Or maybe you could. Bipolar is hard. Recovery, treatment? Often just as hard, maybe even harder. I’ve really always been faithful. I’ve not always been holy or “good”. But I did a lot of things because of how I saw the world.
In high school during lent. I would try and fail to give up masturbation. Or pornography. Heads up, if you knew me in high school, there would be days I did not eat then. Or days I minimized me food. That was fasting. That was my repent. I would try to keep going with the idea of no masturbation.
I think the most I ever made it was 10 days, and you know what? Not during lent. But each day I broke that vow. I paid for it with fasting and prayer. And often I would drift from this during the rest of the year or during tough times. But I never lost my faith. I just kinda grow a bit differently. I see the Truth in other religions, but also know that my Truth is the Truth. It is not for me to judge. I love Atheists, Muslims, worshippers of the spaghetti god freak me out a little, but I can love them too. I mention those two in specific because that is the social or cultural concern, I don’t mean for it to feel as though I am calling out Atheists or Muslims. Just those are some of the things I fear are more common on the list as much as I wish otherwise, but them and all, I can love. I feel that is what I’m called for. Love. And maybe it’s taken a while. But also, if you saw my expected post death words, maybe you’d see that’s all that matter.
But I’ll be damned if I’m not rewarded now for it. My girlfriend, is probably the best thing to happen to me. Or at least hell of serendipitous moment. I prayed. She answered my prayers, or rather she was the answer, no way around that. When someone brings more God into your life when you ask for it, they are the response.
Back to the post title. Maybe you can fathom. The spiritual health I am growing to have. The happiness and well being. Even if I’m not so well just yet. It’s immeasurable, to me, I cannot fathom it, but maybe there’s a lot of us out there, unable to fathom, still raptured with joy and content. It complements my desire to love all that much more.
So maybe masturbation and porn still happen, not proud of that. I succumb to physical and natural things, but at the same time, I will not judge myself for that. I am held to the same standard as every other being. And if I am not to judge others, which I don’t, then also that same favor is reserved for myself. I have to be able to forgive myself. That’s the biggest chore, and truth be told, socially and otherwise, most people will tell you, I’m a good man. It’s not their words that matter though, it’s the impression.
Others see a good man, I see a guilty one. I see lost people, angry people, hateful, and I can forgive them. I can pray for them and love them just the same. But I cannot for myself? Since when do I bear a burden when I have such allowance for others? Perhaps that is the trade. But it doesn’t matter, I can forgive myself, it doesn’t mean I’m enabling or encouraging. I know my goals, values, beliefs, but if I break them, I can pray, I can refocus or make different decisions next time. I can be guilty, but what good does it do to never let an ounce of guilt go.
My girlfriend spoke tonight of being free from bondage. That’s my guilt. Whether it’s deserved or not, it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m new. I’m the same. I love all, they don’t have to believe what I believe. I am a good man. But I am not a better man than any other. I am a servant, even if not evangelical in style. I serve in my own way, I think that is respectable.
She said she did an exercise. And I’m not going to apologize to any of my friends of different beliefs for this, I don’t think less of you, I can not stress that enough. She was told to think and reflect on how would our Savior introduce us to our Father. I’m in tears as I am writing this with a million things clashing in my mind that I can’t even begin to record. The words loyal, strong and caring, if a bit distracted. I guess that’s me.
I am in a place, I don’t think I really ever considered I’d be in. No thoughts of harm. No impending what ifs or strong desire to control and micromanage every bit. Even with my recent health issues, I can lay still at the end of the day and marvel at the life I have, will continue to have. At the gifts I have been given, and a woman who I hope to never stop sharing them with. And that, ladies and gentlemen, can be the power of Faith, but understanding as a man. The two are not mutually exclusive, and I think that’s a great thing.