Monday, August 20

Afraid

Sometimes I look at my life, and my future, and the unknown scares me. I work with people who are incredibly talented, accomplished, and faithful on a daily basis... and I feel like I am swimming in deep water. Most of the time, I don't have problems communicating, and I do well in my work. But what happens if I meet a woman tomorrow or the next day, and begin to fall in love? What next? I had the thought today that maybe it'll happen soon. I've been dating since I was 16, and can manage the outward signs of chivalry and grace as well as the next guy... but I feel like my emotional being is so... I'm not even sure of the word... unconventional... that even if I were to fall in love, I'd botch the opportunity. Or run away in fear.

And then I wonder if the reason is that sometimes I'm too complacent with the status quo... too afraid to make ripples in my own life... too afraid to jump off the edge of the cliff into the water even when I know I can learn to swim.

And that concerns me.

I can't afford to be Mormon Guy for the rest of my life, even if change means putting myself into situations far outside of my comfort zone. I can't afford to be nonchalant in my dating, or to brush off the advances of girls who may very well be a good fit in personality, passion, and zeal.

But that scares me, too...

I don't know what I'm afraid of.

Is it success? Falling truly in love and finding happiness? I don't think so.

Is it failure? Trying and getting rejected again and again and again? No.

I think that maybe what I'm afraid of is making the wrong choice. Passing up the opportunity in fall in love - a little... But more - tying myself to someone for eternity without ensuring that those ties will hold.

Is that a valid fear?

I'm not going to get married just because someone fits my personality. I know that. It's not because I feel societal or organizational pressure - I don't. And so the thought that I would make the wrong choice - and marry someone I couldn't love and support forever - sounds sort of absurd.

The fear of missing the right opportunity is probably more realistic... in my case, I'm pretty sure that if I did nothing, I'd never get married. It takes effort and faith no matter what we're trying to accomplish. And so I guess I just need to dive in head first.

That's one thing that's nice about cliff jumping and acting in faith. As soon as you jump, it doesn't matter anymore if you're afraid. You've set the pattern in motion and you'll hit the water either way. And if you miss the mark the first time, you just climb the mountain and jump again. And yet again, your fear is irrelevant as soon as the air surrounds you.

11 comments:

  1. I think your feelings are completely normal. But..in my opinion and experience..if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing then that's all that matters. And when you meet that girl..YOU WILL KNOW. No doubts. No fears.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pray for the fear to be gone. It works!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't think your fear is unusual, nor is it only had among those with homosexual leanings. I think we all have a natural trepidation when making choices that we know could define the rest of our lives -- even eternally. "Am I doing the right thing?" "What if I make a mistake?" I spent hours nearly every day with my wife for almost two years before we got married. (And for a BYU student, that was an excruciatingly long time.) I was lucky that she was patient with me, and supportive, and amazing. When I came out to her, it didn't change our relationship at all, which was such a blessing. Even so, I think it was natural that such a potent decision as marriage comes with trepidation. But if we don't act and make that decision, we don't progress. Is it like jumping off a cliff? Maybe. But for as long as it took me, it must have been a pretty tall cliff.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I understand. I went through the same emotions when I anticipated the future goal of getting married. It's hard to put your finger on it, isn't it? Thank you for showing people have much more in common than differences. I try to remember that in my everyday life partly because of your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, "Mormon Guy." I just found you through Duncan Horne in Kuantan. He made a comment on my yesterday's post; told me he didn't know I was LDS. I had suspected he might be. I love meeting LDS bloggers. I came over here to meet you when I saw that yours is a blog he follows. So of course I know practically nothing about you, but I responded emotionally to this post of yours about Fear. Fear pushes away faith, but we all experience it. I've experienced it many times in my long life. I'm 72, a widow, a mother, a grandmother, a writer, and a full time caregiver of a disabled daughter. I had a memoir published by WiDo Publishing (Salt Lake City) in May 2011 which is, among other things, the story of my struggle with a husband who decided he was gay. I hear you when you say, in your header, that you are attracted to men. I once had strong feelings for a roommate, a long time ago, and one roommate later lived sexually with a woman, so I can relate a bit to your feelings, and fears, and struggles. We all struggle with something. Just wanted to let you know I'm here if you need a listening ear. I especially like what you say about "cliff jumping and acting in faith." Last night I read aloud to my disabled daughter a wonderful essay by Elder Gene Cook called Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which is actually a talk he gave to young people in 1977. Faith is everything. Faith can move mountains. Faith can get us through the dark days. With faith we can overcome all our fears.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

    ReplyDelete
  6. We live in a society now that fears marriage. Fears making a wrong choice because we've seen how badly it can go wrong. But we forget to lean on teh Lord and to lose fear. I'm a divorced mother of three and I still get fearful of dating again. Fighting cancer has meant I haven't dated much the last 3 years and I'm starting to hit that point where I'm just started to accept that maybe this is my life. Working in the wedding industry does help keep me from getting too static. lol. But you're fears are perfectly normal for all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My boyfriend actually just broke up with me, for fears you have stated. He has never been in love before and when we fell in love, he got scared. Scared of eternity, scared that he wouldn't be able to make me happy, scared someone else would be better for me. Have faith in yourself and in the Lord that you can overcome this fear!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sometimes we just have to jump and sort of blindly, knowing that it may not work but that the consequences of not jumping may be worse. There are a lot of failed marriages to show that it doesn't always work, but I can attest to the fact that when it does it is the sweetest experience and is worth the jump.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Never read your blog before, you sound so perfectly normal to me :) Finding a spouse is such an individual experience and most that I know thought several times that they had found the one for them, and all of them will say that when they finally and actually did they didn´t just think they knew, they actually knew knew!!!! But even that! The time that they just knew came at different times...For me finding a good spouse was preparing my own worthiness and my willingness to do the Lords will, so that when he told me to marry a perfect stranger that he pointed out to me I was ready to do so (but that´s my story and a rather strange one lol!!!!)...I guess you can say I knew before I even knew his name! But for instance my Mother in law, she didn´t feel the peace of knowing untill she had said "YES", she had to take the full step not feeling the peaceful confirmation untill she was actually married! It is so completely individual, we all have different challenges and you sound so wonderfully reflective!!!!

    Right now I feel like I´m constantly going through the exact same sorta taking a step into the unknown or as you say cliff jumping...but as I´ve said I´m already married it´s all the other unknowns in my life and the uncertainty of what is the Lords will in this, did I miss an opportunity? What is it that I´m supposed to do to make the most of my life for my family and me? I´m afraid (not really afraid...I think I´ve come to an acceptance of this fact) if we wish to progress in this life these are questions and challenges we will often face!

    I think it is wonderful that you share these thoughts and feelings of a young man!

    Thankyou!


    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow! There is so much truth in this, hiding and peaking where only some can see it. I think you know the real answer. Faith. How often do we wait for the "perfect" opportunity, or the "perfect" decision? Afraid that if we do something that is not "perfect" our life is ruined? No wonder Satan uses fear to keep us from progressing. The cool thing is that Heavenly Father has a plan for us so we can progress no matter how imperfect we and our decisions are. Nothing and no one in this world is perfect. And we just need to have faith that if we do mess up or if things don't work out the way we planned - it will all turn out OK in the end. Faith is the key. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Coming out of left field, have you ever read "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill? It's written around a financial perspective but I have found that it's totally applicable to *any* goal or dream. I pretty much forget that he's talking about money, actually, in almost every chapter.

    Really interesting book. You might like it as it could pertain to dating & growing in love with someone.

    Regardless, good luck! True love is magic worth making & maintaining at all costs.

    ReplyDelete

Comment Rules:

(G)MG is how I write to you. Commenting is one way to write to me.

If you want your comment published: No swearing, graphic content, name-calling of any kind, or outbound links to anything but official Church sites.

In addition, comments must be 100% relevant, funny, uplifting, helpful, friendly... well-written, concise, and true. Disparaging comments often don't meet those standards. Comments on (G)MG are personal notes to me, not part of a comment war. You are not entitled to have your ideas hosted on my personal blog. There are a zillion places for that, and only one (G)MG.

And I'd suggest writing your comment in Word and pasting it. That way Blogger won't eat it if it's over the word limit.