Self-love is being thankful for the gift.
— adapted from a quote by Ken Hanes
Trying to hang onto integrity in what seems to be a world that wants nothing to do with it – getting discouraged is almost a given.
If I’m going to live in integrity – I’m going to have to learn to love in integrity as well. Which opens up an enormous area of thought. No matter what the orientation, belief or concern – it seems there are those who oppose it, want to downgrade it – and want to denigrate those who are interested, believers and followers.
And in the process it become very difficult for people to know who they ARE, let alone what they believe.
Gay – straight, black – white, northern-southerner, democrat – republican, etc., etc. We seems to deal with incredible self-fulfilling stereotypes. Tell people long enough that they are inferior, and they will come to believe it. Most of us believe that we are in large part what society constantly brands us as; in response we come to exhibit the characteristics that justify the stigma.
For example: there are a large number of neurotic, unhappy, compulsively promiscuous homosexuals whom on might regard as “pathological.” This pathology is however, the result of social pressures and the way they have internalized these, not of homosexuality itself.
If people are led to feel guilty about an essential part of their own identity, they will in all likelihood experience considerable psychological pressures……The insistence on the objective sinfulness of all homosexual relationships is precisely the type of moral thinking that psychologically destroys the ability of many homosexuals to enter into a permanent and fruitful relationship.
The only certain substantive conclusion that follows from the scientific data is the terrible cost in terms of human suffering and degradation that has followed on the mistaken moral judgments and prejudices of the past which are still invoked to support the prejudices of the present.
—adapted from a passage from:
John McNeill, The Church and the Homosexual
I don’t think that the church is responsible by itself for “neurotic, unhappy, compulsively promiscuous homosexuals”…Personally, society at large, the media, politicians carry responsibility. And – I may get in some trouble for this, but I think those in the gay community carry responsibility as well.
And again when I look around, I realize that it’s a problem for so many people of all different colors, beliefs, orientations, hopes, dreams and desire to live life. And so much of it seems to be at the door step of “self-fulfilling prophecy.” If I take something to be the truth about myself, eventually that will become the truth. If I take something about someone else to be the absolute truth, eventually everything they do I will see through that lens. And the worst part about it, eventually they can come to believe it as true themselves.
To a small acceptance, add a larger acceptance of what we are continually told again, regardless of color, belief or orientation. As an example, my Father decided at around age 55, he was an old man. He began to externalize what he had decided internally. Over and over her would say things such as: “I can’t do that, I’m a little old man (then he would chuckle). As time went on, the chuckle became less frequent, but the results did not. Finally by age 65 he had become what he said.
But, as I mentioned above, it also concerns how people regard us. A very troubling study by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson, in 1968, gave all the children in an elementary class a test and told teachers that some of children were unusually clever (though they were actually average). They came back at the end of the school year and tested the same class again. Guess what? The children singled out had improved their scores far more than other children. (by the way, they didn’t repeat the experiment because they were afraid the children would be ultimately harmed. Interestingly enough the teachers had NO idea they were treating different students in different ways.)
And by the way – a self-fulfilling prophecy generally involves acceptance of an untruth and making it true. This makes sure that the balance of truth hangs over what I am going to accept as truth. For example – at my current … ahem…age, I am not going to be able to compete in an Olympic swimming event. However, I refuse to accept as true that I’m just “a little old man.” It’s taken awhile, and several failed relationship to get this through my head (thick skull?)…I am me, and I have worth. At the moment, his side of the bed may be covered with magazines and books, but there WILL come a day …
It’s easy to get
Truth never looks at me crookedly
but always straight on.
Sometimes in my small humanness
I try to turn my gaze.
Truth maybe too bright,
Sometimes truth seems to be not beautiful.
But more and more
with the passage of years
I find that I can turn my gaze
directly into the face of truth.
And more and more
I perceive with quaint surprise
that the truth I thought to be ugly
is more beautiful than the lie
that I feared was true.
More on this to come ~