What does my inner voice tell me about myself? Sometimes, and especially when I’m off my spiritual center, I can launch into a tirade of self-criticism and self-condemnation over the smallest mistake. I would never speak that way to another human–why do I think it’s okay to speak to myself that way? Maybe those are old tapes embedded into my head from people who didn’t understand me, maybe they’re a result of perfectionism, but either way they’re damaging and inaccurate. When I hear those messages inside my head I can stop–and remind myself that I, too, am covered by my Savior’s grace and love even in my worst moments. Being human is not a character defect.
When you find yourself in a cycle of self-condemnation, pause–and then replace those messages with positive ones. Just for today, know you are exactly who you’re supposed to be, and exactly where you’re supposed to be–and you are loved.
A wise friend once told me, ”Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” I suspect she’s right. An important part of what I give those around me is my willingness to listen. And when I’m spiritually centered and have the self discipline to to pay attention and understand the words of others, I learn–a tremendous amount about my world, and a even sometimes a tremendous amount about myself.
Listening with intent allows me to forge a bond of unity that helps heal.
I am Mitch Mayne. I am an openly gay, active Latter-day Saint.
I was raised in Idaho, and baptized into the Mormon Church when I was eight. I left the church for many years, due in large part to my parent’s divorce. In my mid-20s, I returned to the church of my own accord, knowing full well that I was gay, and that someday I would have to find a way to reconcile my sexual orientation with my faith.
For many years, I was fractured: I believed I was a man with a foot in two worlds, and that I belonged in neither. But as I’ve grown in my testimony of my Savior and my confidence in who I am, I’ve come to understand myself as a man with a foot in two worlds–who very much belongs in both. From August 2011 through November of 2013, I served as the executive secretary of the bishopric of the Bay Ward within the San Francisco Stake.
I currently remain an active, happy and whole gay Mormon–just the way I am.