North Star International had a conference over the weekend. The first of its kind! North Star International is an organization that promotes members of the LDS church who experience same gender attraction to keep and live the covenants and commitments of the gospel. (Learn more here). Needless to say, it is a wonderful organization.
The conference was also wonderful. I only attended the Saturday session (had to work on Friday). I was able to learn some great information. Only two things have really stuck in my head. Maybe because they were some of the more insightful things that I'd love to integrate into my life.
One of the workshops talked about compulsive sexual behaviors (although arguably it could be applied to any compulsive behavior). In talking about the cycle of compulsive behavior, the instructor talked about feelings. Feelings are actually how the mind seeks to heal itself. "Negative" feelings are things that we are often taught to suppress. I remember thinking growing up "Well, boys don't cry" or "I don't want to get angry. Getting angry is bad!". Really, anger and sadness are how my brain was trying to cope or heal through things. Ignoring or suppressing feelings leads to disassociation (or apathy) which can lead to compulsive behavior.
Life lesson: I need to feel my feelings not ignore them (or bury them under video games).
Solitude and Community
I wish I had taken better notes during the last keynote speaker. He was speaking about a pattern that the Savior showed in his life. First, the Lord went into the mountains to pray. Second, He called his apostles. Third, He reached out to minister to others.
The speaker went on to say how important alone time with God can be. It is alone with God that we learn what our worth is. We learn of His love for us. He then spoke that an individual can then create community with other individuals who know what their worth is. He said the purpose of a community was not to teach the individuals that they were beloved of God.
That hit me pretty profoundly. I realized I was looking to other people, to community, to feel loved and wanted. I've been looking for love in the wrong place! It's God who can help me find that feeling of being loved. Then, I can reach out and form meaningful friendships with other people around me.
I thought these were some interesting points. I hope that they are able to help some of you out too.
It was also awesome to see my parents there. They're awesome too. :)