Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Getting Over The Fear Of Falling

I love that giddy feeling when I'm starting to like someone.

You know that feeling, don't ya? It's that excitement of finding out that he sent an email and the priority of the day becomes opening it up to read what was on his mind. It's that burst of "squeeeee" (that ones for you, Angel!) when the cell phone rings and the caller-id reveals that it's him - and I love the fact that he was thinking of me. It's that antsy feeling I get when I know I'm going to see him soon and my pet butterflies flutter around from inside my tummy.

I love that giddiness.

So is that one of the sacrifices we make when we choose to "hook up"? . . . .

No, i'm not promiscuous when it comes to sex. But it's not like I haven't had my share of encounters in the past - those ONS's (one night stands). You do realize I'm NOT an "angel", right? I can still be raw enough on this site to be honest about myself, to talk about things even though I also talk about faith and God and at least trying to pursue a degree of holiness? I'm not a "super-Christian". I'm just someone trying to walk forward - with all the faith and sexuality dynamics in play.

It's hard though. There are times when I burn inside and desire wants a companion. It's hard when I see other couples enjoying life together. I want it too but don't have it and so the temptation is to compromise for the lesser choice - to "fall" on purpose. But I remember having that phobia for over a decade as a Christian - that fear of falling into sin. This fear compounded the suffering of the closet because I didn't want to sin (- faith, the Bible, social pressure from Church culture) but I also didn't want that burning to continue (- raging hormones, physical needs), and being in the closet meant no one knew I was struggling so bad.

Yet, here I am on this journey and I wonder if avoiding the fall isn't as important as discovering who God is to me after I've fallen. No, i'm not suggesting that it's okay to sin simply so that God can pick me up. But perhaps it's okay to live without the fear of making mistakes. Maybe I don't need to apologize for the error as if I have the sole mandate to never ever ever sin. What if the legalistic approach to being sinless can be just as destructive?

Is it possible that this relationship with God and I is more about an ongoing conversation about life and love and less about do's and don'ts? Maybe I can learn more by allowing myself to experience life as it happens, continuing to dialogue with my God about it, and making life adjustments along the way without feeling condemned for needing to make adjustments in the first place. Could that draw me closer to God more than the pressure of avoiding all sin and the guilt that comes with failure to meet the standard?

Maybe the pursuit of holiness isn't simply about only being holy but also about learning and experiencing the difference.

Does it make God sad when I sin? Of course, i'm sure it does. But knowing the nature of God, his grief is also coupled with the knowledge of what I will learn that will eventually help me to understand his grace more as well as His explanation for why I shouldn't do it again.

I'm not simply trying to talk myself into justifying sin. I'm simply questioning what I have always been taught in Church culture about it never ever being okay to sin. Well, yeah, i know it's not okay to sin but i'm talking about the approach. On this journey, God is teaching me that my life in Him is more about relationship and less about commandment. It's in that relationship with Him, my God and my Christ, that I discover who I am and how I am - with all the faith and sexuality dynamics in play.

Yes, i prefer the giddiness of liking someone. I want that "like" to turn into love - something meaningful. I don't want to sacrifice it for something temporary. But here's one thing I know: I would never have realized this if I didn't allow myself to experience the temporary - to get over my phobia of falling, living life, and talking to God while flat on my back on the ground in pain.

4 comments:

Steve Boese said...

There was a day when I saw libido as an enemy, something that had the power to engulf me in compulsion which would whisk me into doing things I'd regret.

It turned out that I'm just not built well for sexual enounters without also nurturing a relationship. It's not that I've never dabbled in sexual play solely for the sake of sex, and it's not that dabbling has been bad or hurtful. I'm just happiest when I'm thoughtful, conscious, and a bit on the conservative side.

That was a sweet relief. My sexual desire is not a demon or a danger; I can relax and deal with it using good judgment and common sense.

Eric said...

yep, i agree Steve. i also prefer a connection of substance - a relationship that can be nurtured.

sometimes a person turns to "hook ups" because they are actually wanting something emotional but don't/can't have it. the sad thing about "hook ups" is that it's gotta be done with emotional detachment in order to avoid a feeling of guilt or attachment. so he never wins.

how twisted is that?! no wonder there's an emptiness in them.

Anonymous said...

I know just the feeling your talking about Eric.The anticipation of "Is it him?",the gidiness! It's just a feeling that I feel every human should feel at some point in their life. It's important to try everything at least once, I believe, but with caution. Without caution you could get yourself into so much trouble.
I got myself into so much trouble when I would have those ONS's. It was not funny business and I just lost track of who and what type of person I am! I believe we all make mistakes and no one is perfect but why should we supress our desires and inhibitions? Why should we when we know it's perfectly natural satisfy our wants and needs? I guess I couldn't stop until I had guidance from a friend who snapped me out of it!
Now I have a relationship and I'm glad because I'm away from temptation and can concentrate on that "like turned to love".We're doing great so far!
Congrats on the website by the way!

Angel said...

SQUEE! ;)