Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Commenting Policy Update

FYI to everyone: I have had to learn by personal experience to draw boundaries in my space. I have also learned to enforce those boundaries without apology.

Certain commenters have shown an inability to respect my boundaries. I have updated my commenting policy at the bottom of every page to clarify those boundaries. I no longer feel the need to pander to people who make a career out of criticizing the Church, or who proudly carry around personal baggage with no intention of offloading it any time soon. I have plenty of baggage of my own, so I get baggage. I have plenty of topics regarding the structure and organization of the Church which frustrate me. But that doesn't mean that I throw my baggage around, hoping to hit someone else over the head with it. I am willing to consider that my own biases may get in the way of seeing clearly. I expect that brand of restraint in anyone who would like to carry on a public conversation on this blog. If you are incapable of seeing past your own biases to try to understand my real meaning, then we really have nothing to talk about.

I still welcome intelligent, thoughtful conversation. "Thoughtful" means considering my points, and respectfully asking questions or bringing up certain counterarguments that show more than a simple vendetta regarding whatever topic at hand. I welcome disagreement. I detest argument. If you don't know the difference, there are plenty of venues where you can vent your spleen to your heart's content and be welcomed.

This is not one of them.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Please Solve My Problems For Me

While I've had a relatively privileged life, I've also had times when I've had to worry about nutrition, food, paying the bills, providing for my children. I've had to worry about my physical safety, being attacked in my own home, my house and car being destroyed, my children being taken from me. Not as much as some, doubtlessly, but enough to know what fear feels like, what poverty feels like, what it is like to be helpless.

With this in mind, I find it amazing how people automatically ask me why I didn't go to the state for assistance in my times of need. Or if I discuss how lonely it was with someone, they assume all I need is to find another husband.

I do it, too. Often when people come to me with their problems, I first think of all the solutions provided by other people or institutions they should turn to. Next, I think of what I might do. Third, to my shame, I often think of reasons why I can't do it. Then I go back to #1. It's awful.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Turbulent Heart

“The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.” —Blaise Pascall

There are times in a person's life when she is presented with opportunities to look at herself and find herself wanting. I am naturally very hard on myself. Growing up, I somehow learned that my worth was directly linked to perfection. It seems that relationships are the greatest of these opportunities.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to live with my sister after her graduation from high school. We had not been the best of friends growing up. She was favored, and I was a truculent and sullen child. We did not have the enmity that many siblings cultivate, but we were jealous of each other for different reasons. I like to think that in the course of living together, and the trouble that we both experienced at the time, we learned to forgive and accept each other and ourselves a little bit more.

When I served my mission, I had close relationships with a few of my companions. One in particular, I think of as a sister. We had very similar outlooks on missionary work, and life in general. We both hated mushrooms (a good basis for any lasting friendship.) Most of all, she gave me confidence in myself and my unique brand of missionary work, which did not mesh well with the general missionary structure. Her influence started my feet down a long path which would eventually lead to me forgiving myself of my faults, no small task.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Disappearing Singles Act

I participate, mostly reluctantly, in an LDS mid-singles ward. For those of you who don't know, this is a ward made up primarily of 31-45 year olds, though there are several people who fail to leave once they hit the older age limit. I have a great many issues with the ward and with LDS singles life in general, but I want to address one huge mistake that we make towards our singles.

Ostensibly, the Church provides singles' wards so that we have an opportunity to meet more people with our marital status in the hopes that we will change that status in the near future. To this end, they plan endless activities, generally centered around entertainment, movie watching, sports, and dancing. With the younger, college-age singles, this model works rather well, as far as any model could be said to "work."

But as the biological clocks tick upwards, things start to change.

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