Yesterday, I had a bit of a beef with someone online, but the nice thing is that we were able to reconcile the difference, which amounted to nothing more than a misunderstanding. I’m not going to go into details, because it was with someone I consider a friend and my personal integrity requires me to keep details of personal matters as confidential; but there was something that came out of it that has been racking the interiors of my skull. That thing is the word “reconciliation”.
It reminded me of my catholic upbringing and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. For Catholics, this is one of the most intimate ways a person can bring themselves to God. It is considered an absolute requirement for catholics to maintain their relationship with God. An extension of Reconciliation is the concept of forgiveness and catholics are strongly encouraged to put this on the forefront of behaviors. They tend to see their relationships with other people as a means to demonstrate their relationship with God – and for them, so practicing forgiveness – the way Jesus forgives them, would be the practice of loving God. This idea of reconciliation and forgiveness is the essential element of relationships, I am sure catholics would argue.
As I contemplate relationships and the concept of reconciliation within them, I remember a conversation I had with someone that followed my last blog. For those of you that remember, I had an entire series of posts discussing my Sexual and Relationship Development and I explored many of the things that impacted me, romantically and sexually. But also, I often discussed the strained relationship I had with God. Well, this person from my last blog had suggested that the main reason I struggle with relationships and sex and my feelings of being unfulfilled is because I lacked true fulfillment in God. She and I had discussed that I am not comfortable with my sexuality (which is true, I never have been), the relationships I have had, the sexual encounters I have had, and other nuances of relationships is because I had not had a good relationship with God. She expressed that I may never really experienced any fulfillment with relationships – either with men or with women, because the type of detachment I feel with people can only be “reconciled” with God.
My so-called relationship with God or a higher power is not a trivial thing for me. It’s something I have thought about over and over and over. I’m long since accepted I can neither deny or accept anything to do with God, but I have always been uncomfortable with sexual matters. I have always felt something was off about me. I’ve always felt something…something I just can’t put my finger on. It’s true, that in some ways I have felt like I have had some distorted views when it comes to sex – being a victim of childhood sexual assault, being date-raped (I still struggle with this, and only call it rape, because others have explained that what I went through was not consensual – #MeToo) by a someone I considered a friend, subjected to porn and all of the various people in culture and society that says what is and what is not acceptable forms of love. I can’t reject the idea that somehow my sexuality is not real – because it feels incredibly real. I can’t accept that I am any sort of expert on moral behavior either.
The truth of the matter is this. I have never felt complete when it comes to my sexuality. I have never felt like I can find that sense of intimacy required to feel fulfilled within a relationship. I have never felt like God cares or loves me no matter how many times I read passages out of the bible, pray or anything else ever suggested I do. It’s simply a matter of fact in my life. It is what it is, and I am in the process of finding a way to be at peace with all of this.
But as I think about it, the thing that stands out is this:
Maybe what I’m really after is a way to be reconciled to my self.