You are loved

You are loved.  Yes, you--the reader.  How do I know this?  Aside from the fact that I assume you have many people in your life who love you, I know this because I love you.  Why do I write this blog?  I maintain this blog for many reasons.  It's therapeutic for me to voice my feelings.  It's a good way for me to keep people (who are interested) updated on my life.  I can vent frustrations here that I wouldn't normally discuss in my everyday life in in-person communication.  But, also because I love you.

I'm not the best at showing love.  In fact, I'm not even very good at understanding how best to express love so that you feel it.  I mainly express love in the way that I believe is best to express it, from my own perspective.  That is not to say that I express it in the way that I want others to express it to me.  I'm much more ego-centric than that.  I express it in the way that I think other people should want to have me express it.

Sure, I am arrogant.  I love being right.  I hate being proved wrong.  Admitting that I no longer believed in Mormonism was so extremely difficult because I had to admit that I did at one time genuinely believe in it, and now I think it's nonsense.  I hate admitting that I used to believe in nonsense.  I hate it because it implies that I currently believe a lot of things that are nonsense.  It means that I'm probably wrong about a lot of things now.  I can't stand that.

I'm afraid.  I'm scared of being wrong.  I'm scared of having someone prove me wrong.  I'm worried about opening up my heart and expressing my feelings because I don't know if you'll like what I have to say.  But still, I tell you.  I want you to know.  I am happier getting my feelings out in the open and letting other people see my vulnerability.  I hate being vulnerable.  I hate showing weakness.  It's very hard for me to do.  But, this post isn't about me.  It's about you.

You're afraid.  You have weaknesses.  You don't want people to know.  You don't want to feel like you're being judged.  Maybe you stopped reading my blog when I started saying things you didn't agree with, or things that you felt were offensive or affronting.  You want to feel loved.

The truth is I love you.  I don't care if you're gay or straight.  I don't care if you're religious or not.  I don't care if you're Mormon or not.  I don't care if you're male or female, black or white, thin or fat, rich or poor.  I love you.

I don't know how to love you.  That's something I'm still learning.  Sometimes I think the best way to love you is to be cheerful--whether it's genuine or just to be strong and put on a happy face even though I'm really feeling down.  Sometimes I feel like the best way to love you is to express acceptance.  Sometimes I feel like the best way to love you is to say exactly how I feel--even if I think it's something that might hurt your feelings.  Perhaps I think that you're trapped by your religious beliefs and that something I say will help you be freed from that trap.

You may be one of the people, like my dear aunt, who has loved me unconditionally and has been extremely patient with me as I do things that you do not like at all.  You may be one of the people I have offended and maybe I will never hear from you again.  You may be someone who has said harsh things against me--either about me personally or about things I have said.  It's so hard for me to love someone that I feel has hurt me.  But I can't help it.  Maybe I was just born this way.  I don't know.  But I find that it is very rare for me to meet a person that I don't instantly love.

I don't have any realistic hope that I will ever know how to love everyone.  But I want you to know that I would like to learn how to love you.  If you tell me how to love you, I hope that I will be able to respond accordingly.

I'm not strong.  I'm not better than you are.  I'm not more capable of loving than anyone else.  I'm not as amazing as I often believe myself to be or portray myself to be.

Give me a chance to feel what you feel and to understand you.  You don't want to trust me?  That's okay. I may very well be undeserving of your trust.  The way I act may be completely unconducive to the way you experience love.  If I say something that is critical of you or your beliefs, I say it because I love you and I think that it's something you need to hear, even if I recognize that it's not something you want to hear.

I love the thought of people liking me and approving of me.  I hate the thought of people disliking me or disapproving of me.  For a long time in my life, I felt that the best way to get people to like me was to be what I thought they wanted me to be.  And so I was--I was straight because I thought the people in my life wanted me to be straight.  I finally arrived at the conclusion that this was not best for me and for my own happiness.  Now I no longer feel it is necessary to change just to appease other people.  But, I do not want to come across as rigid and unpersuadable.  I believe that there are ways in which I can change my behavior so as to accomodate you and your feelings, without being inauthentic.  This is something I wish to do.  Maybe I don't know where the line is to be drawn--how much can I change without being truly me?  I don't know.  But I do know that neither extreme is healthy.  It is not good for me to simply be whatever you want me to be nor to refuse to make any concession, no matter how trivial.

If you are still reading my blog (I mean, like a regular reader, not just this particular post), then I consider you to be a faithful reader.  Maybe you like what I say.  Maybe you just love me enough to struggle through the difficult posts I make but still read because there are some posts you enjoy.  Whatever the reason, I thank you for reading what I have to say.  (I am admittedly an attention whore.)  And regardless of who you are, I want you to have a good life.  I want to do what I can to improve your life.  I want you to never feel alone.  All of the trials you are going through--you don't have to do it by yourself.  Know that you are loved.