STATEMENT ON THE HEALING OF HOMOSEXUALITY
Homosexuals Anonymous does not try to "heal" persons with same-sex attractions as from a disease. When we talk of "healing", we mean divers wounds: hurts in the individual past, a broken relationship with God or other people, a broken relationship with the father or other family members, and much more.
We offer help to those who want that so their wounds can heal and they can pursue whatever they see as their personal goals.
Are You Feeling Suicidal?
Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy (SAFE-T):
A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body!
Health is crucial for all of us. Christians know that their body is the temple of the Lord and this is why we need to take care of it and keep it in good shape. Note that we are not simply talking about physical health here, but also mental and spiritual health.
Here some points to ponder (note that these are NOT medical advices. Talk with your doctor or therapist about these points! Also these are only some points. I am sure there is a lot more to think about!):
• Make sure you go for a check-up to your doctor and dentist at least once a year.
• Watch your food habits (in short: Try to eat much fruit and vegetables – if possible uncooked. Cut down on alcohol, coffee, sugar and meat. Drink enough water each day. Make sure your food comes from your area and not from other countries. Eat the fruit and vegetables that grow during the season you are in. Eat whole grain products and brown or wild rice and avoid superfine flour and husked rice. Avoid fast food. Also avoid heating meals in the microwave. Avoid products that are chemically changed a lot.)
• Get a daily structure regarding the times you get up and go to bed, the times you eat and so on.
• Get enough sleep (thumb rule: eight hours a day).
• Do sports on a regular basis (like going to the gym, hiking, walking, swimming or whatever else there is). Even 30 minutes of walking a day can do you much good.
• Follow your doctor’s advice.
• If you have serious physical problems or problems that have been going on for some weeks already, don’t hesitate to go to your doctor.
• Make sure you get enough rest and also fun times in your life.
• Learn about ways to calm down (like autogenic training, muscle relaxation according to Jacobson and the like).
• Find out the stress factors in your life and eliminate them if possible.
• Surround yourself with things you like. If you don’t like the color of the wall in the kitchen, change it!
• Learn about healthy ways to set boundaries.
• Find out about your emotional needs and learn to meet them a healthy way.
• Make sure your social needs are met a healthy way.
• If you have been hurt, seek someone to talk about it. Then learn to forgive! Don’t let past hurts ruin the rest of your life!
• Get a positive attitude. Your perspective on things makes the difference!
• Work on your masculine (for women: feminine) identity. Seek the company of other men (women) to learn from them and grow with them. If possible, take part in programs like Men’s Fraternity.
• Keep your mind busy. Life is not a long and silent river. We need to keep on learning, growing and maturing.
• Find out about your calling in life. Thumb rule: Find out what you are passionate about. God gave us our passions for a reason!
• Get a mentor if possible.
• Surround yourself with healthy men (women).
• Seek good friends!
• If you have serious mental problems or problems that have been going on for some weeks already, don’t hesitate to go to a psychiatrist. Follow his advice.
• Set up a daily structure. You would not ride a motor bike without a helmet, so don’t start the day without putting on your spiritual armor either! Pray, meditate and read the Bible each morning!
• Seek a spiritual mentor.
• Join a local church community.
• Find out about spiritually unhealthy things or people in your life and avoid them if possible.
• Do works of love.
• Repent and confess your sins regularly. Find out about practical steps to make amends or to avoid sinning in the future.
• Pray like there is no tomorrow.
But what about having to stay alone for the rest of your days? If you mean "lonely" by "alone", then let me remind you that you can - and likely will - be very lonely in the gay scene. Being "alone" is something different. It is a gift that Jesus often used when He went out in the desert to pray. We need to be alone at times to spend some good quality time with ourselves and with God. To be able to be alone is a true treasure. Ever since I left the gay scene, I found times to be "alone", but most of the time the Lord grants me time to spend with the many true friends He brought into my life ever since and with the people He leads to me to help them get back on their feet again. I have never been less "lonely" than since I had left the gay life. I have found a true meaning and purpose in life and also my life has changed in all areas.
So what about "being happy"? I think it is a big misconception in today's culture and society that once with throw something in the "love"- or "being happy"-pool, everything is fine. No, it isn't. Being "happy" is not a criteria that something is good or morally acceptable. An alcoholic who just had a bottle of wodka might say he is "happy" now. A family father might have just left his wife and kids to live with his new girlfriend, "love" her and be "happy" with her for the rest of his days - it would still be unacceptable adultery in a Christian's eyes. Following Christ will give you true joy and tell you about the difference between "being happy" and finding that joy only God can give. And please don't mistake love for a fuzzy feeling. Feelings come and go. Love is a covenant where one person gives himself or herself (reflecting Christ's life-giving covenant with His bride, the Church) and where the two take the willful decision to stay together for their whole lives to become one flesh again. Again? Yes, our sexual drive hints back to the beginnings, where Eve was taken from Adam's flesh. This drive seeks that union back again - becoming one flesh. So much one you have to give this "one" a name nine months after.
To cut it short: I know it isn't easy to leave the gay life. It can be very scare as you have no idea what you signed up for and where this will take you. So for the beginning I give you this piece of advice: Scratch together the little faith and trust you can find in you and put it on God. And then let yourself fall and begin the journey - step by step. God has never broken any of His promises. He will be with you every second of the way and lead you out of this. Promised.
Men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions often meet in local or online groups, seek out therapists and get all those wonderful resources out there. All good and nice. Nothing to be said against that. And yet, you have some who keep on telling you they’ve tried “everything” and “nothing” worked so far. Oh really. After years and years of dealing with those folks that I love with all of my heart, here some points to ponder (or better: kicks in the butt):
- So you’ve tried everything. Did ya. Usually, a closer look reveals that they tried nothing for real. They might show up at one or two meetings, or order a book – and this is it. If you want to succeed, however, you need perseverance and a high stress and frustration tolerance. You need to be able to set yourself a goal and go for it – no matter how long it takes and how hard it will be. If you are not willing to do that, don’t blame it on the group, the people there, the program, the genes, your past, your parents or whomever else then. Your just a quitter looking for lame excuses.
- In many cases, self-pity is both a symptom and part of the cause of same-sex attractions. A baby that does not perceive himself or herself to be loved will start pitying himself/herself in order to get some love this way. A really tragic and sad thing to happen. This will take on till he or she is grown up, if nothing will be done against it. Usually, the individual does not even realize that. Other people start getting ticked off by the constant whining and complaining and think he or she is a wimp or worse. So if you struggle with that and already realized it, do something against it. Stop the whining. Stand up and fight! Learn to love and enjoy life and start working on your masculine/feminine identity. But PLEASE stop the whining! Whining is the easy way out in struggle. You see yourself as the poor and helpless victim. Take responsibility for your own life and act like a man/woman! There is no shame in being scared, but there is if you let your fear overcome you!
- Go for results. General bla-bla won’t get you far. Set yourself big goals (they really can’t be too big!), cut them in little goals and start making plans. Example: Instead of saying, “I will try to become a better person” (which is nothing else but a wishy-washy statement that will never lead to anything!), make your goal measurable and hold yourself accountable: “Until next Friday I will contact the volunteer program in our church and ask if I can join them in building houses for the poor. And I will tell Bill about it.” Like that you have a fix date, a measurable goal and someone that will hold you accountable.
- If you are a follower of Jesus (or Jew, Muslim – whatever), show that your faith is for real. Stop begging God to take “it” away from you – while comfortably leaning back doing nothing and waiting for God to do “His” job. Yes, God is a gracious and loving Father – and much like a worldly father who teaches his little son how to ride a bike, the Lord will teach you: Jesus died for you on the cross so you can be free – so the power of sin is already broken! You ARE free and the only thing that hinders you in realizing that is your lack of belief! As to your recovery in all other realms (like your family history, your emotions, identity questions, possible emotional, verbal, physical or sexual abuse or whatever else), He will teach you how to do it – but you need to trust Him and walk His path! Stop holding yourself back with lame excuses and finally trust Him! Even if bad things should happen, you know then that you are never alone! Let His love overflow you so you will become radiant with this love and joy! If we don’t have something to be joyful about, then who should?
- No man is an island. Neither are you. You grow in and through the company with others – so you should give something back and help others with unwanted same-sex attractions. This means accepting responsibility on a long-term basis. You won’t help anybody when you only show up somewhere when you feel like it. You might be (or feel) “different”. That is not a bad thing in and of itself. Let this “being different” become a blessing for others! Find out about your gifts and talents and use them for God’s glory!
- And last but not least: Get structure and discipline in all areas of your life: sexually, financially, healthwise, emotionally, relationally, socially, spiritually etc. Get yourself motivated each and every day by setting up a structure plan. Start your day by putting on your spiritual armor through prayer and Bible study and then throw yourself into the great and unbelievable adventure called life. Don’t waste it by shying back. Stand up and be the one God called you for! There is no victory in whining and complaining and finding a good excuse to reject all help and remaining a passive victim for good. There is no victory in blaming others for your inability to get your own stuff in order. There is no victory in begging God for what He already gave you, but what you continue to run away from: Complete freedom! What are you so afraid of? That you might really be free someday and be responsible for your own life? That through acting like a man/woman you might finally become one? That you might grow up to become and adult? Get your butt up and learn how to fly!!
Why is the only condition we have on someone who wants to join Homosexuals Anonymous the will to be free? Because without it everything else would be futile. You have to know what you want and you have to really want it. You need a passion to go for your goal, no matter what. If there are no emotions involved and you try to reach a goal simply through a change of cognitive thinking patterns, or because someone else wants you to and you have not the slightest wish to do so, this only become negative stress for you. It is all about how you see and evaluate this goal of being free of same-sex attractions and the way that leads to that. For some it is a drag, a pain in the butt. For others the same tools are an exciting challenge.
Think about it.
The Guilt Trip & the Avoidance Trap
People with unwanted same-sex attractions or sexual problems in general often focus on living a sexually clean and pure life. They make sure all triggers are eliminated and when they hold one another accountable, they would usually bring up all those moments they failed – in thought or actions. Then again, they wonder why they never make any progress, why there is no victory in their struggle.
So what’s wrong with that picture?
In short: A problem will not go away by suppressing it and legitimate needs are not met by ignoring them. Or in other words: You can’t just run away from the bad – you need to run towards the good too.
Yes, we need a good foundation – which means eliminating all triggers in and from our lives. That includes things and people that either arouse us sexually in an inappropriate way or lead us astray so we won’t reach our goal. Contrary to what some might believe, this will not be a mere behavioral change – it can and will have consequences on many different areas of our lives.
However, living a pure and chaste life is a means to a goal – never the goal itself! Even healthy sexuality in a monogamous heterosexual marriage serves a function – it is for the good of the spouses and for procreation of children.
Yes, a celibate life is possible – but it should never stop at not doing something. That sexual energy can and must be used another way so it can bear rich fruit. For some that means increased creativity and socializing, as well as coming up with many ideas on how to do things differently. Find out for yourself what it means to you.
Sexual activity can also numb legitimate needs for a while – like the need for socializing, relationship, affirmation, etc. It can serve as a misguided way to deal with a gender identity disorder. And it can serve as a painkiller to deal with past hurts or unmet family needs (like the love and appreciation of the same-sex parent).
So just cutting down on inappropriate sexual activity and thoughts won’t cut it. Sex does not heal – neither does the elimination thereof.
Besides, if we spend all our energy and time on focusing on what not to do and think, we are reaching the opposite. If I tell you over and over again not to think of a rose elephant – what are you thinking of? Right, even if you haven’t done so for all of your life.
What then is the “good” we are supposed to run towards?
It includes: Working on one’s male/female identity, finding a purpose and meaning in life, living a physically, mentally and spiritually healthy life, finding out about our God-given passions and gifts and using them for His glory, working on our relationships to family members and men and women in general, becoming stress- and frustration-resistant, learning to focus on a goal and going for it no matter what, and finally: dreaming & acting big. Our lives are too short for anything less.
So stop merely avoiding things by trying not to do or think something. Don’t put yourself down forever and ever if you fall, but rather stand up again, find out why it happened and do better from now on. Stop living in the past but look into your future instead. Don’t put the blame on others or on circumstances beyond your reach. Don’t throw a big pity-party. Accept full responsibility for your life and live it to the fullest!
Life is an incredible adventure. No, it might not be easy street – but ever so much worth being lived!