Friday, July 26, 2013

Polygamy: My Internal Evolution

I have never written my feelings on polygamy on this blog. Probably, in part, because it is such a hot-button topic with so many emotions in so many people. And certainly, in part, because polygamy is largely irrelevant to me. I have so many immediate points of doctrinal practice that occupy my mind, a large part of me is happy to relegate polygamy to the realm of "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it.

But, perhaps shining a little illumination on my thoughts will help others of you who find this a louder dissonance figure out a way to navigate through your struggles.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Growing in Unbelief

I have a family member who seems to be in the process of leaving the Church (maybe already left.) And as most of you who read this blog know, I used to participate quite a bit in online intellectual discussions about the gospel and about the Church. I still comment here and there, but I don't participate the way I did. Mostly because I've heard, studied, and pondered most of the things discussed and come to form understanding or opinions about them already. Not being naturally inclined to nonproductive confrontation, I've lost interest in fighting about the things I believe with people. With that in mind, I use a very light hand with this person.

Increasingly, it just feels unwise to defend the Church much beyond bearing testimony. I have learned so much by the hardships of my life, and the emotional and spiritual struggles I have survived. It's like I have this deep, lasting fire inside my heart. I sometimes just want to shake people and say, "can't you see?!" "Can't you feel how much God loves you?" "Can't you open your heart to truth?!" But I don't, of course. And because the passion burns so bright and hot in me, I often hold my tongue. Not because I'm afraid of what will happen to me, but because I'm afraid that by opening my mouth, I'll do more harm to their search for truth than good. Though I so badly want to help.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Having a Hard Time

I've been thinking a lot about toxic people and negativity. If it isn't already obvious, I've had a really hard time the last five years. I've been that toxic person everyone tells you to stay away from.

I destroyed myself trying to become the wife my husband wanted me to be, dealing with having to abandon my child every day and work while watching our money vanish without knowing why. I found out my husband had a vasectomy after "trying" for several months to have another baby and fearing our failure was my fault. I subjugated all my hurt and insecurities in order to support him through our couple's counseling, thinking our marriage was getting better and healing, finding out his surgery worked and I was pregnant again, only to have it all blow up in my face beyond any redemption. I went through a divorce that completely undermined any shred of self-esteem I pretended to have.

I made a nuisance of myself to the few friends who would listen...until it got too much for them and I learned to shut myself up. I fought far beyond the limits of my own strength to preserve my faith, pretend to be strong for my children, stabilize my finances, deal with stress-related health issues during my pregnancy, try to heal from that, and finalize the divorce. Once I got through that, I had to navigate the leftover effects of fear, and the attempts at emotional onslaught through and to my children.

By a little over a year ago, it mostly settled out and I thought my efforts finally met some success and peace. But then my job went crazy, and I lost it, tried to take that loss and turn it into a chance to go back into my first field, discovered that wasn't possible, and found a (very good but not dream) job, where I have been ever since. I haven't even touched on the emotional turmoil I have gone through with trying to overcome my fear and open my heart to dating.

Now that I'm on the other side of all of it, it feels a little easier to forgive myself. It also seems impossible that most of that could have happened in only five years. No wonder the last year has found me almost completely without motivation to try with ANYTHING any more. There isn't one aspect of my life that hasn't been a fight.

Listing it like that shows me the amazing protection I have had from my Father in Heaven, the support I have had from my mom and a couple of friends, and my inner strength that I can't see when I just look at today. I am very aware of how much of a burden I have been to people in my life, how events and my struggles have left me largely stripped of all close friends but my parents, and how my normally slightly cynical but ultimately optimistic personality has really taken a beating.

It has also given me perspective to reanalyze everything I believe about God, and my relationship with Him and His children.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Complexity of Modesty

"Men and society tend to objectify women. When women dress immodestly, they are communicating a message that they are sexually available. You can't blame men for assuming that a woman is available if she's advertising her assets. It is much easier for a man to see a woman as a whole person if she is wearing clothes that are considered modest for her culture."

"Women are people, no matter what they are wearing. Men should take responsibility for their thoughts and actions, and no longer victim-blame women for 'asking for' objectification. What women choose to wear doesn't always have anything to do with wanting to attract a man. Women should be able to wear whatever they want without other people turning them into an object."

With which do you agree?

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