JUST some scattered thoughts and happenings from the past week. The bit about my soccer blog title is still 652 words away in case you start to wonder.
Come the first weekend in July I’ll be at a same sex attraction educational retreat near Sydney. Probably…most likely…unless something happens. It’s at a beautiful waterside location and should be good. Hopefully…almost certainly…unless it isn’t. So I feel unsettled about it, but there is honestly no good reason why. I’m also uncomfortable about a week-long residential study program coming up in a couple of weeks at a university conference centre a couple of hours away. People I’ve never met, strange surroundings, nights to fill in away from home; not exactly an introvert’s dream.
Went bike riding with the previously mentioned (a couple of months now) girl tonight. She rang me up at work and asked if I wanted to ‘do something’ while we discussed some possible articles. I’m not sure that was the main aim of the bike ride, but she brought along a briefing paper on tourism in rural areas to give me. It was nice in a pleasant way. The bike ride; not the briefing paper. “The precinct is identified as lower to moderate agricultural quality and includes predominately broadacre grazing.” Words only a bureaucrat could love. Near the end of the ride I felt stupid as I always travel on the footpath about 200m to my home, which is illegal. And she has all the proper gear to do the right thing on the road. “Oh no she’s already the more spiritual one.” Then I got defensive. I don’t like myself when I’m defensive. Other people probably don’t either. It was dark; she went home and I went home. I wanted to be really excited about when I was going to see her next, but I wasn’t. Just thinking perhaps she’s making a move and I’ll add her as a facebook friend and wish there was an “interested in” option that said ‘currently healing’ and that it would be totally cool to display to the world.
The weekend was tough. Both days involved taking photos and driving around, which is always draining. A lot of concentration and eye squinting is needed for sports photos. On Saturday I took my first Australian Rules football pics for the 2009 winter season. It was encouraging as I didn’t feel as lustful watching as I imagine was the case seven months ago. Then lustful thoughts bothered me as I tried to sleep. I was at the point where when not masturbating or looking at porn the intensity of my desires pick up a bit. The next day at church when we were about to have communion I was sick of the sin that clings so closely and it seemed to be someone placed the thought in my mind “you’ll always need bread”. Sinful and screwed up me is always going to need the forgiveness of God.
Later on Sunday I was stressed because I needed to be at two photo opportunities at the same time when one ran late. Sometimes I so desperately want to do the ‘right’ thing to please people and keep them happy. This means a situation where both options have negatives stresses me heaps. I was thinking about where this need to ‘do the right thing,’ and the power it has over me, comes from. Unfortunately no breakthroughs this time, but I’ll keep working on it. Funnily enough I made it to the second photo opportunity, a soccer game, just in time to catch the last few minutes of the game and get some snaps.
The game ended and the soccer players huddled, so snap, snap, snap of tired players being encouraged by their coach. Then, and this is a bit embarrassing to talk about, a couple of guys took their shirts off. One guy in particular really grabbed my attention. My mind was shouting at me ‘must look; your whole happiness depends on it’ and it made me unsteady and suddenly I was the world’s biggest soccer fan. So annoyed at the desires within that bubble up at times like this. Yesterday taking photos at a surfing event and more shirtless guys. More power over me and I feel more disconcerted.
At lunch time on Wednesday I used some of the half hour to see what was happening underneath my desire. Firstly just plain lust. Due to my previous lookings I’ve taught my brain to produce pleasure when a guy’s not totally dressed. I liked looking and the feelings that came. Secondly I believe a lie that says the pleasure I can get from looking is healthy and worth the effort. Instead of renewing my mind and trusting God in the midst of same sex attraction. Thirdly by lusting after these guys I’m not treating them with respect. I am using them to make me satisfied and acting like a leering, impulse driven young man. If I had have thought of it at the time I would have gone up to them (when shirt was back on) and done a bit of an interview to help see them as real people. Fourthly the world of shirtlessness is foreign to me. Growing up I wasn’t around regular shirtlessness, and not of decent looking guys, so part of its power over me is due to its exotic nature. Fifthly, as already mentioned, due to a recent decrease in sexual sin my mind is hungry and lower levels of lust are more powerful. Sixthly as they have a nice upper body I see them as having a glamorous life with lots of friends and happiness. “It must be so exciting to be you looking at yourself in the mirror!” It’s silly. Physically I have what they have; almost better. I have good friends and happy times.
So yeah, ugh. Double ugh. And all the broken people know.
An intense desire to obsess about a male stranger happened another time recently. At the supermarket I was about to go through the express check-out and then I saw a good looking guy who smiled at me nicely once waiting to serve at an empty check-out line. I didn’t move cause he was 20 metres away, but at home my mind wandered and I wanted to go back and pass through this guy’s check-out. It was a powerful, pushy, your happiness depends on this desire. Crazy. I even texted my mate I was about to go see, to ask he if wanted anything from the supermarket. My mate wanted ice. Ice melts. My mate lives an hour away and has a supermarket near him. I was annoyed at mate.
Got a long car ride on Saturday to go with my parents and see the sister for Mother’s Day. More thinking time. There’s no such as thing as too much introspection when it comes to these kind of issues. Okay, I know that’s not true, haha.
Away from SSA the first work experience student of the work experience season arrived at the newspaper this week. Everyone in Year 10 or thereabouts spends a week at different businesses to see what it’s like. All the schools have a different week so we end up with about five different people coming in the next three months. We have the company of a teenage girl right now. So many questions. Argh. “Should I use the White Pages to find their phone number?” Her insecurities make me feel mature and balanced.
“The future belongs to the confident.”