As I have watched brooks flowing or fountains trickling, my mind has relaxed and I oftentimes have wondered how many people just stop. Instead of bustling about, worrying and hurrying in all the complexities of life, and thinking about what should happen and must happen, how many people really just stop? Today, reader, I contemplate concerning you, a stranger out there somewhere. Have you given yourself permission today to smell the flowers, breathe in the fresh air of the evening night, or look up at the twinkling stars? Or better yet, have you made time for your passions and interests you love?
A man or woman who takes time for meditation, exercise, healthy eating, relaxation, recreation, and overall happiness increases happiness by balance. An overall balance of mind, body, and spirit creates a state of general wellness, leading to one feeling good overall. And of course, when one is in a state of health, that usually equals a happiness-of a sort, anyway. The question then, is, what pulls you back to a state of balance and peace? Or, as I would say for the sake of writing this blog, what draws you into a state of serenity?
Many people find serenity through accepting what they can change and letting go of what they cannot, and discerning between the two through God's wisdom (see the Serenity Prayer, as published by Alcoholics Anonymous). Others, through spending time with those they love and leaving the troubles of the world at the door of a loved one's home. Sometimes individuals discover this mindset through focusing on the many, many blessings they are grateful for and setting goals for things they desire to be grateful for. I find, personally, that a medley of all these things and perhaps some other ones you formulate will lead to a sense of personal peace in the temporal affairs of life. Spiritually speaking, it goes without saying that our Savior is indeed the Prince of Peace and will administer to us in our needs and desires before Him as we submit to His loving and perfect will.
How does this relate to SSA though? It seems so often to me that members of the Church (myself included) who struggle with same-sex attraction are constantly looking at what "should" happen with marriage, family, attraction to the opposite sex, and so forth. We get involved in co-dependent relationships, melodramatic fighting, and contentious entanglements either online, over the phone, via texting, or whatever other form of modern communication. We sometimes do not take care of ourselves-spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Is it healthy? No. This is not the case with SSA people all the time, or maybe not even the majority. However, I have seen it often enough around me to see that within my own sphere of influence, it has become a problem. We all just need to relax, enjoy God's blessings, and be patient with ourselves as we progress into eternal life. Life works out, adversity goes into remission, and God always loves us no matter what. No matter what goes wrong, Christ can make it right as long as we are making ourselves right with Him in the pathway of an actively working disciple. That means as long as we are progressing, Christ is on our side to strengthen, comfort, guide, and love us back into His arms and the arms of our loving Father in Heaven.
I know that as we live with a mindset of simplicity, service, and serenity, our happiness will increase and we can find ways to continue coping successfully with same-sex attraction. The heavens are not too high, because God is down here carrying us up there one step at a time through His Atoning sacrifice, priesthood leadership, friends, family, good organizations like North Star International, well-known examples of good men like Ty Mansfield and Josh Weed (and their wives), and more. We have so much going for us, that even in our darkest moments, hope still shines brightly. I firmly believe the statement our beloved prophet made, when he declared, "Your future is as bright as your faith." If we, as members of the Church seeking to live chaste, pure, and faithful lives can just be a little better today than we were yesterday, that future will be bright because our faith will be increasingly brighter by the day. I hope each of us can strengthen our faith by living simply, serving people, and serenely gliding through every day with the Spirit in our hearts.