Wednesday, October 20

When Days Are Rough

Usually I'm incredibly optimistic. On most days people around me - family, friends, and even total strangers - can tell that I'm in love with life. But there is opposition in all things... and today was definitely proof of that.

It started out with major mistakes I made on projects over the last few days and the repercussions those mistakes are having on my life. It was amplified during multiple discussions throughout the day... which each brought up the question as to whether my current pathway is really the right fit for me and everyone else involved. Other people in my life decided that today was a good day to list all the things they didn't like about me, some suggesting (all-too-simplistic) methods to overcome massive obstacles in my life. And then I logged on here and found a comment from a guy who lives with SSA that read:

You are a fraud. I will not waste one more moment of my time reading anything you write.

I think I want to put my head in a paper bag and go to sleep.

I don't have any idea what tomorrow will bring in my life. Probably more frustration, anxiety, and pain. But, as much as I'd like to wallow in self-pity, there's something inside me that is, right now as I write this, trying to help me see a bigger perspective. Isn't this what life is all about? The Lord puts me in difficult circumstances so that I can learn and grow and someday rise above the things that currently pull me down. He gives me the strength and perspective to live through it one day at a time. Someday, I'll look back on the frustration I live with right now and think, "Mormon Guy, wasn't that an amazing learning experience? Would you trade the things you learned in life for anything in the world?"

Looking back right now... on the things that I've learned from the trials of yesterday and years past... I wouldn't trade the lessons I've learned for anything in the world. Somehow, God knew me well enough to create a life uniquely for me. From the talents He gave me to the trials I face, everything is custom to me. He knew what experiences I needed to have the chance to grow and develop into the man He sees in me.

I guess, from that perspective then, today wasn't such an awful day after all. Yeah, a few minutes ago I felt terrible. But while sitting here I've felt the simple truth that God loves me. I'm going in the right direction. The Lord is involved in every intricate aspect of my life. He wants me to talk with Him - to learn from Him - and to keep moving forward. ...and that's enough. When days are rough and the future is uncertain, I can stick my head in a bag or press forward. It's my choice. I don't know if tomorrow will be better, but no matter what happens, I am still in control of my destiny. The future is as bright as my faith.


  1. I don't think you're a fraud AND I'm more than happy to waste time reading what you say (I should be studying for a test now!) I'm very glad to read your experiences. I know it takes real courage to share them. I hope that you will take the time to seriously consider writing a book about your experience and having it published! You are a terrific writer. (I'm majoring in English/creative writing.) I know a lot of people who would jump at the opportunity to read your experience.

    We all get lost on what we should be doing the important thing is to keep going. I love the saying "MAKE life what YOU want it to be."

  2. I can relate to the day you just described. Those are the days you don't think anything else can go wrong, and then something does. That comment you read was from someone who obviously doesn't understand what you're going through. I think it's great you are willing to talk about what you're dealing with. I have a brother who is dealing with it as well. Your words are poetic and I know they are from your heart. I hear my brother when you speak. That is how I know you're not a fraud. Thanks for being you.

  3. I was having a stressful day today as well. It's still going to be stressful, but thanks for reminding me why I'm here - to have trials, and to overcome them. Thank you for your testimony.

  4. I admire you. I admire you for your courage and faith you have and for sharing your experiences with the world through this blog. I may have only been following your blog for a week and read all your posts in one night, but I can tell you one thing: I love you. A pure christ-like love for you. Making me want to start changing for the better. Making me want to care and love others more.

    So whenever you have another day like this remember:

    "Therefore, ahold on thy way... Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever." - D+C 122:9

    And my favourite scripture I remember whenever I am having bad days:

    "Ye cannot behold with your natural aeyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
    For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand." - D+C 58:3-4

    so thank you for setting a great example and showing there is always a right path to follow.

    Much love,

  5. I just want to tell you that you are not a fraud. You are who you are and that is all the needs to be. We all have days that we want to curl up in our beds and hide, but the best solution is to get out there and tread on. Keep doing what you are doing and the Lord will keep blessing you.

  6. You're not a fraud if you're being honest with yourself at this moment in your life. You want to overcome your SSA and live your life the way YOU choose to live it. There is nothing more honest in the world than that.

    I read this blog because the Spirit is strong here, and I don't even have SSA issues...

  7. I really enjoy reading your blog. I only discovered it last week, and I find it insightful and uplifting. Thanks for your testimony. I think your example of dealing with something that is really tough while keeping proper perspective (difficult though it may be!) inspires many, like myself, to do better in whatever challenges we face.

  8. I just wanted to send you a little posotive feedback. No one can ever get enough of that. I love your posts. As a part time dance teacher, Primary presidency counselor, wife and mom to a BUSY two year old. I don't often have time (ok lets be honest, I don't make time) for enough spiritual enlightenment. Your posts are giving me a quick spiritual uplift during my days. Thank you! Your testimony shines through in everything you say. I wish I knew you in real life. Anyone who does is very blessed indeed.

  9. Great perspective! It's so hard to keep that long view in mind when we're in the middle of the muck, but that is really the key. Keep going!

  10. I've been having a rough day too. Thanks for the post. It's already brightened my evening. (=

  11. I was so uplifted by your post today. I've been having kind of a rotten day myself. Except my distress was mostly self-inflicted. I realized though that like you said, God loves me and as long as I'm learning something and continuing to move forward, it's going to be okay. Which is another thing to love about the gospel. It's one of hope and progression and I'm the one who gets to decide how much and how far. Thank you so much for all you do. I'm sure you've touched and changed more lives than you know.

  12. I read your blog every day.

    Isn't agency interesting? I am so grateful for it. My heart went out for you today when I read the first part of your post. I hurt for you....

    Strange how so many positive and uplifting things can be said to you...or to any of us for that matter, and for some reason the hurtful ones are the things that affect us more than the positive. That is human nature, I think.

    As you know, the Lord helps switch this around. I have been around negativity and hurtful words my whole life and it is amazing how the Lord gives all of us the chance to change how we let it affect be better and to find comfort, all we really have to do is make the choice. I have found this true in my own life. It is not easy, but daily I know I have choices.

    Your faith is inspiring!

  13. I appreciate your honesty and candor! You are a remarkable person and I pray for the best for you!

  14. Thank you. I needed especially. I appreciate your thoughts. They are very inspiring :)

  15. Thank you for this post Mormon Guy. I have days very similar...with filled with HUGE amounts of doubt. But it is nearly impossible to ignore the hand of the Lord in my life. And that is often the ONLY reason I make it through the day. Thank you for the reminder and the encouragement.

  16. There will always be people who think you're a fraud - especially those who have convinced themselves that living the way you do is impossible. You are living proof that it is possible to resist something that can be so powerful and all-consuming, and there are those who will hate you for it and even accuse you of making it up. Know that there are plenty of others who respect and admire you immensely for your strength and example.

  17. it's funny how you can hear hundreds of compliments of how amazing you are and how inspiring and motivating you are. but the ones that really stick are the hurtful ones.
    I think you are such a good example to so many. keep up the good work.
    I think the negative comments are obviously from unhappy people who can't imagine someone finding happiness with big trial in there lives.

  18. For the record, you are clearly, most certainly, not a fraud. You "blog" about things that make you rather vulnerable to others' criticism and scrutiny and yet you do it anyway. That, to me, is evidence that you sincerely, deep down, believe and stand behind the things you say here. Thank you for being a such a sublime example of genuine hope and faith.

  19. I keep coming back to your blog because I seek after good things. I like to smile. I like being reminded that life is full of things both beautiful and good. What I find here is a guy having a lot of positive effect on many many peoples lives. Keep doing that. You do it well.

  20. I don't really have the words to adequately express my thanks to you because my feelings and thoughts exceed my vocabulary. So I'll just leave it at this. Thank you for helping my testimony of Christ's love grow and my compassion towards others increase. What you do in being so honest and open helps others become closer to the Savior. Thank you for what you do. You're amazing.

  21. As I was reading this post, a comment my friend shared with me came to mind - "There aren't any happy endings in the second act."- she's a literature teacher. It helped me snap back to reality. This life is a test, there are things that stink & sometimes it's zero fun. But it's the second act that moves the plot along and leads to the 3rd act -- all the happy endings happen there. This life is worth all the trials and enduring because of what is waiting on the other side. Thank goodness we have a loving Father & Savior who are helping us endure and reach the 3rd act! I echo Brigitte's sentiments - those who are fortunate enough to know you are truly blessed. I hope today is 100% better than yesterday!

  22. I appreciate your posts. Each and every one of them. Right now I am potty training my son and I want to put my head in a paper bag! Please remember that is isn't only the SSA community that you are influencing, which you are. You have a gift to help many.

  23. I'm new to your blog, but I also appreciated this post today. We have different trials (mine being PPD) but you're so right. One of the greatest gifts God has given us is choice. I think Satan tells us that there isn't choice in life, that we are victims. The gospel teaches us that there is always choice in how we handle our trials. It isn't always easy, but I appreciated your reminder that I can choose to find the good in every trial and press forward.

    And also, until this post I hadn't thought about what opposition and criticism you must, at times, receive from the gay community. It reminds me about a recent post about how there could certainly be more compassion on both sides. I don't understand why people who have SSA get so mad with the church. I understand we have very strong feelings opposing SSA, but at the same time we aren't hurting anyone. There are people who discriminate and abuse and preach against the church but you don't see the church have such hostility towards these people and organizations. I cannot count how many friends I've lost just because of my being Mormon. I've never not been someones friend because they were different. It's something I have a hard time understanding. Anyways...I'm rambling. But from the comments I've read, there certainly are a lot of people who love you and respect how much faith you have.

  24. I have a family member with SSA and as I read your blog for advice, I love hearing your perspective. But I also know that my family member won't respond to your words because he is not in that place. You are aligned with the brethren. But a lot of people with SSA feel like there are empty promises and no hope for them. Your perspective is so good and so positive... a lot of people struggling just can't relate, I think. Maybe this person just wanted to see more struggle from you.

  25. If you're a fraud I wish all frauds were like you! Going around brightening other peoples days with no cost to them. I love reading your post. Even though we deal with different issues your message can be applied to anyone's life. Sorry about your bad day. I think you're great!

  26. I'm sure you're not a fraud. Not because I agree with how you see things, but because the things you say are almost exactly how I saw the Church and the world several years ago.

    I see in you my former self, and my heart breaks for all the pressures that I know you are heroically struggling to withstand and reconcile. It is truly an Atlantian (in the sense of being like Atlas) endeavor; one that I respect and I think sympathize with to a certain degree.

    You have chosen to remain faithful to the Church, and to share your experiences with the world. This a choice which many gay people who find your blog have been urged and cajoled and begged to make, but which they at some point found untenable. Because making the other choice so disappointed and even devastated many people they care deeply about (and was often also considered a personal failure), it is extremely difficult to even respect the idea that any other track is possible. Unfortunately, some will unfairly make you a symbol of that pain, and take what you say as a personal attack. Please understand that this is more about them than it is about you. You are of course under no obligation to prove or defend yourself to them.

    Your choices have also put you in a position to be seen and heard by many people who are on the other side: the loved ones of gays who are trying to understand and help them. They are the well-meaning people I mentioned above who urge and cajole and beg. Same gender attraction represents a different sort of challenge to reconcile for them than for those of us who are attracted to our own gender, but it can be intense and difficult. Unfortunately, some of these will unfairly make you a symbol of all of their hopes that their loved one can happily and fully embracing the Church. I'm sure you have enough people invested in the choices you make without adding the stress of feeling like you have to live up to these extra expectations as well. You are of course bear no responsibility to make any choice for their sake.

    You are also in a position to have been read by me. I was for a quarter century a faithful, stalwart, devoted member of the Church--held up as an example and pillar of spirituality. I tried to cultivate the very same attitude towards my life and sexuality that you have expressed so clearly here--and most of the time I was quite successful at it and could very honestly express my faith and optimism. My whole story is not relevant here; I don't want to unfairly make you a symbol of my former self and project too much of me on you. But I can't help doing it to a certain degree, and as I read your words I cannot help but remember the sheer weight of my life at a time when I would have said very similar things. I will only urge you to embrace the fact that everything is truly a choice. Because I can tell that your faith is truly important to you, I sincerely hope that you can forge a life with all the happiness that you are entitled to (and you are entitle to a fullness of it) while maintaining your faith. It may well be the best choice for you, but it is not the only choice. At a time when I felt overwhelmed by the weight of my life, I nearly made a terrible and permanent mistake because I couldn't see that other choices were available to me. Again, I am not trying to convince you to make a different choice, only to always remember that there are many available choices.

    Be well.

  27. I ♥ your blog. Thank you for your courage and sharing your personal revelations. God Bless you, brother.

  28. I just read your blog for the first time. I can tell you write with inspiration, and I have no doubt you are helping many people with what you are doing. Thank you for your service.

  29. You are an inspiration not only for those struggling with their feelings for those of the same sex, but for those with other temptations in their lives as well.

    We need more success stories like you in the world. Thank you for sharing and encouraging others' success and other success stories to lift their voices.


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