change vs. acceptance

let me preface this by saying i don't want to start any sort of contention
by posting this i simple want to understand semantics and others point of
view. and in seeking your understanding i would like to share my strong
opinion and experiences. if that isn't something you want to read or it may
potentially offend you please don't read any further.

i guess i look at my attraction much in the same way an alcoholic looks at
his/her plight. that alcoholic will always be an alcoholic no matter what.
in AA meetings they establish the acceptance by announcing each time they
introduce themselves, "hello my name is george, and i'm an alcoholic." this
is true even if that person has been sober for 30 years. . in the same way
i think once your SGA you're always SGA. i'm not comparing it to a disease
but rather a state of being. that doesn't mean that you're always acting
out on it. it simply means it's a part of you and that's just fine.
sometimes i think that people are ashamed (especially in religious circles)
to admit their shortcomings. if i am blessed enough to marry in the future
and have a wonderful family i will still consider myself SGA. the urges and
the temptation may not be as strong but the they are and will always be
there. those temptations and urges may be well in check or they may be more
or less resolved due to some healthy interactions. perhaps one may even feel
he has changed or been relieved of the burden. but if circumstances are
right (well wrong i guess) despite a 30 years SGA-action free any one of us
may falter. the savior is all powerful and can heal us pending our own
faith, but we are ever capable and free to choose as we will. and weakness
is weakness.

To me acceptance bears very heavy spiritual weight. It wasn't until i
accepted myself and my task (my SGA) that i really felt the power of the HG
behind me as i made efforts to remain faithful and to live worthily. it's
been since then that i've been able to make phenomenal spiritual headway. i
feel confident and commited to myself and to my heavenly father. not only
is the power of the HG more evident in my life but i also feel the
reassurance of my HF that yes you're finally on the right track. When i
falter i don't hate myself or wallow in the frustration of my imperfection
instead i feel a renewed sense of commitment and feel that i'm given another
opportunity to find strength again.

To me choosing to acknowledge my challenge both to myself and my HF has open
up the possibilities for him to direct me in the proper path. when i was
trying to get married and trying to stop masturbating and trying to stop
thinking guys were cute, i felt that they were all hurdles in a long race
toward change. and everytime i slipped i had to start back at the beginning
again. as I've accepted my challenge i see things very differently.
instead of looking at things on some linear basis i see things
circularly... let me explain, each negative aspect of my SGA is a spoke on
my wheel and each positive aspect of my SGA is another spoke. if one spoke
breaks i'm ok, if two or three spokes break i'm alright. it'll be pretty
hard to knock down the whole wheel because there is so much else there to
support it. so i don't always feel i'm starting back at the beginning. Not
to mention the fact that I have accepted my SGA as only a small part of me,
i'm driving an eighteen wheeler here!

i want to improve and perfect myself because i think i have something great
to start with. it's just not perfect yet. yes my thoughts and opinions will
evolve and change but I fundementally will always be me married or not,
staright or gay, i just have to accept who I am and fight to be the best
version or that someone i know how to be! i will allow myself to be molded
and built up by the creator that i can be truly an exquisit work before him.

i can only speak from my experience so when it comes to change i have so
many issues. what does the poor soul do, who can't seem to get the change
right? he ends up hating himself, loathing a part of him that he just can't
seem to control. his self esteem plummets and he finds himself lost. often
he becomes suicidal, so frustrated with his own weakness that life is simply
not worth living because the temptation to do something hideous is so great.
one man's change is often compared to others who outwardly appear to be
successfully mastering things but inwardly may be struggling deeply with
pornography and even secret liasons. the change sometimes becomes a demand
of those around the individual and not genuinely from the individual. so
many change programs demonize the sin and create elaborate programs directed
at one singular cause when everything we know points to numerous causes and
none of them are significantly conclusive. change programs create a sense of
shame and guilt leading to maladaptive skills that hurt the individual even
more than the sin itself. its quite clear that being SGA is not a choice.
so then why is the "cure" a choice?

i know that many programs offer a great amount of help to some people. i
simply don't think they're universally applicable. Even more to the point i
don't think that change is the right word or even the right mentality to
have. from all of my experience change programs teach skills to cope with
and to compartmentalize feelings. they teach skills to avoid temptation and
how to react to potential internal uprisings. they teach you how to address
developmental issues and other social causes and how to improve your adult
response. they teach spiritual guidance and reliance. none of these things
in reality changes a person. and no psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist
in his/her right mind will ever claim that he/she has actually changed
someone from one diagnosis to "cured" based on therapy or any other
techniques. all that has been done is teaching a person how to cope with
and properly express any needs or wants that may result in undesired
behavior. it is not change. it is really a set of skills.

As I think about change, to me that means there is something wrong with me
or that i'm sick or broken. I'm none of those things. I'm simply human. in
my opinion changing myself goes against the fundemental belief that we are
children of god and he loves us. why would god send something to earth that
needs to be changed? why would god send us forth broken? that doesn't sound
like the noble generation that i've read about all these years. in the end
i repeat what i said... i think that programs for change work for a very
limited few but are percieved by a mojority of the christian community as
the best option. i think that change programs will mostly work for those
with mental health issues, with traumatic incidents in their developmental
years, or those that are not yet to phase in their life where acceptance is
ok and the techniques and methods taught in these programs are the best
solution for now.

The graduate of a change program may see himself/herself as free from
temptation and then in a moment of weakness falter and be more severely
damaged then ever before. such an event can lead a person to extreme mental
health issues and even worse to suicide. The graduate may also become a
purveyor of hate as he/she seeks to protect him/herself from any potential
temptation. becoming intolerant of the individual that may be more
accepting of their circumstance or more overt about their process.
nathan - signature 001

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