But it was one year ago today that I embarked on a journey, my eyes opened to a world I didn't know existed, one of tears and joy and friends and more swearing (oops!). It was one year ago today that my relationship with Scott began to blossom, that we both became unafraid to talk to each other about anything, that we began to more fully tolerate and accept each other's faults and embrace each other's strengths, that our intimacy became more honest and meaningful instead of frustrating and ignored.
Yesterday, I was mourning the frustration of one of the outcomes of the last year--estrangement from some family members. Scott apologized for pulling me and the kids into this mess. And yet, as I think about it now, the relationships that are still the most strained are the ones that already were. Not much has really changed; we just have something to blame it on now.
But it truly has been the best year of my life in many ways. I still have much to learn and many ideas to work through and understand, but I do know a few things for sure:
1. Scott and I have a relationship that can endure anything, it seems. I pray that God will keep us on a path that includes staying together.
2. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true, but the organized LDS church is far from being flawless, and just like each of us, it has its strengths and weaknesses and is evolving, hopefully eventually for the better, one victory or mistake at a time. I cannot give up on it, because my testimony is too strong and there is so much that is good and right in the church.
3. Love is the greatest commandment we have been given: loving others without judgment, loving and accepting ourselves. And deep, lasting love can happen between two people of the same gender just like it can between one man and one woman. I grew up thinking it was sin, and now I know it is love, nothing more, nothing less. Just two people loving each other and wanting nothing more than to be together for this life, and hopefully forever. The spirit testifies this to me and I refuse to believe that I am deceived. And so I will continue to fight for gay rights, for gay marriage, and to believe that this "sin" is not a sin, regardless of what I have been taught and regardless of what the church that I love and cling to continues to teach.
In honor of this anniversary, Scott and I now have matching CTL rings as a reminder that we will always choose to love.
Thank you for being a part of my journey. Thank you for being patient with my emotions, my venting, my exploration of all things gay. Thank you for choosing to love, for if you continue to read my blog, then I believe you are making an effort to love.
And now for something completely different, here are some of my favorite pearls of wisdom from Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling:
(Yes, I had way too much fun googling Dumbledore yesterday :-)
- People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.
- The truth is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with caution.
- It is my belief... that the truth is generally preferable to lies.
- It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
- It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
- Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.
- Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike ...We wizards have mistreated and abused our fellows for too long, and we are now reaping our reward.
- Harry, suffering like this proves you are still a man! This pain is part of being human … the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.
- The best of us must sometimes eat our words.
- Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.