Sunday, July 10

Love and a Handful of Soulmates

 Man this is scary.

Well, it was a week ago when I wrote this. I didn't want to double post and had a busy week, so it's going up now. Here's me wearing my heart on my sleeve.

At a fireside last week I started to tell a random stranger about one of my new central goals in life. She looked at me like there was something wrong, and even with my extremely limited ability to read situations I got the feeling that without a whole lot of background, any forward motion in the conversation would cause it to derail.

So background.

Deep inside my soul, there's an empty sphere. In the middle of that is a structure I call my scaffold. Well, there usually is. The scaffold is my own personal purpose. What I live for in life. My sense of existence. My ultimate goal and what I want more than anything in the world. For me, the structure in the middle has always looked like a castle. Or... I guess it actually looked a bit more like a temple. That's awkward. I've thought it was a castle for a long time. Either way, there's a structure made of golden-ish crystal inside this sphere in my soul, and on the outside of that structure hang a ton of little hanging things. Sort of like pendants. Each little hanging thing is a short-term goal, and the ground is littered with them. Every possible short-term goal in reality. Working out is a possible goal, or practicing the piano. Attending more social activities or eating healthily. Depending on the scaffold in the middle, some goals stick and others don't. Stuff that helps to build or achieve the main goal in the center will stick, while anything else won't. A low quality scaffold won't have many goals that stick, or will crumble under the weight of the goals that it requires.

I grew up, as a kid, wanting a family of my own. I'm a diehard romantic and an idealist. I believe soulmates exist even though I know they don't necessarily exist for me. My scaffold as a kid was simple. I wanted to get back to heaven. I wanted to be a missionary. But the biggest part of the structure? I wanted to be a dad. I wanted to find someone, fall in love, and grow old together working through whatever the world could throw at us. My patriarchal blessing even talks about that - that my future wife and I could lean on each other and that together we would be faithful, strong, and able to weather every storm.

Realizing I was gay made that structure seem a bit harder. But I still believed that God could just sorta smudge the lines and make it work. I mean, I've met or heard from hundreds of gay men who have somehow fallen in love with their wives and built families with love.

Yes, there are plenty of gay men who have also married women and ended up ultimately messing up their lives. And often they're far more public. But does the fact that they ended up messing up their lives mean that the miracles God did are any less real? David killed Goliath with the power of God, and ended up damned. God can still kill giants. Solomon received endless wisdom, and eventually turned from God. God is still wise. Just because that guy messed up, doesn't mean I have to. God can do whatever miracles He wants.

But that doesn't mean He's going to.

Most of the guys who've found wives seem to be emotionally stable. I'm not. Most had at least some attraction to women to build from. I'm completely repulsed by women who have any kind of romantic inclination toward me. Most have a group of friends in their lives. Yeah. Let alone the huge host of people who are obsessed with telling me and anyone else they can that happiness and love to a wife when you're a gay guy is impossible.

And I'm getting old. I mean some of the Bible patriarchs were like 100 years old when they found their wives or had kids. Compared to them I'm still a kid. God promises that everyone will have the opportunity for all blessings, which means that if I'm super faithful, I'll find a wife and fall in love in this life or the next.

But hoping that I can have a close relationship sometime after this life is hard. 

All that put together, my scaffold was struggling. There were cracks building throughout, stress and groaning inside the crystal building in my soul. I still definitely wanted to get back to heaven, definitely wanted to be a missionary. But goals started falling off and clinking to the ground. My habits began falling apart. And instead of hope and peace and meaning, it brought me pain. 

So I made the decision to try to be ok with being single. At least for this life. I read that some people have an easier life when they finally give up on wanting marriage or love in this life, or that stuff finally starts turning around for them.

So I took my scaffold - the thing that had always been most important to me - my desire to get back to heaven, be a father, be a missionary, and have an eternal family of my own - and I shattered it to pieces, expecting that I could easily swap something else in its place.

And... yeah.

So it turns out when I shattered the scaffold that held up all of my goals, hopes, and dreams, my life ended up completely meaningless. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning and would honestly rather count the days until my death. My morality went haywire and I made the worst decisions of my life. I accomplished nothing, felt awful, and found it hard to want to survive. Welcome to the last few years of my life. Definitely not an easy swap.

Long story short, trying to rip out a chunk of my soul and be ok being single didn't work. It didn't work at all. It may have worked for some people. Maybe they subbed something specific to their own lives into their scaffold, or maybe I broke way too much of mine when I was trying to remodel it. Either way, in my case, it shredded me to the core and pushed me to dull the pain by melting my soul in hell.

It's not ok. Me being eternally single is not ok. It's pain and awful and I'm not ok. I want a family. I really, really want a family, and that isn't going to go away.

So whatever scaffold I have, it has to include a family. So a wife, and kids of my own. As impossible as it may currently be.

At the same time, I've learned something about myself in the past few years. Truth be told, I'm 100% sure I could have learned it without temporarily losing my temple recommend, eroding my relationship with God, and putting my soul in jeopardy. 

While I want guys in my life, I want *good* guys.

Specifically, I want a handful of guy soulmates.

If I had to use adjectives? Bestest bro buddies. Or polyamorous celibate gay soulmates.

Polyamorous? Sort of. But not really. I've realized that, at least when it comes to guys, I just want more than what a single person can offer. I don't want possessive or jealous guys. I want guys who love each other, who love me.

Celibate? At least in their relationships with guys. I want temple-worthy, forward-facing guys who can be there for me and I can be there for. Guys who can look at each other and love without lusting after the body on the outside. Guys who'll do scripture study on their own, who pray, who put God FIRST in their lives, then their families, then the rest of us.

Gay? They don't have to be. There doesn't have to be romance there. As long as they're awesome guys who are expressive, communicative, and loving enough to be soulmates with a handful of other guys. Lol. As long as. As if that were the easy part. Ideally, they'll also all find their own wives eventually even if they're gay. I mean, I want soulmates - relationships that last forever - so we need to all get to the celestial kingdom. Whether they find them in this life or the next, they should probably have it as a goal for somewhere in eternity.

Soulmates? You know the feeling when someone is so close to you that you can trust them with everything... and know they're on the same page? Where emotional interaction takes almost no effort at all because you know that they'll never assume the worst of you and always figure out what you're really thinking, no matter how hard it is? Where you trust each other, literally no matter what happens, because you are committed to being together for eternity and there is nothing that is going to get in your way. Where you're happy doing anything together, where you want to be better for the other person, where you find that everything you do revolves around "us" instead of me and them? I don't just want friends. Or close friends. I want everything close relationships with guys can offer except for sex. I want guys who will be extra fathers to my kids, brothers to my wife, sons to my parents. I want our lives to be intertwined - one family - so we share meals, share stories, share hopes and dreams. I'm thinking we have a massive house with 5 wings or something like that.

That's my dream. My goal. The scaffold inside my soul that supports the rest of my everyday life. It totally fills my hopes and dreams, and it's both strong and expansive enough to hang as many short-term goals as I want. There are parts that definitely need God to make them happen. I mean... I'm gay and I want to find a wife. That requires divine intervention. Also I'm pretty sure that finding *multiple* gay celibate soulmates who all love each other as an autistic guy with major mental issues, alone without God, is a probability of zero. So my goals surround two parts - before and after. First, putting myself into situations where God can do miracles - being more social primarily, and working to address my own social shortcomings. And second, shaping myself so that when the miracles happen, I'm ready to make them stay. Whether that means having enough money to buy a castle with 5 wings or strong enough to lift a fallen beam if that castle falls apart. Working out daily. Started taking supplements. Praying more. Studying the scriptures more. Being more social. Brainstorming new business ideas.

So that's it. That's my goal and the miracle I'm asking for: Love and a handful of soulmates. 

Who knows where the road will actually lead? I don't know what my future will look like. But, for now, I have something epic to work towards. A scaffold that fills my soul. It's exciting. Hopeful. Peaceful. Something that I can really, truly, honestly want and can motivate every moment of my every day.

And that's awesome.

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