Thursday, November 8, 2007

Making the Decision

I wrote this on Tuesday of this week, the day I decided to finally deal with my feelings of Same Sex Attraction rather than giving into it. I post it here in hopes that it might be of some help to someone else who is struggling to make the same decision.

Right now I am standing on a narrow ledge. I’m hundreds of feet down from the top of the cliff. Above me is an un-climbable wall devoid of hand holds. I cannot ascend more than a few feet. The only direction I can go now is down. That is what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half. Now I am here as far down as I can inch. Below me is the great unknown. I see clouds far below me. They look like little sheep, they’re so far down. The ledge on which I stand is very narrow. I have barely enough room to stand. Here on this little ledge I am being torn apart. Feelings inside of me are screaming “Jump!” These voices are as real and as powerful as anything I’ve ever known. They tell me that freedom is below. True happiness awaits. It is easy to believe. Things both above and here on the ledge are hard, unhappy. I don’t fit in. This part of my being yearns for something real. It swears that it is right, natural. I never asked for these feelings. It’s not my fault that they’re here. Maybe I do belong down there, wherever that is. Jump! Go for it! Do it before it’s too late! Live true to yourself, don’t let them make you miserable. Why shouldn’t you just do what you’ve always wanted?

Another other part of me resists. I look down into the void below. As I contemplate jumping, it tries to convince me not to. It throws out so many reasons. Some say it isn’t worth it. Only pain and misery lie at the bottom. Still, I know that pain and sadness are part of the life above as well. Why is one pain better than another? Your family will be disappointed and hurt. Your wife will be devastated. How could you do that to her? How could you be so selfish to do just what you want? These feelings are wicked and wrong. What have I always wanted? To feel loved, accepted. To belong and to be valued. Why can’t they understand that. Why is it so wrong to need a friend, to need some one who cares about me? Why must I always be the one to sacrifice? They always say sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. Where are they? Why am I so unhappy and unfulfilled? How can it be my fault? If these feelings are such an abomination why are they here inside of me? Why do I have struggle so hard just to get through life? Where is the joy? I have tried so hard, so very hard, to live as I should. To do everything just right. How can a life so miserable, be divinely appointed? I’ve tried so many times to get back on top, I doubt I actually can. One by one, the first army of voices defeats and disarms every attempt to stop me from jumping. The war inside me is destroying the battlefield. I feel my heart being torn, broken. Tears pour from my eyes.

And then, from deep inside another voice cries out. It is barley audible, scarcely more than a feeling. “Please,” it pleads, “remember.” Remember what? All of my pain? All of the things I’ve never experienced? It doesn’t react defensively to my anger. In the same soft tone it answers. “Remember how you’ve felt when you were close to me. Remember the times before, on other cliffs, when you were ready to jump, so tired of the struggle. You were not alone. You are not alone now. You’ve never been alone. I Am here with you. You don’t have to jump. You don’t have to do this. I promise that you will not be happy. The others up above don’t always see clearly. That life is not what matters. However, it is the only way that you can find your way to the life that awaits. You are not as alone up there as you might think. I have friends who will help you. They won’t judge you. You will meet many, even those who claim to be my friends who will still hurt you. But my friends will only help you. You’re right. You can’t get back up. But with their help and with my power, the way is open if you so choose. I know that right now the choice is not easy. The way to return will be difficult. It may take a very long time. But I promise that it is worth every second, every pang of discomfort. You aren’t sure right now whether you believe me. I do not condemn your uncertainty. I can only plead that you will believe me. I have been in your shoes. I have heard the voices you hear, but please, please don’t listen. I was able to resist their allure. And yes, they are alluring and they are powerful. But I did it and I know you can, too. I will help you and guide you every step of the way. I know the way to a happier life. Take my hand, please.”

I paused for a moment, the truth of his words slowly sinking into my heart. I had felt happy before, fleeting moments. I had somehow survived other ledges, other calls to jump. Could the promise of a life beyond the one above really be true? If it was he couldn’t jump. If all the voice said really was true, it would be worth anything to achieve it. Could I find the path to true joy above? Would I find the love and companionship I needed up there?

At this thought, the first voices respond with demonic power. They scream inside my head and heart. “Don’t listen to his lies!” they order. “That’s just the remains of the false traditions of your fathers. Nothing matters but the here and now. There is no happiness to be found above. Jump now before it’s too late!” The last voice is quiet but strong. It resists the attacks of the first easily. In the quiet, meek pleas I now see a wrath against these feelings. He sees them as his enemy, our enemy. The enemy of the man I could become and the life and joy I could have. He strikes with vengeance and precision. Still the feelings in side of me are strong. They fight with a fury I have never known. The war inside me is destroying the battlefield. I feel my heart being torn, broken. Tears pour from my eyes.

I know of the strength and power and rage of these feelings. Somehow now they seem weak, even afraid. Many times before, I had thought “Maybe I could try to climb up again.” At the thought the feelings seemed to give up, but now I see that they were secretly laughing. “Go ahead and try.” They would scoff. They knew I’d fall again, sliding further and further down the cliff. Each time they grew stronger. Each time they pulled a little harder and a little further. They continued this game, until now I am here as low as I can go without jumping. Why don’t they play the game again? Could it be that they fear the power of the voice? Could he really have the power to bring me back to the top, free from their grasp?

I look upward and see for the first time a thin cord just above my head. A small note is attached to the end. I can barely make out the words. “Pull for help.” Was this the way to meet the friends he promised to send? Would they really come? Or would I simply prolong and enlarge my pain and misery, falling again to this same place just later, maybe too late to find the freedom the feelings promised? I don’t know. I really don’t. But I do know one thing. I can’t stay here. The war will destroy me. I either jump or reach up. Down the easy, fast way or up a painful, difficult process. What do I really want?

Breathing deep, I close my eyes and. . .

Reach upward.

4 comments:

-L- said...

:-)

What a great post! I look forward to hearing about your experiences and learning from your advice. Thanks for your example.

Hidden said...

You are not as alone up there as you might think. I have friends who will help you. They won’t judge you. You will meet many, even those who claim to be my friends who will still hurt you. But my friends will only help you. You’re right. You can’t get back up. But with their help and with my power, the way is open if you so choose.

Absolutely beautiful. This post is beautiful. Here's my hand. Enter the first friend. I will support you in listening to that inner voice. Be strong and true and keep fighting.

As one who has jumped, bruised, and battered my body, I will echo the voices you've already heard. NOT WORTH IT.

Not worth it. I'm bloodily making my way back up the cliff now to where you stand. Wait for me?

Crow's View said...

I've stood at that cliff a lot myself. Its hard. There are times when I want to reach out and fear I'll be rejected. There are times I want to jump.

There are times when I want to be faithful and yet be accepted for who I am. There are times I want to just give up.

There are times when I feel the spirit so strong that there is no way that this way of living could ever make me so happy and there are times when I feel so alone that I don't know if I can deal with it.

But I do.

You have a friend. Let me know how I can better support you.

One of So Many said...

Need company on the ledge? I'd thought I'd Ask becasue I'm already here.