I think too much. I'm not sure if that's a trait shared by other guys with same-sex attraction, or if it's just me, but I definitely think too much. I find myself poring over my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, and my fears, and fabricating complex rationales for most of the things I believe. I'm not happy with just experiencing life - I have to understand every facet of life that I can see.

Sometimes my tendency to meditate on everything comes in handy. When I need to create a project, I can manufacture elaborate plans, come up with dozens of alternatives, and see potential pitfalls before they happen. When I am thinking about people who I care about, they fill my every waking moment - something that was great at reminding me of my purpose as a missionary.

But sometimes it isn't ideal. Take, for example, the amount of stress that dating causes me. Most people would say to just go with the flow; instead, I find myself analyzing every move before I make it, and trying to determine its impact after it's made. It affects my spirituality when I obsess over my weaknesses, and consumes me when I need to change something in my life... blowing them out of proportion and, effectively, making them a much larger part of my consciousness than they were in the first place.

I found myself thinking too much over the last few days. And then I remembered an experience from my mission. I was in Church, wondering how I was going to deal with a major problem, and it was time for the Sacrament. The prayer was said, and my mind continued to race... and then I had the thought, "Mormon Guy, you should be thinking about the Sacrament. Shhhhhhh... be quiet. Be calm. Be still and know that I am God." So I closed my eyes, calmed my racing thoughts, and, almost immediately, a bolt of clarity showed me what I needed to do. I was so engaged in worrying about the problem that I wasn't open to the Spirit and His direction in my life.

The times that I've taken time to pull myself away from the world have always been positive. I've learned about who I am, what I want to accomplish, and I understand how to better apply the gospel in my life to find happiness and joy. It's like the feeling I get in the Celestial Room of the temple - peace, understanding, perspective, and hope. For a moment, everything is right in the world.

I think that taking time to think (without falling asleep) and ponder is important. But taking time to rest - and just listen, without engaging the constant deluge of thoughts and stimuli, is just as important. I, of all people, need to remember this in my life. To take time to be holy, to stop and listen, to disengage from the insanity of life to breathe. And as I do, I'm better able to hear the Lord and follow His promptings.

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