Did you hear the news?

The church just released a website about homosexuality. I’ve been hearing about this site for months (basically since Lolly and I exploded on the scene last summer and became a part of the “conversation”) and I am really, really excited to see that the day has arrived. It’s a really good website. I think it adds so very much to the shifts in perception that are happening around this issue.

First, here are some relevant links:

This is an article from the Deseret News.

And this is the press release made by the church.

And then… drumroll please…

The actual website: mormonsandgays.org

Take a moment and look at that url. Notice anything interesting? Then do what I did: sigh in relief, nod your head and say “things are changing!”

Anyway, I’ve gotta say, I really, really love the things that are happening around this issue. I feel like there is such a culmination–so many voices converging saying the same things–that love is the most important message, and that understanding and empathy are so important. This may sound cheesy, but I’m so grateful to be a gay member of the church at this point in history. I feel like a small part of something really big. And I’m so glad.

And on that note, we need to do a check-in, don’t we?

Rules: You cannot say “good” or “fine.” Check in spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Set a goal and report on the previous week’s goal. This is for fun, and is not meant to supplement or replace contact with a mental health professional.

GO.

Oh wait, don’t go. One more change I’m going to make. I will try hard to enforce this, but please make it easy on me by trying hard to follow this rule. I recently realized I had forgotten an important thing. In groups where check-ins occur, there is no “cross-talk.” In other words, check-in is a time to share how and where you are, without feedback (either positive or negative) from others. This allows the person checking in to feel safe sharing anything, knowing they are heard simply by having shared. Now, one of the things I’ve been touched by in past check-ins is some of the positive feedback people have gotten. However, feedback defeats, in some ways, the purpose of a check-in. It needs to be a place where people can say what they need to say, make their report, know they were “heard” and not worry about starting debates or lengthy discussions by sharing their personal stuff.

So, here’s the deal. We need to function under the assumption that someone does not want feedback. Thus, please don’t comment on other people’s check-ins–even if the person sounds vulnerable or in need of help, and even if your feedback is incredibly positive (which in almost every case in the past it has been). If the person checking in leaves contact information or has a profile, feel free to find their profile and contact them directly. (That would be the equivalent to finding someone after group and being like “hey, I was really moved during your check-in. Did you want to talk about it?”) But any comments in response to a check-in are “cross talk.” They detract from that person’s moment of sharing. The past feedback has been so incredibly positive, that it didn’t even occur to me until recently that I had accidentally created this problem, but now that I have realized it, I am going to enforce this new rule.

So, no cross talk. Or in other words, no commenting on other people’s check-ins. (If you are checking in and wanting feedback, feel free to leave an email address that people can contact you at for a private, post-check-in conversation.)

All right, here goes mine:

Physically: I feel very encouraged. Myfitnesspal really is my new best friend and I feel completely in control of my eating. I ran a lot this week which I really enjoy, and had a good weightlifting workout this morning, so I’m feeling very healthy. And motivated. And good content.

Emotionally: I feel much better today than I did last weekend. Last weekend I felt needy and isolated and crappy. I reached out to a couple of friends of mine (or, rather, they reached out to me) and I was able to do this really weird thing where I actually talked about how I’m feeling (this is novel, I know), and that has helped me feel much better about things. Vulnerability: so uncomfortable, yet so necessary. I’m learning this more and more.

Spiritually: Really, really energized. I had an incredible interview with my bishop the other night to renew my recommend. We talked for a couple of hours (bless his soul, and his family for letting him be away for that long). It was an incredibly good talk, and really helped me get my head on straight (no pun intended–seriously) about a few things. Our discussion was totally and completely inspired.

Goal from last week: 5,000 words. Achieved.


Goal for this week: 5,000 words. Again.

All right guys. Please check out that website. Then check in and let us all know how you’re doing. Thank you guys for being such an awesome community of awesomeness. You are the best blog-readers on earth. No jokesies.

(PS–I am actually not really interested in having a discussion about the website because I don’t want to ruin the warm fuzzies I feel about it. On this one, let’s all just rejoice in the good things that are happening and call it good. 😉 Any divisive commentary about it will be removed. Because I’m tyrannical like that. Bwahahahahaha!!!!)