4. God’s Love “In The Real”
I can’t remember exactly what we were doing at the time, but twice when I was with Brother A, I asked the Lord if there was a purpose for me in meeting him in person. I had a strong impression in my heart that God wanted to or was going to show me His love “in the real.” The words “in the real” were so clear I could almost hear them with my ears.
God’s love? In the real? What does that mean?
I love Jesus. I had seen first hand God’s power demonstrated through miracles. I had learned how to enter into God’s presence through prayer and worship and let His Fatherly love fill my soul. But it never crossed my mind, not even once, that God might want to bring that awesome love and power to me in the real through an actual human being. And I certainly never imagined just how incredibly captivating and intoxicating God’s Fatherly love would be when expressed through a real person. Loving a gentle yet strong and mature God-loving man like Brother A--who loves me back deeply--has been like falling in love with Jesus. It is turning my life around in ways I never imagined possible.
5. Defensive Detachment
The more I fell in love with Brother A, the more I became deathly afraid of losing him. To protect myself, I began to defensively detach from him: breaking off the relationship first to avoid the pain of having him break it off with me. I did it in subtle ways, convincing myself each time that the decision was rational and noble [post, post].
Thankfully, Brother A had read about defensive detachment [post] and recognized it when it was happening with me. Each time I pulled away, he moved closer towards me. I kept doubting and questioning his love for me. Why me? What did I do to deserve this amazing love? Intensely engaged yet respectfully gentle, he convinced me again and again that his love for me was real. He did not give up pursuing me. And the more he pursued, the more I began to trust.
To this day, I still struggle with the fear that Brother A might leave me at any time despite all the evidence pointing to the contrary. But I know that the fear comes from the insecure boy-soul in me, desperate to be loved by a father like Brother A, and still recovering from the decades of verbal, physical, and emotional abuse suffered under the hands of significant men in my life.
6. Fear of Men vs. Love of Men
God’s love in the real through Brother A is giving me enough self-worth to admit something I have always denied: I fear masculine men because I don’t feel masculine enough in myself. This makes a great deal of sense because I have ever only been really attracted to men whom I feel have masculine characteristics that I don’t have. I see it now more clearly than ever before: for all these years, I have been “homosexualizing” my desire for masculinity. And I am beginning to realize now that I don’t need to do that!
Brother A’s deep, genuine love for me seems to be repairing my fear of and lust for masculine men. I found myself going to the gym and seeing “boys” everywhere. When I saw a guy who was sexually attractive to me, I looked at his face and saw the “boy” behind the masculine intimidating-thus-sexually-attractive figure. Immediately, the attraction was gone! [post]
I still get flashes of sexual attraction to guys from time to time. But now, instead of lusting after them in some unrealistic fantasy, or white-knuckling the sexual feelings, I do the following:
- I accept and embrace my masculine insecurities in the same way Brother A accepts and embraces me
- I perceive the men’s masculine qualities to be a God-given gift that I also want
- I admit that I want to draw close to them and be like them
- I imagine them connecting with me and opening up to me (which I am finding happens a lot when I don’t push them away)
- And I immediately recognize that they are just “one of the boys” like me
Each time I have gone through the steps above, the sexual attraction leaves, replaced by an attraction that is non-sexually relational. This non-sexually relational attraction causes me to want to hang out and talk with these men, drink beers, play sports, laugh, and just be one of the guys and enjoy being together. And I have no desire to have sex or be sexual with them in any way.
7. Potentiating Heterosexuality
Probably one of the most surprising and least understood processes that I am experiencing is my sudden attraction to women. I see beautiful and gorgeous women everywhere! I used to be somewhat attracted to beautiful Bollywood actresses (their Aryan features combined with their Asian softness was a perfect blend for me) but generally, women did not do much for me sexually.
But now, I find all kinds of women attractive—even the loud, brash ones. I am seeing them in a whole new light. I want to say nice things about them and see them smile and blush under the power of my manliness. It is not so much a desire to toy with them, but rather I sense that they need to be cared for, especially the ones that look like they could really use a little bit of loving attention.
The sexy-looking ones, however, is another story altogether. I feel a strong lust towards. I just want to rip off their clothes and devour their gorgeous bodies. I imagine them moaning with pleasure under my touch, and… okay, that’s going too far. Yes, I am objectifying them. It’s something that men struggle with, okay?
Did I just write that?
Yes, I did. Dang!
8. What’s Next?
I really don’t know what’s next. I never expected to experience all the change that I started to experience since meeting Brother A. I don’t know how deep or how long-lasting this change will be. I just want to be like soft, vulnerable clay, pliable and moldable in God’s good hands. If the homosexuality returns with full force, so be it. If it goes away completely, hallelujah!
As far as I am aware, a part of me still grieves the loss of my old pattern [post]. It’s comfortable; I know it well. Sure I love this new me [post], but it’s very new and I’m not used to “wearing” it. Feelings of insecurity still come from time to time and beckon me to masturbate to fantasies of masculine men even though I no longer find that compelling. And because it is no longer compelling, I can avoid it easily. I only need to sit with this feeling of loss, which in itself is not very comfortable.
A part of me tells me that I should start masturbating to fantasies of women, especially on my work trips away from my wife. If only I were 13 again and had 5 years to experiment with my newfound masculinity, I would let my hormones go wild. Well, I can celebrate at least that sex with the wife is simply amazing. I am so glad I am married. I don’t know what I’d do if I were to experience all of this as a single man.
Lastly, the boy-soul who longs for father-intimacy is still there, albeit growing incredibly quickly. I worry that the growth might be too quick. Thank God I still have Brother A… and brother B [post], and Brother M [post], and now a host of SSA brothers that I’ve recently connected with [post]. With intimate community support, maybe this change can take place for real and for good.
And so, I journey on. I hope the next four-five weeks won’t be quite as intense as the past four-five weeks because I am exhausted from all this change and processing. As much as this is one of the most exciting things that is happening to me in my life, I need a break.
[End of Summary Reflections #1]