Elbow: Separateness Brings Wholeness

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.


Blogger J G-W said...

I once read something very interesting about atheism... It is not God who is not real, but our images of God, our idols. Early Christians were accused of "impiety" and "atheism" by the ancient Romans because they insisted on worshiping a God whose likeness could not be cast in stone, who was above and beyond everything the Romans considered to be Gods...

In the course of our lives, we form our own "idolatrous" images of God. We come to identify God with things that God has nothing to do with. When we realize the idolatrous nature of our false god, it feels like a loss of faith, but it's not. It's actually a purification of our faith. Destroying the false image makes way for a truer, more profound (though still imperfect) image of God. We may go through this process many times in our lives, but each time, hopefully, we come closer to an understanding of God which is closer and closer to the truth, until, as Christ said, we worship the true God "in spirit and in truth."

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sometimes i feel like i'm hanging on to a piece of driftwood in the middle of the ocean. i don't really think it's the driftwood that's keeping me afloat--i'm doing a fair amound of thrasing around alternating with calm floating. but now 50 years after my baptism, i'm not quite ready to let go, not yet...

am i delusional, a coward, or a man of hope?

7:01 PM  
Blogger greenhand said...

well said. I'm glad you can put all of the feelings that I feel as well into words, because it's hard for me to put them into words sometimes. I've had to come out to some close friends recently, and they did not want to understand because of the church. I almost want them to read your blog because you state it so well.

6:21 PM  

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