Sunday, July 15, 2007

MIRACLE AT THE GYM

I have been away for a while, enjoying the blessings of my large family. Many children and grandchildren have consumed my life. What a wonderful way to go! I have thought of the many times I have been tempted to stray from the Path and am grateful that Heavenly Father has helped not betray the trust of my wife, my children, my grandchildren.

I discussed in some of my posts the challenge I have had in the locker room, especially in the showers. There is often stress because of my desire to check out those across from me. It has been hard to keep my eyes from wandering. Some times I have watched those smiling at me and masturbating and felt guilty afterwards. I have requested curtains many times to no avail and finally gave up asking. I have considered not going to the gym even though I know that the exercise there keeps me healthy, alert, and energized. I love the way my body feels and looks when I am in shape. I sleep well at night. A week ago I went in for a shower and there were curtains!! It was wonderful! This is the only gym in the area I know of now with curtains. I didn't realize how stressful the showers were until I pulled the curtain closed, and showered in private. It is wonderful to walk in there knowing that there is no temptation. I know that I should be Mr. Straightarrow, walking into the valley of temptation and never yielding. But I am not. I have, over time, been able to overcome the weakness to look at porn on the computer without the use of a filter. But I needed this filter in the shower where I didn't seek out porn but it often followed me.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have all the benefits of testosterone without the SGA challenges! Wouldn't be wonderful to be fully vulnerable to the feelings of love and affection toward males without the strong desire to go beyond that which is appropriate. I hope that when I go through the veil and leave behind my telestial body I will feel that release of stress that I felt behind the shower curtain. I hope that some day I will be worthy of a celestial body with celestial attractions and powers. Oh, what joy I will have with my family and all of my friends then!

A footnote: I know that I will never be "worthy" of a celestial body. My life has been far from perfect. I know that I will only reach that joyous state because of the blood of Jesus Christ and His Atoning Sacrifice. I know that there is hope for all of us because of Him in spite of the telestial burdens we must carry throughout mortal life.

7 comments:

J said...

What a great and uplifting post. Thanks for sharing.

Sean said...

luv ya gentlefriend. you are a great example to me.

gentlefriend said...

j: I found your site via your comment on my site. After reading this blog, I read all of your blogs. My thoughts are, "Welcome to the Club!" I identify with much that you relate. You certainly express yourself well. If the "dark days" return you have a community of friends here. If ever you want to talk privately, my email is on my blog. Thanks for your comments.

sean: The feeling is mutual!

Elbow said...

Curtians, yeah! Ask and ye shall recieve...

Kengo Biddles said...

small miracles...

J G-W said...

You've chosen to blog about a subject I've thought of blogging about for some time. I have felt the same conflict you have in the gym shower room.

BTW - I experienced the same struggles when I was a young missionary at the MTC. Morning showers and gym time were an agony for me. Do you know, does the MTC still have open showers in the dorms? Individual stalls or curtains might be a great suggestion for the MTC.

It's remarkable that your request for curtains was granted! That was an approach I never would have dreamed of!

I have found some success in just giving myself a few simple rules when I enter the locker room at our gym, that include being reasonably modest (wearing shorts if I use the steam room, for instance); ending my shower or steam room visit if inappropriate activity starts happening; keeping my gaze in front of me; and just exercising some mental discipline.

Also, I don't beat myself up too much just for having certain feelings when I see someone in the shower. I just accept that that's the way I'm hardwired, and the important thing is not to dwell on things or fantasize in a certain way.

If I'm feeling particularly weak on any given day, I might choose to get my exercise with a good bike ride or a walk.

These might not work for everybody. I think each person needs to establish their own boundaries, and not enter a situation where there is temptation you know you can't bear. But this is what has worked for me.

Then, you could always ask for curtains!!!

gentlefriend said...

Thank you for your suggestions. I find that just writing about my struggles helps my commitment to keep up the fight. But it helps tremendously to feel your support and have your ideas!