The Rainbow Badge

There’s a lot of hubbub going on lately surrounding the Boy Scouts of America. A few months ago, all the news seemed to be focused in on the Supreme Court and its stance on gay marriage. Recently it’s shifted over to the Boy Scouts with their decision they made to approve gay scouts. Churches in turn, including the Southern Baptists, have become outraged and are sparking a movement for all its churches and other ones as well to remove their affiliation to the organization.

Even as a gay male, I think I understand these churches moral dilemma. Supporting the Boy Scouts for them now on some level means advocating homosexuality. And if they advocate homosexuality on any level, it means for them that they’re going against the Bible and its few passages that speak of it being a sin.

It’s sad that the Bible continues to be used as a weapon in these type of arguments. I don’t think that Jesus would be very happy today to see the polarization happening between people surrounding this issue. He was all about unconditional love and acceptance no matter who you were. What all these churches and other folks continue to be outraged over should be left between those struggling with their sexuality and God.

Sometimes I wonder if people are afraid that someone’s “gayness” is going to rub off on them. Maybe that’s what these churches think deep down as well. I can attest from personal experience, that no matter how much I have been myself in my sexuality, I’ve never changed someone else from who they were not already meant to be.

In regards to a gay youth who wants to grow in their life through an organization such as the Boy Scouts, they never should have been limited in the first place from having that ability. To me it’s a no brainer that everyone should be accepted. But I guess I am biased on some level over the issue. Sadly, this country has gone through so much of this over the years and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. First it was with women who were denied full rights for the longest time. Then it was with blacks. Now it’s with gay people. People are who they are and no matter what their race, sex, or sexual orientation is, they should be given equal rights. Somehow I see that if Jesus were still walking the Earth, he would be shedding a lot of tears over the fact that churches are rejecting God’s children just because of a few passages in the Bible that may indeed continue to be misinterpreted from their original intention.

Regardless of the churches stance on the Boy Scouts decision, the organization still hasn’t approved gay troop leaders. With the amount of pedophile and sexual child abuse cases that have occurred in this country, I’m guessing they feel it’s the safer measure. What’s sad is that they are having a strong misconception here. Many people still believe that if someone is a gay male, that they will have attractions to young children and might abuse them sexually. Having been a survivor of sexual molestation myself, I can adamantly state that the last thing I would ever want to do to any child is subject them to the horrors I went through. Even more sad is the fact that the person who molested me was heterosexual. And like him, many of the men who sexually abuse boys are in fact not gay. Often they are married or single straight males who are just mentally and emotionally sick. The actual percentage of gay men who have become child molesters is extremely small. But unfortunately, that doesn’t matter at the present time for the Boy Scouts. Thus any scout who is gay and desires to do more for the organization won’t be able to once they reach an adult age. What that leads to is little future growth incentive for a them.

I wish that our country would stop dividing itself again and again. There has been some form of racism present in this country for way too long. We are supposed to be a place that has equal opportunities but we really don’t. Religion continues to be poison for our country’s spiritual growth. I love God and I love Jesus. And I know they both love me, especially for who I’m becoming now in my life, even though I’m a gay male. If people would just stop living in fear of the Bible and cease using it as a weapon to separate each of us, then maybe one day soon the Boy Scouts might actually add a new emblem for all of its scouts to obtain and it’ll be affectionally known as the Rainbow Badge.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Follow Your Own Dreams

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in this lifetime came in a very hard way. It seems as if all the difficult lessons I’ve learned have come through some form of unbearable pain. Sometimes I wish that weren’t so, especially in the case of how I came to understand that it was best for me to always follow my own dreams and not anyone else’s.

Around this time ten years ago, I didn’t really have any dream that I was trying to follow. I was actively employed on a US Customs and Border Control contract as a Quality Assurance Engineer. While I may have been extremely bored and burnt out from the many years of computer based jobs I had worked at up until then, the truth was that I was quite stable financially and not really looking to change career paths any time soon. My then partner felt very differently. His company had just gone under and with that came a decision he made to head in a completely new direction for a career. He had always dreamed of owning his own business and after a few stays at various bed and breakfasts, he had decided that was the dream he wanted to pursue.

When he approached me with this new venture, I was less then enthused. I can honestly say that at that time, I had never, ever, thought about buying or running one of them. Bed and breakfasts were always just a nice reprieve for me to enjoy away from the busyness that motels and hotels had. After I accepted he was serious about this new undertaking, we began visit ones on the market for sale. With each B&B we visited, his dreams continued to develop while mine grew only more unclear. The last one we checked out was the 1848 Island Manor House located on Chincoteague Island off the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It was essentially in the middle of nowhere where the closest mall or movie theater was over an hour away. While it was love at first sight for him, I was skeptical but tried to keep an open mind. After an overnight stay, I received a pitch from him that I can only describe as what one might hear from one of those people working for a pyramid based company. He outlined a life he guaranteed I could have there, which anyone would probably find hard to refuse. He promised there would be a much closer relationship for us out there with lots of money flowing in. He insisted there would be plenty of time for relaxation on the beaches nearby. He talked of the many fun outings we could engage in if our home was there. He even said that having guests in our house would prove to be fun and alluring for the both of us.

While my intuition screamed no!, no!, no!, my brain responded exactly the opposite with yes!, yes!, yes! Within a few months we had sold my house and used that money as the down payment for the 1848 Island Manor House Bed and Breakfast. Six months later a descent into my own living hell began.

It started with the B&B’s existing owners not moving out at the time they were supposed to because of some contractual disagreements. This left my partner and I homeless for several months. He returned to his native home in Lexington, KY, while I rented a room for the first time in years not to far from my corporate job of which I was still employed in. At times there was doubt that the sale was ever going to pull fully through. For the longest time I reflected back on those days and wish it hadn’t. But it did and suddenly we were owners and official innkeepers of the Island Manor House. Over the next fifteen months, I commuted three hours every week on a Friday afternoon to the B&B and returned 48 hours later on a Sunday night back to where I was still renting because of my corporate job I remained employed at. During that time, while the mileage remained the same between my B&B and my rental, the distance grew more and more in my relationship. He began to fall in love with his new dream which was now a reality and out of love with me. Those quiet intimate moments he spoke of never came to fruition.  There was always something garnering his focus and attention and it was rarely if ever on me or our relationship. On top of that, the B&B was is disrepair and needed a lot of work. There seemed to be things always breaking. There were drafts throughout the whole house with its old windows. The roof was falling apart and leaking in several places every time it rained. Mattresses, towels, sheets and other amenities were grossly outdated and needed to be replaced. The list of repairs went on and on and eventually, I began to compare the home to that Tom Hanks movie titled The Money Pit. I dropped thousands and thousands of dollars and continued to wait for the promises to come true from that sales pitch I had once been given. After enough fights had ensued, I quit my corporate life and believed that maybe some of those promises would come true now that I was living there full time. They didn’t.

Over the next few years, intimacy in my relationship dwindled down to next to nothing. It was rare that we ever even got to the beach to enjoy it. Guests consistently took a higher priority for him as compared to the love we had once shared so deeply together. I felt plastic and fake on some level every day I stepped out of my room and into the hallways of that B&B where I had to place a smile on my face and pretend everything was a-OK. When my mother died, I left for awhile to handle those affairs and upon returning, I received next to no compassion or support for the grieving that I was still going through. After four more years of going through this hell, that relationship ended and I moved up North to the Boston area. Three years later, the B&B went under and was sold off as a short sale with me walking away with only the shirt left on my back.

It took me a long time to heal from what had happened. I had so much anger and resentments for years surrounding it. Through a deeper relationship with God, I received that healing. Through that healing, I found love, forgiveness, and peace for that B&B, that ex-partner, and even myself for not listening to my intuition when it had clearly stated to stay away from that career path. I sat down with that ex-partner not too long after and made my amends with him for the things I did which had caused some of the chaos we had gone through. Sadly, he chose to remain resentful and has continued to this day to blame me solely for its demise. I’m not angry anymore about any of it and I’m extremely grateful to God because of that. But the biggest thing I have gratitude to God with over this experience is the lesson I learned from it. I encourage everyone today to know that following someone else’s dream can have disastrous results if its not truly their own. The good thing for me today though is that I actually have my own dreams now. Some of them are even coming true as I write this, and thankfully, none of them have anything to do with anyone else’s.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Trusting In Your Intuition

Intuition is defined as an ability to understand something immediately without any conscious reasoning. Some may say it’s better defined as simply a “gut feeling”. Lately, the Shaman I have been working with has been attempting to help me develop and trust in my own a lot better than I ever have. It’s proving to be a very difficult venture given that I haven’t allowed myself to trust in me for most of my life.

Growing up, I didn’t have much of a say in anything. It really was my parent’s way or the highway so to speak, which ultimately meant being grounded if I didn’t do what they wanted me to do. Often, there were times I had hunches about things, but generally I had to ignore them and take part in something even with already “knowing” that the outcome wouldn’t be good. When I ventured out on my own, this pattern repeated in all of the close friendships and relationships I got myself into. There were many times I would get those “gut feelings” about something but I wouldn’t listen to them and allowed someone else to think for me instead. The sad truth of the matter is that most decisions and actions in my life have always been guided by someone else other than myself. One of the biggest ones dealt with a bed and breakfast I once owned.

Many years ago, I had been approached by a person I had been dating for awhile. He had become unemployed and was desiring to take up a new venture in life by becoming an innkeeper. After reading several books on the subject, he got in contact with a real estate agent that specialized in selling bed and and breakfasts. We began touring ones that were for sale and an inner voice seemed to be telling me each time I looked at one, that this wasn’t my path. After a few months passed by with me saying “no” to each of the ones we looked at, he finally stood in front of me and said he was going to run a bed and breakfast with or without me. My fear got the best of me and I ended up ignoring that small voice that had continued to tell me not to go down this path. I settled on buying the next one we looked at, and over the next seven years my health suffered immensely, my relationship to that partner ended, and the bed and breakfast was sold as a short-sale with me losing every penny I had ever put into it.

I shared this story for only one reason. Of all the times I failed to listen to any intuition or “gut-feeling”, it had the strongest consequences for me. There are plenty of other ones I could share as well when I didn’t listen to those hunches and had to deal with other dire results. Some of those included doctors I went to who only brought about more confusion and sickness within me, people I hung around with that only increased my toxicity, social engagements I attended where I left feeling more miserable, and products I would try which caused me ill side effects. I realized today that so much of my pain in life probably could have been avoided, if I had been listening to my own inner guidance system more.

A year ago, I decided I had enough of this pain in my life, much of which had come from ignoring those “gut-feelings”. After doing a thorough purge throughout my life where I removed everything toxic, I began to move forward in my healing and asked God to be at the center of it. Because of that, I found myself listening to my inner voice a lot more. Like a plant that needs love and attention to grow and blossom, I started to pay a lot more of it to those “feelings” I would get about things I was trying to make decisions over. Much of this work has been with my health and healing where I’ve been trying to trust and rely more on my body’s own ability to fix itself. Prior to this, I ignored most any feeling I had inside which told me to allow my body to heal symptoms it was facing. Instead, I’d go to doctors for those symptoms where I got many false diagnosis’s and terrible medications, none of which ever did anything but cause more pain and sickness and further complications in my life. Because of this, I am doing my best to practice listening to those hunches, “gut-feelings”, and intuitions in every area of my life a lot more today.

I still make mistakes at times and fail to heed any inner guidance I may be getting because my brain sometimes over thinks things. Trying to differentiate between that inner voice and my brain’s often misguided instructions can be a battle in itself. But the more I get closer to God and live healthier, the better it seems to be getting to know the difference. Something must be working though because my life is filled with a lot less crazy ups and downs and a lot more of peace. Is it because I’ve been listening to those hunches a lot more? I think I’m having one of them right now and it’s telling me the answer is “Yes!”.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson