Elbow: September 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Separateness Brings Wholeness

It’s such a beautiful Sunday morning! The sky is bright blue and life appears peaceful. I’m so grateful for a lot of things right now. My heart is full. I am learning how to live with a happiness that is different from the happiness I always thought I would have.

The expectations I once had for my life were an idealistic replication of what I saw everyone man in the Church to posses. And the closer I got to that dream the unhappier I became. I started to feel a lack of motivation, a tightening in my chest and an unemotional ability to connect with anything. What I thought I wanted was in fact something that for whatever reason was not something that my soul could connect to.

I don’t believe in the Church anymore. I don’t think that the higher power, our God and our Father would expect someone to live unhappily in a world that doesn’t feel either appropriate or healthy. I believe that God is merciful and that love is the greater higher calling and power. It seems so cliché to say that, but what good is the priesthood to me if I don’t love my life? What good is taking the sacrament when I’m not feeling a sense of commitment to the progress of my own soul?

It’s weird to start to look at the organization of the Church and feel that it’s veracity is unwarranted. I use to love the Church so much I use to feel so connected to the leaders and the culture. Interestingly enough, I started feeling so disconnected from the Church when I got back from my mission and was in a student ward at BYU. I felt like my spirit wanted to go in a direction that the Church didn’t approve of. The inconsistency of my spiritual urges to follow a different path and the strict teachings of the only true Church on the earth felt like torture.

Was my soul flawed, or was it the Church who was flawed? I guess that’s what it came down to for me. I chose to believe that I was the one who was flawed, and the more I looked to the Church to guide me away from my broken state; I found that the Church was the source of my defects. I should never have gotten married, and while I don’t regret anything, I do feel like my desire to be approved of my family and friends led me to believe that the only way I could find happiness was to marry a woman. Luckily for me my marriage was not inauthentic or contrived. I loved my wife and our friendship was solid, but the Church was a source of conflict between us because I never felt like I could say that I knew the Church was true.

Maybe I’m throwing away “true happiness” or maybe I’m letting go of expectations that don’t serve my growth or advancement as a spiritual being.

I am willing to do whatever it takes to find truth and to find happiness and to obtain peace for myself. Life is about taking risks and about fighting for what I believe in. I couldn’t just sit down and wait for life to be over to find out the meaning of all of this. I wanted so badly for the Church to be true. I wanted my marriage to work. And I now want to know what it is like to look in the mirror and feel complete integrity and respect for myself. I want respect and I want peace that never fails. I want love and passion and a relationship with someone whom I connect with on every level. I want kids who can look at me and say: “my dad is real and honest and authentic and happy.” I want my life to mean something. I don’t want to endure to the end and just suffer through trials and challenges without owning every piece of my decisions. I want to take responsibility for my life and to stand up for what I believe and what I know to be true. I want to be educated with as much knowledge of the world that I can obtain. I want freedom from guilt and freedom from shame. I want unconditional love and acceptance from myself and from those who I associate with. I want to embody integrity. I want to give and to love and to breath with complete unselfish trust.

I won’t rest until I feel like I’ve exhausted every resource to obtain the true path, journey and destination of my soul.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Private Parts

My blog is back to private. I had a really horrible encounter this week contrasted with some pretty amazing experiences with people that I love, respect, honor and worship. Someone asked me today what I wish for and I thought long and hard about it and came up with the answer that I find myself searching for everyday: complete love and acceptance from everyone I come in contact with. And as I write this I realize that I have all the love and acceptance I need; my Heavenly Father's acceptance and unconditional love is enough. It's all I need. It's all I want. It's all I can really ask for. I'm good.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Space That Fills

Yesterday I spent over a couple of hours with my ex-wife. I went to pick up some stuff and we ended up going through boxes of our life together. Every past memory had been locked up and kept semi-hidden until we ripped open the boxes and forced ourselves to look at the remaining peices. There's so much to say and so much to process. The lines between husband and wife were cloudy, friends and confedants, enemies and strangers were all bleeding together. Within the walls of the garage where everything was kept from view we brought in light and let out some darkness.

I saw my ex-wife for the first time yesterday in like two months. I was aching to just look at her in the flesh without phones or wireless internet. We hugged and paused. We asked questions and made small talk. We were friendly and we were comfortable. The moving on from that moment was quite huge for me. I invisoned myself having a breaking point and a continued existentical meltdown. I was terrified to see her, to speak with her, to look at our old couch again, to pet the cat, to touch her arm. I was scared that I was going to feel too much. But I didn't.

I felt so grateful that I had her as a friend. Our marriage together was amazing, we were wonderful friends together and there was much to rejoice about. And I feel like even now, more than ever there is more to look forward to. There are more moments for us to have and while different, they will be just as rich. I can't say how much I miss her, how much I love her and how much she touches me to my core. And spending those few hours with her yesterday was magic.

It was a chance for us both to look back at the time we've been separated and see how far we've come, how much we've progressed and how many things are good. Box by box we opened up a memory and laid it to rest. We threw some things away, we cleaned out sections and we exchanged gifts like it was a special occasion. Some boxes were broken and torn while others were crisp and new. Contents were visible but what was staring us in the face was a life that neither of us owned. We held posessions in our hands and moved through the unspoken like it was natural to do so.

We could have talked about a lot. She could have gotten angry. I could have ran away, but there was more honest peace and exciting optimisim in yesterdays conversation with my wife than I ever dreamed there would be. My heart is no longer feeling the pain. I still cry. I still look for ways to repair damage, but I'm seeing the shift in boxes and now that the contents are out in the open and distributed evenly, my mind is more at ease.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Reservation For Diety

I really like the Latter-day Saint doctrine that says we can become like God. It’s an extremely empowering theology, and to my knowledge, this pathway to celestial royalty is one of the most prestigious concepts in all religious thought. There is so much beauty and strength in the idea of achieving the level of deity.

Being mortal, being human and imperfect creates pain and gives way for much confusion, and yet the hope that one day all will be for a purpose, not only provides a respite from struggle, but also a transcendence that leads to the title responsibility of “creator.” What better way to look toward the unknown of the afterlife than to set the intention that one day I will have worlds and power without end!

There is also something inherently confusing in the contemplation that man can be transformed from an imperfect and slothful being into a god of revered and omniscient power. The process of reaching the status of deity appears to be much more complicated than most humans could ever really conceptualize, and even when most Latter-day Saints feel they have a “sure knowledge” of that part of the gospel, there would seem to be a lack of consciousness for the realities of the entirety of the human race. If man can indeed reach god-like status then why is it only reserved for a small number of individuals who happen to have the experience of the very specific cultural upbringing? Where is the common bond in all of us that gives way to the path of god-like status?

Is this doctrine some of what drove me to feel like I had to marry a woman in order to progress and fulfill the measure of my earth trial? Is part of being a god inherent to the relationship that men and women have in the creation of families and the creation of a marital bond?

There’s part of me that doesn’t want to be a god. I don’t want to see my children going through moments of despair and horrific scenes of devastation. And yet there seems to be so much goodness in the world and so much progress that the joy would be overwhelming. How amazing of a concept to contemplate. I can’t even micromanage my own life, let alone the amazing task it would be to oversee the countless spirits that exist.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Certainty From The Place Of Least Inspection

I'm going through a lot right now, and by "a lot" I mean more than I could articulate. There are days when I feel like I'm on a roller coaster and when I'm feeling so much that my heart feels like it's beating out my chest and shooting through my finger tips. My emotions are raw right now and I'm feeling exhausted from all that there is to think about and process.

In this moment I am devistated. I miss having my best friend with me and I miss seeing her and laughing with her. I can't believe that we're no longer married. My mind is in shock and I feel such an intense loss from this experience. I could go on and on at how amazing she is, at how lovely and beautifully she lives her life. I'm grateful for all she has given me and all she is. I just miss her so much and it hurts more than I ever thought it would. The pain is sometimes too much.

I'm lonely and I'm tired and I'm wanting answers in all of this. I'm grasping for some semblance of truth and any reflection I can find of assurity. I am clinging to myself for dear life and I'm holding on to the only certainty that I feel...I know that I exist. I know that I feel and I know that I am alive. I feel it I see it and I am appreciative of the fact that I have that small truth in my life. For this moment I have me and I am me. I can see the world and experience the world, and the only thing that is truly real about it is myself, because through my eyes and my body I embody truth.

My emotions, my struggles, my bordeom, my confusion, my angst, my loss, my fear, my anger, my euphoria, my sighs, my itch, my toes, my gaze, my intent, my patience, my longing, my triumph, my dissapointment, my sounds, my steps, my chills, my cries, my whispers, my rage, my contentment, my reasoning, my peace, my love, my tenderness, my grief, my kneel, my introspection, my pull, my gestures, breath, my frown, my goodness, my zeal, my presence, my karma, my grasp, my laugh, heart, my experience, my memory, my time...

I use to live in a way that caused me to surrender every peice of myself in order to survive. Part of why I loved the Church so much is that it told me exactly what to do and how to do it. I was expected to do certain things a specific and exact way. I was taught to be something concrete and specific and I knew that I was expected to think a certain way and behave in a certain way. My motto was: "please tell me what to do or I'll end up being myself." And that was the way I lived my life. I had to have my parents and peers tell me how to live and how to think, because otherwise I was affraid that I'd end up being who I really was. If you think about it, it's pretty terrifying for a gay Mormon boy to think about the prospects of being himself and feeling safe in his own true skin.

It's hard enough standing out by not liking sports or being interested in talking about hunting and cars, let alone admitt to everyone around me that I didn't like girls. And the Church provided such a safe haven from myself. I was protected from my own skin, from my own desires that when I was aksed what I wanted to eat or what movie I wanted to go to I couldn't tell you because I was committed to being someone I wasn't. The more I asked myself what I truly wanted and the more I looked within myself to find answers, I was finding that who I was deep down inside wasn't who the Church wanted me to be and who my parents wanted me to be.

And now I find myself in the opposite camp. All I have is myself. I'm alone and I'm standing on nothing but me. I'm truly aware now of all that's inside me and I'm more than connected with what I want to get out of life and even though it's scary and foreign I see myself reaching higher than I ever thought I could. I'm sometimes so happy looking at my own skin that I have the impetus to kiss myself and hug myself. I know what it's like to feel good in my own skin. And it's not about coming to understand who I am, but it's about embracing my inner strength and looking at the beauty that is truth and that is certain truth. I am me and that's all I can be certain of. And all that's left is uncertainty, and I'm ok with that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Void Is Void

Anyway, what can I say? I'm gay, yo! I like dick. I felt incomplete when I was married to my wife, a void in my chest cavity was throbbing for me to fill it with an emotional connection with a guy. And I think about that often. This void, this incomplete feeling, a ferocious desire to have an intimate bond with a guy drove us to end our marriage. Was it my fault? I guess. Should I have filled the void with the sweet word of God? I knew you were thinking that!! Don't tell me that you weren't for a second like "well, Elbow should have just focused on his relationship with the Savior to fill that void!" Even if you didn't mean it, it still crossed your mind. And that's ok. It crossed mine too. And I thought about it and I don't think the Savior wants me filling that kind of a void with him. There are spiritual drives to be connected to a higher power and to a spiritual community, and there are emotional voids that need to be filled. I can't fit a square peg in a round hole, ya'll! Who am I talking to? Sorry if you feel like I'm yelling at you, I'm really not yelling, I'm just using a lot of exclamation points. I'm cool like that.

I've thought a lot lately about the relationship I have with the Church. Not the gospel, and not Heavenly Father, but my relationship with the Church and basically...I'm mad. Truthfully, my anger has no bite and it is really quite unthreatening. But I'll assure all of you that I'm not bitter, I'm happy. I'm really quite content at the place I'm at and the path I'm on. I know that God loves me and that some part of the Universe and the higher powers of the universe have unconditional love coming at me with full force. I feel loved and honored and respected for what I'm doing with my life. In fact I'm really glad that I was raised Mormon and I'm really glad that I don't feel like I have to believe everything that is being taught in the Mormon religion. And just today I was talking with someone about my mission and I was saying how much I loved it and I was thinking how funny it was that I don't go to Church, I don't wear my garments, but yet I have so much love for my mission and the people I met there and the companions I had. It's just cool.

I got an email from a friend who I hadn't heard from since the divorce and her words were so intense and passionate for me and my situation. She wrote the following: "I am so honored to be friends with someone as brave as you!! Wow, Elbow! You are unbelievable!! The courage and strength that you have astounds me!!!"

I'm so not use to that reaction. I feel like most people just look at me in pity and in disapointment that I "couldn't do it" or that I "chose to give up." But here I am, living my life as I truly feel like it should be lived and allowing my wife to live her life in a way that she feels is best for her and even now, even though it's painful and hard, we are reaping the benefits.

And the void...no longer exists. I don't feel it like I use to. I still want to be connected to a boy friend or even a husband and while I know that won't happen for quite some time, I realize now that the void, the chasm of space and infinite depth of emptiness that I was experiencing didn't have anything to do with me finding a male intimate partner, but it had everything to do with me finding myself. I was lost but now I'm found. My soul and my authenticity and respect for my true identiy was the very thing that I needed to fill the gap. And so now that I don't have this gaping hole in the middle of my pectoral muscles, it feels amazing! Being whole is unparalleled!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Jump Around. Counclusions Hurt.

In the PBS documentary "The Mormons" I remember a woman who was telling the story of her great great grandmother who crossed the plains and who wrote in her journal and the the undeniable witness she had recieved telling her that the Church was true. And the woman telling this story mentioned that she had left the Church because she never recieved that witness that the Church was true no matter what. She stated that she felt uncertain and that her testimony grew out of uncertainty and that she doesn't claim the Church to be false or to be true, because she hasn't received answers either way.

I have a friend who was telling me about how he came to knew the Church was true. And when he was telling me he had this fire in his tone that reall made me believe what he was telling me. He said that he was at a youth meeting when he was in high school and he was listening to a Choir sing "I Am A Child Of God" in a lot of different languages. He said he felt the spirit so strong that it was undeniable and that at that moment because of the feelings he was feeling, he knew that the Church was true.

So to me it sounded like the spirit was confirming that he was a child of God, not the the Church was true, but he chose to believe that because of that experience and because it was at a Church activity that he had to believe that that experience meant that the Church was true for him. So I don't question or judge that, in fact I respect his steadfastness in his desire to live in a way that he feels is the best way for his spirit to progress.

But for me it's different. I have a creator I know that God or a higher power or even a collective consciousness of all good energy and light fuels the breath of all meaning and goodness. I don't know if God does exist like the Mormon God I've been taught to believe. I don't know cause I haven't seen Him. And I felt a powerful force within me state that there is a higher power so I'm more inclined to say that yes there is a God or a higher power, but the details concerning His plan for me and His desire for the world I know not because I haven't had a confirmation of it.

When I would go to the temple I would feel good because I felt like I was doing something good and praiseworthy, but there were times when I would enter and sit in a session and feel drained spiritually because I wasn't connected to what I was hearing. It was hard sometimes to sit through the temple and feel like I didn't have the exact feeling I should be feeling. I didn't ever sit in the celestial room and feel a powerful force or even a soft whisper I felt good sometimes and sometimes I felt nothing and sometimes I was bored and other times I was anxious to get out. Now that doesn't mean that the Church is or isn't true. I can't base the veracity of the Church on how I'm feeling from one minute to the next and I suppose it would be different if I were to feel an undeniable feeling like my friend or the pioneers.

Or maybe I'm not ready. Maybe the Lord wants to try and test me before I can humble myself to come to know that the Church and its teachings are exactly what I should follow. And so for now I'm living my life in a way that I feel is honest and good and trustworthy. I'm not doing things like attending the temple or going to Church because they feel inauthentic to me at the moment. I'm trying to pray more and connect more with the Universe and the higher vibrational powers of unconditional love and acceptance and that's all I can do.

I feel like if I were to go to Church feeling uninspired and unmotivated that it wouldn't be for the right reasons. And it's hard when I feel like the majority of the members wouldn't understand what I'm going through and that they would also judge me for my choices. And I know it's not about them, but if it's not then why congregate at all? Why meet together? And of course I could take it upon myself to be a light bearer and bring people to a higher level of understanding of what it means to embrace homosexuals in the Church and love and accept all people, but I don't fee like that's my mission right now. But obviously I bring it up because there's some part of me that wants to figure everything out and if it's that I feel uncertain for the rest of my life about the origins of God and the truth of the Church, then that's ok, because in the meantime I'm going to live as beautifully as I can and give as much good as I can and take as much spiritual power from the Universe as I can. And for that I feel like I'll be doing what's right. At least right for me.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I'm not the type of person that is just impulsive about things. I think. I ponder and I make sure that my decision is sound and real and good and solid. Most of my decisions have been good ones, including my decision to marry my wife. I remember feeling like I should pray about it and ask Heavenly Father if it was the right thing to do, but once again I played the "I don't want/need/have/like/care to pray" card and thought to myself: "Yo, Elbow! If you pray about this, it might be wrong, and you want to get married, so just get married and don't look back." I mean I made my decision based off of clear and intense decision making skills and I didn't need anyone coming in and screwing that up, even if they were a member of diety.

And I'm approaching a whole other level of decision making in my life. I am now in the process of deciding what I will do with the future life of Elbow. I need to set intentions, clear one's and positive expectations for myself because this is the time for me to "go out and get what I want" (from Shoes). And that's scary. I can live a celibate life, I could live a semi-celibate life, I could also live the life of a gay Mormon whore which might be fun, or I could even return to the life of a gay married Mormon (most definately not going to happen). So yeah, I have a lot of opptions. And as my last post so eloquently described my ambigiously bitter/love/hate/confused/grateful/fun relationship with the Church. I have a hard time trusting what "The Church" says because let's be honest, they aren't saying many coherent and relevant statements about homosexuality, and if I were to change my life in conformity with every new statment/revelation/conversation the Church puts out about homosexuality then I would be schizophrenic at this point.

So I must rely on the arm of the flesh as my haters would say or as I like to call it, the smooth/latin/thick/masculine bicep of flesh (kidding, haters). No. I have to do what all you good guys out there are telling me to do. Pray. Get down, get dirty, kneel, make it hurt so good prayer. And I've started. I'm praying and it feels like nothing, but I'm doing it because it makes sense.

After I kneeled to pray last night I remembered why I don't pray anymore, because I don't feel anything. But maybe that's ok for now. I mean I feel a lot of God's love and peace when I'm going about my daily business and thinking about Him and the many blessings. But praying for me is like shutting off the fountain of water and sitting in a sound proof box and waiting for a homing pigeon to send me morse code through the sound proof door....nothing.

And that's why it's so rediculous for me to tell myself to just hold to the rod and endure to the end because I don't feel it. What is the point of holding on to the rod of iron to the word of God? The word of God changes and the word of God is love so yeah I guess I hold to the iron rod if it's love and acceptance and being able to get married to someone of your own gender. But the Church places these expectations and hypothetical constructs on the word of God to make it more complicated than it is. Or maybe I'm the one laughing from the big and spacious building at all the people holding to a rod of iron, but I have better things to do, and I suspect that if the people in the large and spacious building were really that wicked then they'd be doing a lot more than just laughing out the window. I mean if there's pot to smoke and an orgy to perform I think they'd choose the bong/lube over laughing at some dorks who are holding onto a peice of metal.

I have a buddy who is now in his thirties and he just realized that he hasn't explored himself sexually and that developmentally he feels behind in his progress as a human being because he's a gay mormon who has not dated girls because it feels wrong and who hasn't dated guys because he's worried about letting go of the iron rod in the eyes of the Church. The other day I was talking to him and he was thinking seriously about exploring himself sexually and letting himself experiment without guilt. He wasn't going to have sex or anything, he just wanted to see what it was like to be intimate with someone who he cared about and who he was attracted to. And as he was making the decsion to go forward and let himself be ok with his sexual expression he said "the only iron rod I'm holding onto is my penis!" I laughed and so did he, and I'm still laughing at it even though it sounds irreverant.

So the iron rod is there. I'm looking at it and I'm thinking about what it means in relationship to my life and the future that I see for myself and the future that I don't want for myself. And then I look up at the orgy/pot/debauchery/wicked/lube party in the large an spacious building and I don't want to be there either. Isn't there a section that gets you to the tree and the fruit but you can take a golf cart or something? And if there is a golf cart, can I drive it?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Feel That, Prayer!

I've lost that connection. Heavenly Father loves me and I feel it. It's real and it's peaceful and it's good, but I can't bring myself to pray, to really pray and get into the habit of it. My life! Maybe the Lord is like "Hey, Elbow! Look at this, look at me! Look and just connect with me and if not I'm going to make this harder than it needs to be!"

So this is the list:

* My student loan money is being rationed. So, because of my masters degree, my doctorate funding is less because the government says it's a rule.
* My car was towed on Wednesday night, it cost $210 dollars to get it back.
* My car was given a violation last night and a big bright sticker is stuck to my driver side window. All because my apartment complex didn't fix my garage door opener, even though I gave them two and a half weeks to fix it.
* Because of such financial realities I'm living off of canned tuna and peanut butter with wheat thins (all of which were given to me by my mother because she was worried I wouldn't eat).
* My can opener that I use to open the tuna just broke. Hence, no more tuna.
* And did I mention that I'm going through a divorce and I'm missing my best friend like crazy?

So that's that. I never like running lists of things to complain about and this is my first time doing it and my last because I've decided that no more bad things are going to happen to me. But sitting here in this moment I kind of believe that the Lord is trying to tell me something.

"Just pray, idiot!"


Why does He care that I pray? I'm still kind of stuck on that. Why does the Lord care if I shoot one up to Him or not? He knows my thought "Stop fighting, you two are twins. For goodness sake don't they have the same thoughts?" (does anyone know where that's from?)

And if the Lord is really that vengeful to be like "Hey, you're not praying to me so I'm going to make you wish you were never off your knees, biotch!" Then that would be anti-godlike, right?

But all in all, I see it as a signal from the Universe that I need to connect with diety and bridge my consciousness with the higher power and creator.

This post is starting to turn into something it's not and therefore I feel like I'm just spewing out random thoughts of consciousness, hoping that a glimer of sense will shine in the publishing of this post. So I'm going to go where I really don't want to dwell. I need to think about as much as I need to process my role with the Church.

I grew up in the Church. I was perfect Mormon boy, A+ in Deacon, A+ in not fornicating with girls, and A+ in loving my companions and loving my mission ect... And here I find myself not wearing my garments, and not attending Church all because I'm pissed off. I'm mad. I'm really really angry that the Church has the audacity to tell people that they don't know where homosexuality comes from or if we are or are not born with it, but they will make assumptions as to how to live your life in regards to the sexual feelings one posesses. Why would it be ok to let me marry my wife? Why was that sactioned by a bishop. Why would the Church not rush to the pulpit and say: "Listen guys, STOP! it's not good, it's not right, and it's anti-progress for a gay man to marry a woman. You're ok. Your salvation is in tact, you don't have to marry a woman to feel complete in this life and in the life to come, it will all work out."

But no. They aren't saying that. They are saying. "Gays, you guys have a lot to deal with, you can live normal lives but we aren't going to really focus on your 'trials' same sex attraction as much as we are just going to sweep it under the rug because we don't really know what to say (we really don't receive revelation on this subject we we're just winging it until we do). And so be celebate, and live that 'normal' life without love, without comittment, without sharing and growing as the companion to another person. Actually, go against one of the most important teachings of the Church, just disgregard the phrase "it's not good for man to be alone." That doesn't apply to you. It's good for you to be alone, well not good, but you can tolerate it just as we are tolerating you."

There you go. That's how I feel. That's why I'm not going to Church. The Lord doesn't dwell in a Church like that. For me the Lord is present because I invite him into my life. He loves everyone regardless of thier sexual orientation, regardless of what Church they go to, or what they do on Sundays. Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die! Just kidding, I was throwing that in for the people that are like "Yo, Elbow! You're basically saying that we don't have to be accountable for our sins."

And to that I say: "Live your life, not mine." I have enough to worry about without wondering what others will think of me. I'm done caring about what my bishop might say if he knew that I was gay or if he knew that I left the Church (so to speak, because technically I haven't left the Church, but I guess if I ever feel like it's not good for me to be alone I might have to be). I'm just spewing forth so much wisdom right now that I'm going to stop myself. So the moral of this post is that #1 I'm going to pray more, with a desire to connect with my Heavenly Father, #2 The Church needs to step up and say something about gay men marrying women, #3 I'm angry at the Church right now and I while I hold no bitterness (even though it sounds like it) I love that I grew up Mormon, I love that I served a mission and went to BYU. I even love that there are other gay Mormons like me who feel some of the same things I do. So I'm just going to go pray now.