Using the poll question in Article #78, you were asked to identify concerns and challenges that are unique to your experience of unwanted homosexual attractions. (For many years, the primary hindrance that enslaved me was the lack of authentic emotional intimacy and social connection with others.)
Today I want you to identify what might be keeping you from responding to those challenges. How can you acknowledge the difficulties and act in ways that are consistent with your life goals?
Of the 21 options listed in Article #78, which ones will challenge your ability to maintain (or achieve) progress towards your goals?
Take note of them and complete the following exercise. Remember to record your responses in your journal. Share your observations (and the needed life adjustments) with a trusted individual.
What are the items, places and relationships in your life that encourage, facilitate or stimulate your same-sex thoughts, desires or behaviors?
These are some examples . . .
Items: photos, jewelry, an article of clothing, gifts, pornography
Places: nightclub, park, bookstore, a shared romantic getaway, a certain neighborhood, your workplace
Relationships: Someone you may have an inappropriate emotional longing for, previous dating relationships, past sexual partners, current friends who don’t respect your values (life choices or goals)
Some Additional Thoughts Environment Planning:
Friendships and relationships tend to be the most challenging. The goal here is not to arbitrarily cut off relationships or meaningful support systems. It is not a good idea to remove social support if there are not other sources of support readily available.
***Note: Reflect on how to appropriately respond and relate when you have relationships with people who make working toward your goals more difficult. At the same time, pursue new friendships that are more supportive of your goals.
Don’t get rid of a lot of stuff and expect to be done with the process. I am telling you from experience – it will take weeks or months (maybe even longer) to let go. Our feelings (positive or negative) towards these people, places and things are powerful. You are about to discover and construct new ways of having your needs met.
Change can be difficult and, quite frankly, terrifying. Don’t hesitate to have trusted individuals counsel you and hold you accountable. You need them to hear your concerns, to cover you in prayer, to share your triumphs and to be present in the moment for strength and reassurance.
More Application Questions:
- What specific things will have changed in your life that will clearly indicate that you have made gains in reaching your life goals?
- Depending upon where you are in your experience of reaching and maintaining your life goals, how do you see yourself become part of the solution? What would it be like for you to educate your family and friends about your experience with same-sex attraction?
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“Managing your same-sex attractions”?
When I use this phrase what I have in mind is this: although we may experience or contend with homosexual attractions, we can identify ourselves in ways that are in keeping with traditional Christian beliefs and values. We can take steps to structure and live our lives in the context of vocation, stewardship and Christlikeness. I believe God wants us to know that it is okay to struggle. He will help and advocate for us. He will still love us and accept us.
© Darrell Martin and SameSexAttractions.wordpress.com, 2015.
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