Brad, I read this quote today and thought of you…
We recognize what is lovely because we have seen it somewhere else, and as we walk through the world, we are constantly on the watch for it with a kind of nostalgia, so that when we see an object or a person that pleases us, it is like recognizing an old friend; it hits us in the solar plexus, and we need no measuring or lecturing to tell us that it is indeed quite perfect. It is something we have long been looking for, something we have seen in another world, memories of how things should be. ~“Goods of First and Second Intent,” Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 9:528
You are an old friend, something I have long been looking for and have seen in another world.
When my friend sent this to me I knew I had to blog about it. It is a perfect discription of how I feel.
Have you ever had that feeling of meeting someone and knowing that you know them. Feeling so comfortable that you don't have to even work on the friendship. Instant attraction, instant friendship, with no work. Just that comfortable feeling of knowing someone.
I love that feeling and when it happens I have learned to act. Meaning don't let the moment pass without acting. Over the years my best friendships have happened when I respond to that familiar comfortable nostalgic friendship feeling.
It can happen to anyone, any age, any sex, any time. It started with me when I was a young man. I would meet someone and feel instantly connected. At first I was so confused and actually thought I was weird or something. It was unsettling to feel so strong about someone. One of the things that was hard for me was I had never had friends when I was growing up. I was abused so often that I closed my heart to connection. I couldn't stand the hurt or rejection that comes with connections.
In the small town I grew up in I had those feelings of connection, but it was impossible to move forward or act on them. When I did it turned into a painful hurtful expereince. There was one boy my same age. I adored him with all my heart. He was everything I wanted to be. I tried to connect with him. I remember how I would follow him around the playground at school. I would even take the abuse from him because I wanted him to acknowledge me.
He would invite me to his birthday parties, I later realized that his mother insisted. I was a project for him. Be nice to the Petersen boy. So he would make the appearance of being nice in front of his mother. I took the abuse because I was so neady for a friend. As I moved into high school my social skills were lacking on account of my extremly low self esteem. I had only a couple of friends and indeed they were not best friends. When I had the opportunity to leave the small town I grew up in it was an interesting experience. I would find I could make friends, but by the time I was comfortable and it was believable to me we would move back to the same town. Back to the abuse from all sides. Each year of high school we would move away for half the year and be back for the other half. It was pure hell. A roller coster of highs and lows. Away from the small town it was good, I loved the experience of being liked and even admired. But it was fleeting and never lasted long enough for me to heal my heart or to feel like a person of any value.
The only place I really found comfort was work. I started working at 12 years old in a local coffee shop. It was the one place where I was accepted. The older women loved me and treated me well. At work all was good. At home, school, church, and communtiy it was all bad. My self esteem was horrible.
So when I felt the connection I would not act. It was to difficult. The fear of rejection was to great to connect. When I finally was able to grow up and leave the community where I was raised things changed. I started acting on the connection. It was great. I learned to follow the feelings. The hard part was the overwhelming feelings of connection I felt. It was so strong at times I really felt something must be wrong with me. Those feelings of connection brought on guilt and shame.
Having grown up in a community where everyone assumed I was gay made it even more diffucult to trust my feelings. I felt guilt and shame for the strong feelings I had, especially when those feelings were for a man. I didn't have physical desires, but the feelings of love and connection were so strong. I learned to follow through with the connection, but still battled over our cultural up bringing that feeling connected to someone like that was wrong.
As I have battled childhood scars and have learned to overcome years of mental abuse I have come to except and embrace those feelings of connections when they come. I have learned to trust that inner voice and feeling when I meet someone and the voice yells out in my heart and head that this person will be a best friend. It takes practice and pushing aside feelings of rejection. But as I have learned to do that my life has been greatly blessed. I have made friends with amazing people that have blessed my life.
Let me explain my core belief after experiencing this for years. I have a strong feeling that some friendships started long before we came here. In my faith we believe that we lived before coming here as spirit children together. I believe we lived together for a really long time, time enough to establish close personal friendships, I feel that we had those that we were close with and when we meet someone here and have those strong feelings of connection, we are reconnecting.
That is my personal belief. One that has helped me to understand the challenges I have faced and for me it has given me peace and understanding. I have been able to move forward and develop great friendships without the worry of crossing lines or acting in an inappropriate way. I have learned that I can love deeper and more then our culture lets us. There are no limits on how many deep meaningful connections I can make and when I understand that I am reconnecting with perhaps old friends from another time and place it brings the friendship to a higher level of understanding and trust. If before I came here I made promises to help and lift, why would I want to destroy the friendship by following the worlds standards on what a man to man connection should be.
I get the fact that we can love deeply, the world would tell us that if we love deeply we should act on it according to the standards of the world. For example when two men love each other that deeply they should be able to express it any way they want. From sex, to marriage, to what ever they feel is right. I offer no judgement to those who do those things, but for me I feel that there is no need to express that love according to the standards of the world. I believe that men can love deeply and not cross the lines that their God, faith, or standards dictate. There does not have to be a battle over those issues. One can make the choice to follow God, faith, or standards and still have intense intimate close loving relationships with other men.
I know I know you, do you remember me?
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