Sometimes we find ourselves meeting people who unsettle us. After many years struggling against same-sex attraction, we may have become overconfident and thus, complacent in the fight. It is, after all, a lifelong struggle. You may have put your defenses down momentarily. You entertain the curiosity, and convince yourself, you are only meeting this person on safe terms. But even if nothing happens, you find that this person has opened a can of worms that you’ve done your best to keep sealed. It’s especially harder to battle when a connection has been formed. You may think that connection is a manifestation of the man’s interest in you even if it’s nothing more. You begin longing for his companionship, for his attention, and most of all, for his approval. You want to know him. You seek him out.
He becomes a distraction—until you realize, you had misconstrued the connection as something else. In that sense, he can become your life’s destruction.
Maybe you had given a little more of yourself in the process. Oftentimes, these situations will find you expecting reciprocity. You try to justify your affections by framing this as harmless. Perhaps, you’re not even objectifying him.
And yet, you are waiting for something in return. You want him to want you. And when nothing is given back, you collapse as you face the cycle of rejection that gave you the Cross in the first place. You become angry and possessive and demanding. You try to remedy the paid by escaping it, silencing the throbbing wound with passing things—music, entertainment, frivolity.
You’re in this cycle again, perhaps even lonelier. Your weakness is startlingly exposed once more, and the ‘accomplishments’ you once boasted and thanked God for are nowhere to be seen. You thought you were strong. You thought nothing could disconcert you. And yet it seems, you’re still that gay man who is trying too hard to become a good Catholic. You contemplate giving up.
It may be uncomfortable to hear it, but you need to stand up. You need to put up a fight again. Yes, you can allow yourself to grieve the loss of an imagined relationship, to feel the sorrow of the the self-generated contractions and rejections which are truthfully, painful. But you need to wipe those tears, rise up, and fight again. You need to accept that in our struggle, we must fight the desire to entertain the dangerous fantasy of ‘receiving’ a ‘wholesome, ordered’ love from men—straight men most of all. You need to understand that what you are expecting from these straight men is an impossibility.
How do you rise up again?
Remember that God is the only Person who can give you what your Heart most desires, and what it rightfully needs. God’s Love is not how we expect it to be. It is not just a physical sensation or a sense of peace. It envelopes our souls and so immerses us that we do not even notice it.
You keep looking for happiness in the wrong place and in the wrong people. All the while, God is there, patiently waiting for you to seek Him out. He will, as always, even be the one to seek you out when you forget, or when you’re already too weak.
God puts up with all our infidelities. His eyes gaze on us steadily even when our own sight has strayed and fixed on creatures. You must look at Him again. You must share the joy of meeting eye-to-eye, and allow His Divine gaze to touch you, clothe you, feed you, acknowledge you, heal you, and give everything you need. God thirsts to give Himself to us. You must let Him embrace you, and fill you with his Love.