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Lessons From Lent

Posted by Symphony Alexander-Love , 04 April 2010 · 2,084 views

For nine weeks; I gave up sex with others for Lent....(I got a 3 and half week head start) Since 2006, I have been slowly making a transformation spiritually and mentally that was not yet complete. This meant focusing more on myself as a person and less of what I could do behind closed doors with others.

Over time, this meant learning to approach life with a certain modesty, understanding that simple fashion without being flashy and flamboyant would certainly go much further than always putting myself "out there". Over time, this meant learning someone's first and last name instead of just remembering them by a screen name. Over time, this meant valuing myself and my body and through gaining of such a self-respect, I too would in turn have the same respect for others.

In 2008, I went public with my HIV status at one of the darkest hours of my life...while it has its consequences, it has mainly benefited me. I've learned to not be ashamed of what happened to me and countless others...I've learned to not be afraid of what others thought...afterall...I am not having sex with most so "who cares?"

In 2009, I continued a spiritual growth unlike anytime I had ever known; searching for the deeper connections I could establish with others, longing for chemistry and attachment in addition to the intensity a sexual connection could bring. The greater the chemistry, the better it was. I recall being in my late teens to early 20s; I could rise to the occasion no matter what the situation...this is just not the case any longer, lol...

Back in 2007 my New Year's Resolution was a question I posed to the Creator about my current relationship status, which at best is questionable and hanging by the thinnest of threads.

I asked Jehovah God if love was enough to keep a couple together, irrespective of being happy or not. Over time, God showed me through situation, spiritual guidance, meditation, and prayer, the answer was a resounding "NO"...

Naturally, as I came to understand the answers to the questions I sought, sometime in late 2008 to early 2009, I broke down and went through a mental fight with myself and God alike.

I sought professional help, because what I realized is that I actually found a deeper sense of purpose to life, one where being HIV+ shouldn't define what I was, even though it was part of who I was...

At the beginning of 2010, I had a heart and soul conversation with my partner, because my heart knows that while I cannot predict the future, this was the first time I imagined a life without him...

And to make sure my feelings weren't haphazard or crazy, I took time off from men so I could draw closer to the one Creator who gives us peace and understanding when we ask for it.

The constant is that men had clouded my judgement, so it was best to take a break...

As the decisions become apparent, I needed the spiritual strength to understand the "why" and have thus asked God for his help as he carries me through my next phase of life.

The lessons learned?

Sex has always been an integral part of my development and assimilation into gay culture. From the beginning, I was valued more as a sexual being instead of a person. Over time, I accepted this and figured this was the norm. While I wouldn't call myself an addict, sex was something I could do at least once (or twice) a day without batting an eye.

Over time, my view of sex began to change; growing older, becoming mature, and having different foci changes a person's view.

I always asked myself, why are there some who have no problem with my HIV status? Even still, why are those I am closest too continue to struggle, even after all of these years?

I will always be a sexual being; sexual expression is wonderful and can be meaningful, actually sometimes it has left me gasping for air.

I have learned over time to experience this expression without being under the umbrella of a "relationship" and have decided that the road that lies ahead on the next part of my journey will be one that I must travel alone. I look forward to the day when I can travel the road through the life of another...

Learning more about myself, others, through activities outside the bedroom that doesn't leave either of us awkward- it's okay; and if we so choose to go down a road that leads us behind a closed door, it's something I do thoughtfully, rather carelessly, because even a brief act of a union between souls results in a connection, positive or otherwise, but still memorable.

I am excited that Lent is finally over, and look forward to whatever is around the corner. Life is so unpredictable that way.

Experiencing another "phoenix-like" phase of life,


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