“Relationships Are the Hardest Thing We Do…”

The title of this post are the words my sponsor in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) mentioned to me once, and again, and again, and again at various times. And today, as I contemplate those words, I am thinking about Step 2 of the AA-12 Step Program.  The send step, specifically states, “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”; and I’m thinking about this as it relates to my relationship with a so-called Higher Power (of God, if you will). At this point in the AA program, there is no emphasis on God, but rather a Higher Power of your “own conception”. Well, my conception is the one given to me growing up Catholic.

“What?!?!  You’re Catholic?!?!?!  But you’re bisexual?!?!?!”  (Sometimes, I wonder if people actually react this way to me…lol) Yes, that’s right, I was born and raised catholic and believe it or not, I really have no ill-feeling about Catholicism. It wasn’t shoved down my throat – although, good ol’ guilt and shame were instilled – so, I don’t have a major reservation against it, other than the fact that I have never actually taken the strict mandate of “no sex outside or marriage” all that seriously…obviously. I have a hang-up about it. I am “discontent” (to use an AA term). Anyone living an LGBT lifestyle will burn in hell, right (As a side note, although I’m bisexual, I maintain monogamy in my relationship)?

Having a decent understanding of catholic theology, I am quite aware that the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not believe a non-heterosexual person will go to hell; the stance on the matter is that any sexual act outside of the confines of a marital union is a no-no!  Oh, and by the way, a marital union can only exist between a man and a woman.  So, obviously, if you have followed my blog, you already know I don’t exactly fit that expectation.  I’m bisexual, I’ve engaged in sexual activities before marriage, some of my sexual activities have been with other males, I don’t think a same-sex marriage has the evil connotations that a lot of societal expectations have attached to them. I am a hold out on the matter. I spent so many years coming to terms with bisexuality, and to accept the God and beliefs had growing up would confound the matter for me. I feel like I need my sexuality to be as relevant and as important as the air I breathe.

On many levels, I appreciate Catholicism. However, there are many levels I believe they are wrong.  I certainly do not intend this post to be an expose of my criticisms, but it makes me highlight one of the issues I have with my conception of a Higher Power. There are others, but I am at a place in my life where I feel more at peace about my sexuality than I have previously felt. I understand the AA answer to my dilemma is that I can choose another Higher Power – it doesn’t have to be the one I was given or shown growing up.  But the idea that a Higher Power will approve of every nuance of life because I need it to be the case, defies my ability to reason, as well. It’s a crux for me, it’s a hump I struggle with accepting.

Granted, reading the AA Big Book or the book referred to as the “Twelve and Twelve”, it is pointedly stated that all that’s required to do the second step is a mere willingness to believe that a Higher Power exists and that Higher Power has the ability to take away the powerlessness and unmanageability of my life – i.e. restore me to sanity. The idea is to put the matters that deeply affect us off until later. The idea is to begin a new relationship with a Higher Power (or God). And as I contemplate this matter – a matter that never goes away – it has many more issues involved for me than just my sexuality, but there isn’t the time or the place to try and tackle all of these things at once.

As I think about it, it reminds me of the last blog I kept – one of the many I deleted. I had tackled so many issues, with respect to God (or Goddess as I was choosing to consider at the time), conceiving of a Higher Power and attempting to accept a Higher Power and I am left to ponder this one in a simple way. Maybe the real problem is that I had always been looking for a way to disprove it, maybe I didn’t think I was worthy of being loved, and that a Higher Power is incapable of loving me. It’s a theme I heard about in therapy too – this idea that I don’t deserve love…

But, maybe, I just need to be willing to consider that it’s possible.  That’s really what the second step is about, right? Maybe relationships can be easier, if I can make a relationship with a Higher Power…

20 Days Sober

14 thoughts on ““Relationships Are the Hardest Thing We Do…”

  1. I was raised Catholic and am now more Tibetan Buddhist with some pagan edges. In buddhism, the rule is ‘not to engage in sexual misconduct’, and that has been humanely described as not doing anything that will harm self or others, or that will break a vow, whether monastic or marital or private. I think that makes sense to me, and it does not get into petty bits about straight/gay/this/that, or even celibate/monogamous–it is presumed that YOU know what vows you have taken and will work within them.

    Good for you for staying sober and figuring yourself out.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I like that it givesd people credit for self-responsibility and wisdom and compassion, without being weirdly rigid. The whole point is not to do things that you will regret which will harm self or others. *shrug* Sounds sane to me–

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like this post. It reminded me of what I wrote about my relationship with God in relation to my mental illness. It’s a really hard thing to accept and most often we find ourselves struggling to understand what God, or in this case what your “Higher Power” is or means to you. But I am totally with you in believing that your relationships would flourish a lot more if you had that understanding. My new mantra on the whole thing is “To Just Have Faith.” Simple enough yes, but how many times in life do we ACTUALLY go out on a limb and trust in faith? This is something I am challenging myself to do. Great post, I hope you find your way! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Why can’t the higher power actually be you? “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Maybe if you have a conflict with a religious god as I do (or even if you don’t), what if that power just needs the ties to this community to get you the foundation and strength you need to “come to believe” that you yourself is that power? It’s only that in this moment in coming to AA and having troubles, right now you don’t have the power but you will, and you believe that? Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know that I trust myself, if that makes sense. For me, I don’t deny the existence of a Higher Power, but I don’t accept the nature of that Higher Power as dictated by so many.

      Like

  4. Good lord, you were raised Catholic, too! Are you my long lost brother??? After a long time of flirting with atheism, I have decided that I am a lapsed Catholic. I identify with the culture of being Catholic, the sense of community and guilt. On vacation, the first thing I do is look for a Catholic Church to light a candle in. All that matters to me is my moral compass and I think that is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You heard our current Pope – no more unkind judgment. I, personally, have a few gay boyfriends and I can’t imagine that they are headed anywhere other than a rainbow heaven. A true God of any faith would welcome you into his arms. Search my blog for the sexuality posts and the Museo de Largo in Lima. Thousands of years ago ceramic makers showed us a very liberal, open society.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. No pressure!!!! The last thing you need is a bossy new friend. One day at a time, at your own pace. Please forgive me if I disappear for days at a time and then reappear, sometimes I need to recharge myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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