When I was going to therapy, one thing my therapist suggested is that I'm going through a mourning process - I'm mourning a life I'll never have - a life I won't let myself live - a life with the man of my dreams.
It's an interesting notion and one that I've thought some about. Truth is, my dreams at night are often "what if" sort of dreams - dreams where I go back to my younger days and make different decisions than the ones that I made. Not that the choices I made were necessarily bad - they seemed like the right decisions at the time.
If I knew and accepted then what I know and accept now, I most certainly wouldn't have chosen to join the LDS church. I doubt I would have chosen to marry, a girl. But, there would have been consequences. That was in the days before AIDS was understood - I could have chosen to live a lifestyle that led to my early demise. Alcoholism runs in my family, were I not a teetotaler, I might have become an alcoholic (as two of my siblings are). Had I not married (a girl), I wouldn't have experienced fatherhood. So, while I do not regret the choices I made - I find myself wondering what it would be like had I made different choices in my life, longing for a life where I made different choices.
But, all of that is water under the bridge. I made the choices that I did and now I must abide by those choices. The choices I made have provided me with a good life and a family that loves me. And yet, even knowing that, I still continue to mourn for a life that was not meant to be.
How do I get past this? How do I accept the choices I made and move forward?
There are some who would say that I'll never find happiness as long as I've got one foot in babylon. Maybe they're right - but I've spent most of my life rejecting Babylon and trying to be the good mormon boy.
Truth is, once I accepted my own homosexuality, I began to view Babylon in a different light; and, I discovered that Babylon isn't the evil I always believed it was. There is actually a lot of beauty in Babylon. While there is an element of Babylon that I am not comfortable with, it is also full of good, honorable, decent people. While there is certainly a dark side to Bablylon, things that are virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy can also be found there.
Perhaps most unexpected is that I feel at home when I'm with the people of Babylon. They are the family I never knew I had. They are the only ones who have an inkling of what I'm going through. They are those who've made choices that I sometimes wish I had made.
But, I can't turn the clock back - time marches forward.
Is it possible to find happiness with one foot in Babylon? Or is it all or nothing? Must I totally reject it or fully embrace it before I can find peace? I tried, unsuccessfully, for much of my life to fully reject Babylon - so is that even an valid option?