Is it possible to be LGBT and spiritual?

Acqua-p-mpBeing aware of my gayness and my coming out later in life has added an important dimension to my spirituality.  As a Catholic priest I had always been a spiritual person, inspired by nature, by the heroic virtues I saw in others, and by my religious faith.  When I left ministry five years ago and began to explore my sexuality in light of my faith it raised a lot of questions.  Is it possible to be LGBT and spiritual? Why did God make me this way?  Why has my life been so difficult?  Why does being gay have to be so complicated? 

These questions have never been answered because they are ultimately irrelevant.  I put them aside and changed my perspective to view my gayness as a gift.  Programs such as Body Electric and places such as Easton Mountain helped a great deal.  I came to realize how much my sexuality was a portal to the deeper mystery of God, of love, and of our interconnection in the universe.  I put aside the concepts that defined me in the past in order to open my life to new and unique ways of making the human community a better place.

My religious faith has a place in this new paradigm, but no longer a dominant one.   It plays an occasional supporting role as I try to absorb the good in many spiritual experiences.  Each of us is a spirit inhabiting a temporary physical body.  We can access a deep inner life based on our perceptions, experience, and emotional wiring.  As human beings we possess a unique capacity to comprehend, ponder, theorize, analyze, create, explore, invent, love, and connect with that which is beyond us.

We call this capacity transcendence.  We thereby move out from the limitations of our bodies and minds into the infinite reaches of the cosmos through the perception of our souls.  My soul is the sum total of my conscious and subconscious thoughts, my feelings, conscience, intuition, memories, and yearning to be united with all other souls.  My soul forms and develops the core of my identity, especially including my gayness, in relationship with self, others, and the cosmos, or God. 

The great thing about spirituality is that we each can achieve our own individual expression.  In the history of Christianity for example, a myriad of religious orders and communities have arisen, each based in a particular way of expressing faith.  This is but a microcosm of the many unique spiritual perspectives that inform and enrich the human community.

Through these spiritual perspectives we attempt to fill the void that is in our hearts, and by extension, in our world.  The intention to live through our spiritual lives leads us to bring healing and reconciliation to all our endeavors.  It compels us to rejoice in our wholeness and seek unity with everyone of good will, no matter who they are or how they define themselves.

Incendio-p-mpTo do this I’ve discovered I must bring my spirituality to greater consciousness in three primary ways.  Emotionally I sense the external stimuli that awaken my soul to the transcendent.   For me this is particularly through nature and beauty.  Cognitively I put thoughts and words to my experience, offering a way for others to access my spirit.  I do this through conversation, coaching, writing, and painting.   In my spiritual practice I affirm through meditation, reflection, and ritual that I have infinite value as a unique member of the universal body.  I feel called to help change the world one person at a time by daily living out of my gay consciousness.

How does your spirituality as members of the LGBT community affect the way you live?  Do you believe that you possess and radiate the energy of the universe in and through your thoughts, words, and actions?  Do you find that your faith helps you access unselfish and unconditional love for yourself and others, helping you detach from outcomes and trusting in the universe?  How has your gay soul enabled you to change your life and those around you for the better?

About Michael Parise

Michael Parise is a highly sensitive person who has the emotional “wiring” and insight to promote soulful healing. He does so through his Life & Spirit coaching, spiritual direction, and integrated energy work. His keen intuition, deep empathy, and spiritual consciousness enable him to discover hidden factors in our lives that need attention. Michael’s training and experience in pastoral ministry and spiritual formation gives him access to the mysteries of the soul. He has assisted hundreds of people to cope with being overwhelmed by life, to find stronger connections with themselves, others, and God, and to address the inner critics that can sabotage happiness. Michael works in person as well as on the phone.