and preordained. However, there is a risk of missing the splendor of this natural order if we do not pay heed, a misstep I have previously taken.

Resolved to no longer bypass the wonders of life, I embrace every moment. Commonly, new acquaintances express surprise at the breadth of experiences we share in a single day. My ethos is to infuse as much as possible into the effervescent stream of life's flow. There is no turning back for me; life is too precious. This exuberant approach to life elucidates why song and dance are integral to divine worship. Living with such fervor fills one with a rhythmic spirit. By re-envisioning life as an act of devotion, every aspect transforms: sustenance becomes more gratifying, the air more invigorating, and perspiration turns into a sacred elixir. Moreover, intimacy is elevated to a realm of beauty. With this mindset, even the seemingly insurmountable becomes surmountable, transforming tribulations into triumphs.


After undergoing significant personal growth and changes in my understanding of love and relationships, I've arrived at a deeper realization about my place in the world and the nature of connections with others. My journey, which included coming out as gay and later re-embracing relationships with women while resolving past trauma, has reshaped my perspective significantly.

As my faith deepened, I recognized that the world does not revolve around my presence. This was a stark contrast to previous beliefs where I saw myself as indispensable, orchestrating and maintaining order in people's lives. Through this epiphany, I learned to let go of the need to control and understood that my contribution to the world, while valuable, is not central to its existence.


In this process, I also reflected on the mechanisms I used to influence others. I realized that leveraging my physical attractiveness and sex appeal, although effective, was not ideal. Witnessing how some men were so governed by sexual desires that it led to their own detriment made me reconsider the role of sex in relationships. It became apparent that when sexual gratification overshadows moral and ethical values, it can become a destructive force, reducing the profound act of sex to a mere tool for personal gratification.


I encountered the harsh reality of how such dynamics could undermine mutual respect and lead to the objectification of individuals. This was highlighted by my own experiences of assault, which starkly illustrated the consequences of allowing sex to become the central identity of one's being and the 'god' of a relationship.


With these insights, I now view relationships as channels to honor and glorify the divine, rather than merely serving the individuals involved. Accepting that we are all part of a greater divine entity, it's neither possible nor right for me to be or demand another to be the centerpiece of existence. Such responsibility is too immense for any one person, a role that is best filled by the divine.


This acknowledgment has led me to appreciate that my partner and I may have desires and wishes that either of us might choose not to or be incapable of fulfilling. Embracing this, I believe it's crucial to celebrate life's diverse experiences on this divine Earth. Thus, I support my partner in exploring life's offerings, just as I remain open to being inspired to do the same. This doesn't necessarily mean I endorse open relationship nor think they work best for me, but it's about giving the relationship to the divine and allowing my partner to move through time as they feel led by the spirit.


This last thought deserves further explanation and for that I’ll bring up the fact that every single rose has it’s thorn, so sometimes this way of living may hurt. The recognition that every individual, like every rose with its thorn, is inherently flawed yet deeply loved by God, requires a more profound reflection. It is within God’s infinite capacity to love unconditionally—beyond appearances, feelings, desires or thoughts—that I find the benchmark for divine love. While such unconditional acceptance is a characteristic of the divine, expecting the same from another person may be beyond human capacity.


However, as a follower of God’s way of love, I am called to love all people, and everything from the plants and animals, to the water and wind, in the same way that God loves me. Although I can’t expect it from the world, I can always expect if from God. Although I can’t control if someone else will ever love me like this, I can control if I love others like this and I can go even further and say that because I understand how God sees all our weirdness and madness and individuality and changes as perfect that I can see someone else like that too.


Upon learning to view others like this, I began to see relationships take a new twist and this new twist is remarkable freeing. I used to feel like I needed to work on and shape and mold people and relationships to make them successful and then I learned that all I needed to do was to express love and appreciation for a person. I learned this through Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” who’s concept was also backed up by Abraham Lincoln, “If I don’t love someone I need to spend more time with them” concept.


Embracing a new philosophy of life had profound effects on my daily existence. When I adopted this approach, it felt as though a new dimension of experience unfolded before me, leading me to a place where traditional work no longer occupied my time. In this space, I focus on serving others, trusting that my own needs are met by God's provision. This mindset brings a sense of completion and wholeness to my life.

Service to others has become a source of joy, even when it involves letting go of personal relationships. In love and in dating, my purpose transcends mere attachment; it is about elevating our connection to celebrate and honor God. Therefore, if someone is better equipped to fulfill my partner's needs, I can genuinely rejoice in their happiness without concern, confident in the belief that God caters to our individual needs.

This perspective is particularly resonant for those who naturally give more of themselves in relationships. It addresses the challenge they may face in redirecting their generosity through divine channels, ensuring that their love serves a higher purpose rather than solely being directed at their partner. It’s a transformative concept that shifts the focus from personal gain to divine service and communal wellbeing.


I am at peace with the idea of sharing my life with someone who may not share my faith or my understanding of Love. I believe that in time, all will come to comprehend these profound aspects in their own way, and it is not my place to rush this natural progression. My responsibility is to offer the space and patience needed for others to grow into their own love narratives. However, I cannot confine my existence to the restrictive expectations of others, as doing so not only hinders my journey but can inadvertently harm those I aim to cherish.

The concept of placing people in restrictive constructs of "love" as dictated by societal norms is a set-up for mutual disillusionment. Such confines are breeding grounds for resentment and anger, emotions that can replace the initial love that was present. It's a transformative process to let go of these constraints and entrust both oneself and others to the greater care of the divine. When we choose to step out of these boxes and embrace a love that is not possessive but freeing, we are placing our trust in a higher power. This act of faith is an affirmation that divine love will nurture and guide both parties, surpassing any human limitations.


As I conclude this segment of my reflections, my heart rests in tranquility, untouched by the fear, anxiety, depression, and anger that seem to besiege others, leaving them lost in their personal turmoil. They often inquire about the source of my happiness and the health I exhibit, and though I share my journey with them, it seems few are prepared to embark on a similar path. But I stand liberated and joyous, and this state of being has turned my life into a source of inspiration for others to embrace love and vitality. It's a life I've surrendered to the divine, and in return, I've been blessed with a renewed existence, lifted from the depths of addiction, for reasons I may never fully comprehend, yet I accept wholeheartedly.


My recovery has not only rejuvenated my own spirit but has also illuminated the way for those around me. In recognizing the potential within myself and the value of my life, I have begun to understand how to harness these gifts to effect meaningful change—a change aimed at glorifying and praising God. This recognition of self-worth has been transformative; it has made it impossible for me to confine myself to the limiting beliefs of who I once thought I should be, or what others think I should be. As I move forward, I carry with me the knowledge of my true value and the understanding that my journey in relationships and in life is to remain true to this newfound freedom and purpose.

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