There was a distinct contrast between this counseling session and my first one I had with Doug almost two years ago. Two years ago I had just begun my journey of gay-dom. I was reserved about talking about things and didn't really know who I was.
This time it was easy to be open with Doug and share about myself. I know that I'm gay (whatever, I accepted that a long time ago), I know what's right... but that's about it. I'm comfortable with Doug and it was very healing to be able to open up to someone and share everything that's been going on in my head since February of this year. It made it seem a bit easier to deal with since I haven't talked to anyone sincerely about how I'm feeling, or what's really going on in my head, or my life for months. I haven't felt like anyone cared; I've felt abandoned.
I told Doug I've been slacking in certain parts of my life and the worse part is part of me didn't care even though I knew I was supposed to be behaving differently.
One thing I told Doug was that I hadn't said my prayers or read my scriptures in months. I hadn't been developing my relationship with God or cultivate my own spirit.
Doug asked me what things allowed me to feel the spirit. What brought me closer to God? I told him that priesthood blessings, and singing/listening to gospel oriented music.
Blessings have always held a special place in my heart. I've always known that if I get a blessing, I WILL get better. I've always turned to blessings when I've felt I've needed direction. I had one friend tell me that she records her blessings and then types them up so that she doesn't forget them. That is something I've also done to remind myself of the warnings and promised blessings to me from my Heavenly Father.
Music has always had a powerful effect on me. I've been singing since I could talk. Singing a hymn will bring the spirit for me far more quickly than anything else. I've often received personal revelation from listening to/singing sacred songs. I sang at my mission farewell because I preferred that over giving some long drawn out talk.
Upon telling Doug this he asked if I had been doing those things over the past couple of months. I said yes and then he said "Isn't that cultivating your relationship with God?" He told me I was being too hard on myself. He said that too often Latter-day saints get caught up in vain repetitions that don't mean anything and don't allow them to feel anything. He said we all have our own relationships with God and what works for one person may not necessarily work for the next.
What Doug said struck a cord with me. The spirit confirmed what he said. I should be reading my scriptures and saying my prayers, but it's not the action so much that's important, but thought thought as well. If one is just doing vain repetitions, one might as well not say anything at all. We must mean what we say and if we mean what we say, our actions will reflect that.
Some food for thought.