Many people think that because I experience same-sex attractions, I have only two choices in life: Get into a relationship with another guy and be “fulfilled” or be single and alone (and therefore, miserable). They forget that there is far more to life than either of those choices!
Although I’m not in romantic relationship, I don’t feel alone. Unfortunately, many people wonder how that could be possible. To me, this reveals a confusion that exists between feeling alone and being alone. Let me explain:
To Feel Alone or To Be Alone
Have you ever found yourself with people who don’t seem to care who you are, or what you’re going through? Even though you might spend large amounts of time with these people, your interactions with them aren’t exactly nourishing your heart.
In this situation, it is very easy to feel alone, despite not actually being alone. However, we can also be alone without feeling alone—just ask anyone who is away from their loved one. This is because the bond they share in their hearts is more real than the space that separates them.
When my heart wasn’t connected to others, I felt alone. However, ever since I have chosen to become open to growing in the virtue of chastity, I have become open to uniting my heart to the Heart of Christ (and this is what I continuously strive to do). In doing this, I have become united in the heart with every other person who strives to do the same.
This specific choice has opened many doors for me to find fellowship with others in a worldwide community of people who are also striving to grow in this virtue. The connection of our hearts may be intangible, but our community is not—it is strong and it is growing! It is built up of every person, regardless of attractions or inclinations experienced, who is striving to grow in the virtue of chastity. Along this journey, there is no “alone,” but rather there is a familial bond, through Christ, with the heart of every person who abides in Him—on Earth, and in Heaven!
As a result of my commitment to strive to grow in the virtue of chastity, I truly have never felt alone, despite often being alone. As for the longings of my heart—which are just as real as they ever have been—they are now tempered with self-control, so that I can better discern whether pursuing those longings will help me grow in virtue or not, while keeping in mind that Christ does not draw us away from virtue. In fact, growth in virtue transforms the longings of our hearts to be oriented towards Christ! This does not lead us away from our true selves, but helps us become more fully alive as beloved sons and daughters of God!
I find great joy in being honest with myself by recognizing this truth, and simply being open to what may be in store in the future. I see my prior unchaste life in the rear-view mirror, and I ain’t ever going back! 🙂
Andrew is a Courage member and contributor to the Pursuit Of Truth Ministries website. He is a speaker and writer, most recently co-authoring the pamphlet resource Sexuality and the Catholic Church, which has been made available for free download. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.