Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My clothes arn't fitting me...

For so long I have had an identity, identities plural I suppose, titles that I made and confirmed WHO I WAS. It was never a difficult question for me to answer when someone asked what I did, qualities I liked about myself or where I was headed next. I was confident, I was secure and I had esteem. When you think esteem issues my guess would be all of us would defer back to our adolescent years when what was "cool" and being "hot" was not something limited to only changing with the weather. But not me, I was steady and secure. The soccer player, The pianist, The sewer, The socialite, The fish processor, The student, The 1st counselor, the girlfriend, The wake boarder, The snowboarder, The business owner, The counselor, The crisis worker and the wife. These are all labels I have worn throughout my life, some mutually exclusive while others simultaneous and some I still wear today. I have always been 2 steps ahead of myself, when I settled into something else, I had something in the wings that was always waiting for me to transition in to. My life has mostly been the pursuit and obtaining of something and I've always had something to obtain and pursue. AND I have always felt right about it...until now. At 27 when my current identities feel like old worn out clothing and yet I have nothing to change in to. I know who I have been but I continue to struggle with who I am right now. The question that replays in my mind like an old 8-track on repeat is this: How am I supposed to be spending my time right now? To be honest with you, when I look into the future I currently don't see anything, not like a depressive state where the future is bleak but I literally don't see anything. The canvas remains blank and I the painter stare eyes glazed with paint and brush in hand and no idea of what to paint next. The obvious next hat to wear is Mother, but what does that look like? A part of me wonders if this is my maker's way of finally turning to HIM to ask who I am, my purpose and how I should be spending my time. If that is the plan, it's working.--@DP

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Letting Go of God

I heard a woman talk on NPR a couple of days ago named Julia Sweeny. Julie has written a book called, "Letting Go of God" and travels around the country speaking about the idea of letting God go. She grew up in Catholothism and now is atheist after REALLY reading the bible. As the show was going on I was writing a couple of things down that I wanted to blog about because it was just so curious to me. She discussed how if people REALLY read the bible the would realize you can't possibly believe what's in their because it's crazy. God asking you to kill you son? She also said we have no evidence of GOD at all or for anything that happened in the bible. She feels like she has a higher level of thinking now after letting go of God because now she can actually think and question things. Next up was the caller who stated Sweeney has really helped him to Let Go of God but he describes the process as "graduating" from God and he has moved on to a more sophisticated level of thinking because of it. At the beginning of the call he talked about growing up Mormon and doing the whole mission thing and in the middle of the call said he had to move on from the church because he was gay.

I was so intrigued due to the argument, most often laid by far left liberals, that believing in God is frankly naive and to believe in God, you must not have stopped to question, challenge or critically think about anything. Because if you had, well you wouldn't believe to be quite frank. I can totally see how the stories in the bible are "crazy" if looked at through our modern day lens and not considered from their context. I can also see how the stories have gotten somewhat lost in translation. I also think it's sad when people get so into the intellectual process they miss out on the spiritual/intuitive process (I said spiritual not religious) and subtleties of life. If everything has to be scientifically proven well, that would discount a lot of things including my hips that healed due to fasting and praying? The group think is also not limited to Utah, I have found it in any place where their is a dominant cultural norm. Go to the bible belt and get your Baptist and Evangelical on, go to Utah and get your Mormon on, or don't, because religion is such a either or issue here (if you're not Mormon well then you're nothing), go to Hawaii and get your Polynesian on because if you're white in certain parts it simply won't cut it.

The call also reminded me of grad school in social work at the University of Utah where you literally had 30 people in each class divided into the "Mormons" and the "Liberated." The liberals, which included everybody that wasn't Mormon, would claim they were thoughtully open and liberated with their thinking--so open that they were closed to even discussing religion/spirituality period. Mormons were pegged, pinned up and not heard in those classes because "our arguments were naive and filtered through a religious lens." It was the first time I actually joined with 16 other students out of the 130 to talk to the dean to express some discrimination not just from the students but the professors. Mind you one of the aforementioned classes was a class on Diversity. I don't like Utah for that reason...religion is very polarized and it's just as bad if you are as if you aren't--at least in Salt Lake Silly.

As a self-proclaimed spiritual RepubliCrat who has found her place of expression and spiritual medium in Mormonism, I feel strongly to question and grapple with my religion, life's happenings and what is being taught within acaademia. I can question my Prophet and find out for myself if what he is saying is true. However, my process of questioning is not solely through my brain or science and what I know or can have proven to know. Does this make me naive, a blind follower? I think not, I think it opens me up to all of the possible ways to gather information through all of my God given senses--even the ones you can't see or prove.--@DP

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Life's Timing

Think back to when you were 14 maybe 17 possibly even 6 years old and all of the plans you would lay out for your life. "I'll graduate from High school, go to college, get married at 24, get pregnant 2 years later at 26 so "we" can enjoy our time together, have 3 children..." Sound familiar to anyone? What was never taught or discussed is when you reach 24, you're done doing YOUR things, the prince of your dreams isn't just there waiting for you, in fact you haven't even met him and sit single and dating a bunch of non-committal or not-right guys which really sets your plans back a few. You get married at 26, 2 years later, after meeting many princes but not THE prince, then when it comes to having kids 2 years later, according to the plan, TRYING gets a whole new meaning, and maybe take you longer than 2. In fact trying just meant, "Kay I'm ready, let my pregnancy begin" assuming that getting pregnant simply happens. I guess what's the amazing part about life is when you project into your future, you are projecting your current self from your current age. You dream of life as you basically have known life or know it currently. So when you are 17 you look at your future from a 17 year old perspective, or from a 14 year old perspective or a 27 year old perspective. What's not taken into account is all of the unpredictable events, timing that is much bigger than your own and all of the ways you will grow-up, change, and develop your perspective and experience base. I have learned and relearned that some of the best things in my life were not planned for at all, the way the timing of the events actually happened was far better than what I could have timed, and all of the new things introduced into my life because of life's spontaneity were incredible.--@DP

Monday, November 5, 2007

"The Finer Things Club...It's a Pretty Exclusive Club"

On last weeks office, we were introduced to the highly exclusive Finer Things Club whereby you only get to participate IF you receive an invite from one of the members. Even if you are an Andy type and try and get your way in by reading what "they" read, dressing how "they" dress and talking how "they" talk, if you're not personally invited, you're not in.

This has been an ongoing battle for me in my life, wanting to be a part of a "club" or a group of friends, but enjoying being a floater and hanging out with ALL of the different groups. In high school I was friends with the jocks, the skaters, the loners, the preppies and even a few Gothics. I had 2 best-friends as my core, but having friends from all walks really kept my life interesting and edifying. I really like the idea of having a solid go-to group of friends but feel it can at times be pretty limiting, especially, for the extrovert in me who loves rather thrives on meeting new people.

However, there are pro's and con's to both the floater and the groupie. If you are part of a group when it comes to gatherings you are ALWAYS included because you're...a part of the group. You have friends that you go through life with and are woven tightly into your life story. Now if you don't go to a group gathering inevitably you will get harassed because it's a group gathering and when they mean group that means you. You also end up giving a lot of your social time to this group which for many is no big deal. The nice about a group, however, is you always belong somewhere.

For the floater, you get to go to a lot of different events with a lot of different people, which for me, can be a lot of fun. Trips, gatherings, parties, dinners, weekends all with different people BUT if it's a group thing you risk not getting invited because you're not a given as a part of "the group." Being a floater can take a little more effort simply because you have more people to stay in touch with if you choose to not be with a group and if you want more of a social life then sitting home and blogging about a scene in the office that reminded you of something or who knows what. But if you can make the effort life can be pretty spicy!

What does this have to do with anything? I've recently started with some other couples a "club" if you will. Part of the club is we do dinner once a month but it's not an open invite, which for me has already been quite the challenge. If one of the couples is interested in having another couple join, then you bring the other couple to some other hangout session so the club can see how things mesh. This is all so counter-intuitive to me because I have, for the most part, been a more the merrier type girl. Which, as many can attest to, has made for some rather awkward or not as comfortable as it could be gatherings. AND I am always along the lines of, I like 'em so everyone will like 'em.

For all of my life I have never prescribed to a group unless soccer or other sports count. I've liked my freedom of roaming but have envied the luxury of always being included. This new club I think will be a good balance where I have a group of friends to belong to while still being able to go out and do my floater thing...The Dinner Club..I guess we're pretty exclusive :)--@DP

Friday, September 28, 2007

White Privilege

There are those moment where you are reminded. You are reminded that the way you experience life is not the way majority of people experience life. You are reminded that you are in circumstances unique to you--given advantages simply by your placement, your color and you did nothing to earn that.

White privilege was introduced to me Fall 2005 at the University of Utah in my Diversity Class. Admittedly, I listened to the idea of White Privilege but left it at that...an idea. However, in a matter of days filled with in depth discussions White Privilege moved from an idea into a reality and became my reality. One of the first articles I received was by a female author named Peggy McIntosh titled: White Privilege; Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. This concept, these facts, were very painful for me when I realized the pain it caused for those around me who were not white. White Privilege can be summarized as: The unearned, unjustified advantages not automatically afforded to people of color in this country and generally taken for granted by those of us who are classified as “white.” It is the reality that contrasts with the sincere fiction of the American myth of meritocracy, which says that everything we have must have been earned.

I still remember my professor asking the mostly white classroom,"When was the last time, here in Utah, you were described as 'the white girl?' As a person who is white, you have a name. You are referenced as Kristin, not as 'Do you know the black girl in our class?" ONE: That hadn't ever happened to me and TWO: I haven't ever even HAD to think about IF that had happened to me before this class BECAUSE ...I'm white.

Heidi Schlumpf said, "White privilege is also about what we white people don’t get: the multiple May-I-help-you’s when we enter high-end shops, always being asked for ID when we use our credit cards, the hassle of being pulled over by police officers for “driving while black.” It can be as simple as knowing that history books, greeting cards, even Band-Aids will include our skin color, or as complex as not having to worry that no matter what we do -- positive or negative -- it will not be a reflection of our entire race. No one ever says, “Isn’t it great how that white person won the Pulitzer Prize this year” or “Look at that white mass murderer.”

To counter the repulsive idea of being even remotely a racist most of us choose to share the perspective of being "color blind" or "I view us ALL the same." Though it may sound nice in theory it states you don't see their color, their culture their community. If you are in a classroom with Mexicans, Black Americans and say,"I just see kids", you are denying them their very identity.

Jamie T. Phelps of Xavier University in New Orleans stated,"The sad truth about white privilege is that it not only harms people of color, but also damages the lives, psyches and souls of white people. We need a mutual conversion from the unbalanced reality of white superiority and black inferiority, I don’t think black people and brown people are the only victims of racism. White folks are also victims of racism, but they’re in denial about it,” she said. White privilege is the other side of the coin of racism. And you’re not going to solve the problem by addressing white privilege in isolation from racism.”

In our smalls world we may construct these stories we believe to be true about racism and white privilege. We may believe or tell ourselves, "Racism is a thing of the past. Our country, in all it's advancement and progressiveness, is beyond discriminating against a person of color." The fact is it exists today as much as it ever has. There is definite improvement, but when you learn in 2001 that outside the "Parameter" in Atlanta a high school was celebrating their first integrated prom? And not because it was beyond time to have an integrated prom, but because the kids fought the administration and their parents to be granted permission to have an integrated prom...We have a long way to still go.

You can choose to read this post and never think about this concept another day in your life, but remember, to not HAVE to think about it? That's a privilege. --@DP

To learn more about White Privilege you can view the following links:
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Owning Unearned White Privilege
Diversity Vs. White Privilege
Defining White Privilege
The Angry Black Woman
White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son
Whiteness in the News

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Did We Learn About Any Of This In HERStory?...I Mean, HIStory.

Where did this information go if not in our classrooms when we were learning that Women got the vote in 1920? Prior to seeing the movie, Iron Jawed Angels, I knew women got the vote in 1920, but I had no idea the cost it took to get the vote and the amazing bravery behind this effort. HBO produced this movie starring Hilary Swank telling the story of Suffrage with a contemporary twist. Alice Paul, the leader behind the movement, is a heroin that was never mentioned in any of my history books nor included in any of the stories surrounding suffrage. I had no idea hundreds of women went to prison trying to get the vote, that women were force fed raw eggs through feeding tubes as a means to get them to stop picketing the president to get the vote, that women were harassed, violently acted upon and seen as "insane" due to their desire to have a say in the very laws they were expected to abide by. My very own Great Grandmother Susa Y Gates, was a leader for the suffrage movement in the west. These nameless women were strong, they were brave and they fought for the luxury we now have today of voting. It's high time we start balancing out HIStory and teaching our children how women received the vote and how far from casual the process was. --@DP

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

To Seek Satisfaction

I had supervision today for my profession and one of the topics we discussed was being satisfied, satisfied with where you are at, where life is at, where your relationships are at. Thinking about this, I think I am conditionally satisfied. Yes I love my life, my "relationship" and relationships but I have always struggled with being in a continual effort to take most things in my life to that next level...whatever "that" level may be. What is the balance between continuing to improve, pushing, striving vs. being content, going with the flow, and being? If I really boiled this down and oversimplified it would be a battle between lazy and ambitious, fluid and structured, human-being and human-doing but all of those terms seem to lay on the extreme ends of the spectrum and my life is far too vivid to be stuck in the black and white. So what is that balance where you are comfortable but not so comfortable you regress and not seeking out growth constantly at the expense of being and enjoying where you are?

I struggle with finding how to maximize my calling, I struggle to find and understand what my calling even is, I struggle with identifying who I am at this stage in my life. I want to have a feeling of satisfaction of contentment...I guess that is something that I really am searching for right now. I just want to be in a place where I am satisfied. However, with my religious beliefs I am not sure if the structure of our life plan is to live comfortably because we are to experience much pain and tribulation along with major joy and happiness for the betterment of our selves. How do I define myself now that I am a wife but I enjoy work, ideas, life? How do my husband and I redefine male/female roles but honor the strengths and realities of the sexes in our lives? What do I want to be doing with my time? There are so many messages out there ready to define you, ready to corner you into a box, ready to seduce you into beliefs that may not be true for you.

Is it a matter of gratitude, a shift from looking at things from a deficiency standpoint? Is it looking at all you have around you, humbly noting all of the blessings both subtle and obtuse?

How have the many women out there found peace and contentment in their lives? The mothers, the academics, the artists, the wives, the business women, the professionals? If you can hear me... --@DP

Monday, August 27, 2007

"You've Got Me Suicidal?"

The timing couldn't have been more impeccable. Leaving the University of Utah ER after my shift Saturday evening (I am a Crisis Worker), I make it to my car and am greeted by a Hip Hop song that wreaks of distorted but all too common relationship ideals in our country. It is a song by Sean Kingston, whom I have never heard of, and is about a beautiful girl that when she ends the relationship, makes him well...suicidal. Here is the chorus that is repeated over and over, it should actually be named Suicidal, not Beautiful girl.

Your way to beautiful girl
that's why it will never work
you had me suicidal, suicidal
when you say it's over
damn all these beautiful girl
they only wanna do you dirt
they'll have you suicidal suicidal
when they say it's over

If it weren't so completely curious to me, I would have changed the station because the song was not in the least something I would actually listen to. But it grabbed me because of the message it was sending. There have been songs through the era's that have been questionable, but never have any of them been so blunt as to say, "I am going to kill myself now that you are gone." Sounds like Romance Spirit to me. Nothing let me know the guy was really into me like a good suicidal threat..."Oh sweety, I had no idea, I love you too?!" Is that the message we are sending about relationships these days? Your world becomes a Beautiful Girl or a Beautiful boy and if it's over you become suicidal because life is simply not worth living anymore? Where's the sense of self, the self-esteem, the self-worth...or just having a life? Life is full of good-byes and disappointments, let's tap into a little bit more emotional skill in dealing with them and teach our kids the same. Let's face it, our teenagers are going to break-up with every person they fall in love with or date until they find the one. Let's challenge the type of relationships the media present s to us and our children and help them healthily navigate the crazy world of love.

Here's an article to check your thinking about relationships:

Silly Love Songs

Is it love, or a mutual strangulation society? Martha Beck shows you five ways to get a real grip on the real thing.

In a folktale that has been retold for centuries in many variations (one of which is Shakespeare's King Lear), an elderly king asks his three daughters how much they love him. The two older sisters deliver flowery speeches of filial adoration, but the youngest says only "I love you as meat loves salt." The king, insulted by this homely simile, banishes the youngest daughter and divides his kingdom between the older two, who promptly kick him out on his royal heinie. He seeks refuge in the very house where his third daughter is working as a scullery maid. Recognizing her father, the daughter asks the cook to prepare his meal without salt. The king eats a few tasteless mouthfuls, then bursts into tears. "All along," he cries, "it was my youngest daughter who really loved me!" The daughter reveals herself and all ends happily (except in King Lear, where pretty much everybody dies).

Each of the following five statements is the polar opposite of what most Americans see as loving commitment. But these are "meat loves salt" commitments, as necessary as they are unconventional. Only if you and your beloved can honestly say them to each other is your relationship likely to thrive.

1. I can live without you, no problem.

"I can't live," wails the singer, "if living is without you." The emotion that fuels this kind of relationship isn't love; it's desperation. It can feel romantic at first, but over time it invariably fails to meet either partner's needs.

If this is how you feel, don't start dating. Start therapy. Counseling can teach you how to get your needs met by the only person responsible for them: you. "I can live without you" is an assurance that sets the stage for real love.

2. My love for you will definitely change.

Most human beings seem innately averse to change. Once we've established some measure of comfort or stability, we want to nail it in place so that there's no possibility of loss. Unfortunately, this is another promise that is more likely to scuttle a relationship than shore it up.

The reason is that everything—and everyone—is constantly changing. We age, grow, learn, get sick, get well, gain weight, lose weight, find new interests and drop old ones. Many people fear that if their love is free to change, it will vanish. The opposite is true. A love that is allowed to adapt to new circumstances is virtually indestructible.

3. You're not everything I need.

I'm a big fan of sexual monogamy, but I'm puzzled by lovers who claim that their romantic partner is the only person they need in their lives or that time together is the only activity necessary for emotional fulfillment. Humans are designed to live in groups, explore ideas, and constantly learn new skills. Trying to get all this input from one person is like trying to get a full range of vitamins by eating only ice cream. When a couple believes "We must fulfill all of each other's needs, each becomes exhausted by the effort to be all things to the other and neither can develop fully as an individual.

Sacrificing all our individual needs doesn't strengthen a relationship. Mutually supporting each other's personal growth does.

4. I won't always hold you close.

There's a thin line between a romantic statement like "I love you so much, I want to share my life with you until death do us part" and the lunatic-fringe anthem "I love you so much that if you try to leave me, I'll kill you." People who say such things love others the way spiders love flies; they love to capture them, wrap them in immobilizing fetters, and drain nourishment out of them at peckish moments. This is not the kind of love you want.

The way you can tell real love from spider love is simple: Possessiveness and exploitation involve controlling the loved one, whereas true love is based on setting the beloved free to make his or her own choices.

5. You and I aren't one.

Perhaps you are neither a spider nor a fly, but a chameleon who morphs to match the one you love. Or you may date chameleons, choosing partners who conform to your personality. Either way, you're not in a healthy relationship. In fact, you're not in a relationship at all.

If you're living by the "We are one" ideal, it's high time you found out how terrific love for two can be. Follow your heart in a direction your partner wouldn't go. Dare to explore your differences. Agree to disagree. If you're accustomed to disappearing, this will allow you to see that you can be loved as you really are. If you tend to dominate, you'll find out how interesting it is to love an actual person rather than a human mirror. --@DP

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Art of Boredom

The art of boredom is nothing more than the ability to occupy your mind and being while in the midst of a seemingly dry moment. When I used to encounter people who would say, "I am so bored" or "last night was so boring" I used think, "well I bet that is because you are boring and need to broaden yourself, your thoughts, increase your skills of observation...and you are probably well...high maintenance." My belief is this, there are those moments in life where you could technically be "bored", I honor and recognize those moments, but it's what we do in those moments that count. Move from being entertained dependent to entertainment independent. While at an event look at everyone's buttons on their shirts or locate small details on a wardrobe, at home pick up a book you haven't read in a while, find recipes, or delight in researching how to get your whites their whitest, sit and think about the galaxy or plan your next fabulous party. There is so much out there just waiting to be snatched up...Boredom is an art and their is an artist in us all :)--@DP

Monday, July 16, 2007

Divorce Sucks

My title pretty much says it all and like my brother said tonight, "Divorce is the gift that just keeps on giving." You know, sometimes I wonder if death would be easier than divorce because you can deal with the pain, heal and move on. With divorce, you may as well have a knife stabbed in your heart and have it slowly turning rotisserie style or a gaping wound with a slow drip of salt solution going until the day you die. For those out there who think kids are resilient and will get over it is unrealistic. Kids may learn how to get better at dealing with it and get used to the situation, the emotions may be stronger at times and dormant other times, but to assume or expect that it goes away is highly unlikely. My parents divorced approximately 10 years ago and it still rears it's head in my life. Though their divorce wasn't ugly or mean, which was a giant blessing, the crumble of your family is simply not an easy thing no matter how it is sliced. I have learned a lot and continue to learn a lot. I have new perspective on marriage and not hoping it will work out but actively putting effort to make it work, implementing good practices of communication and having those crucial conversations. But plain and simple: Divorce sucks...it just sucks.--@DP

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Blogging Rights

Just a thought...blogging is a really unique place in the sense that people comfortably and freely share of their successes, things they have created, new thoughts and victories. You don't often see this in day-to-day interaction because it may come across as arrogance, self-absorbtion, etc. But the blogosphere is the one place where you can have bragging rights...I mean blogging rights!--@DP

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mommy Dearest

Oh for the last 2 months or so there have been feelings, impressions, call it what you will...but thoughts in my heart about becoming a mom. I say they are feelings in my heart because my mind kicks into over drive countering any idea of the mother notion. Fact: I'm not baby hungry. Fact: I have selfish motives for not having children right now. Fact: I'm scared I won't be able to get pregnant. Fact: I don't want to give up my independence. Truth: There is something bigger than me and all my facts pushing me in a direction I'm not ready for nor do I feel like I will ever be ready for. Two dogs are hard enough, take a lot of work, and are expensive. I have always liked to idea of kids because they haven't ever been so close to a reality. Now that I am at a point in my life where I could actually have, care for and provide for a child...the idea isn't so swell. My friend brought over a book called, "I am a Mother." I am trying to get through it, but it's very hard for me because I am just not ready to go there yet. There is a part of me that knows once you go there, there is no going back and that's just scary. I'm a youngest, I didn't have any younger siblings, younger cousins...I don't know how to be a mom or care for babies. I don't even know how to hold them upright when their necks are still wobbly. I haven't changed a diaper in literally a decade...at least. I had a great mother growing up and have a great mother now. My sister is a great mother, I love her kids. I love her kids because they are not my kids. I think when I was little I thought you'd arrive when you were an adult and life would just become simple because you knew it all and well, you were an adult so you had feelings and outlook like an adult. So I guess I ask, where is the adult in me? Where is the mother in me? Where do I fit in this whole thing right now in my life?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cause and Effect

As I have been researching the Privatization of Water by major US corporations in other countries, it "caused" me to think about our actions and their results, which led to the "effect" of writing this blog. How often do we, as Americans, stop to think about the effect of our actions? When was the last time you took your trash out and thought,"now where does all this trash go?", or how 'bout turning on your light switch thinking, "Wow, this is incredible that this electricity is brought all the way to my house from a little (or big) electrical plant"? I guess my point is I think as American's we often tend to be entitled little children that think very little about how our actions will impact both the immediate and long term picture. Case and point, look at insurance...it covers the effect, but will not pay to prevent the cause. We just deal with the aftermath. Europe, Canada and other progressively green countries have had recycling and other green initiatives for a long time now where in America we are now reacting to where we have driven our planet to. Sometimes the attitude of our country, which I love and appreciate, drives me nuts.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Broadening the Definition of Pornography

The infamous Bachelor has come and gone. Bevin went out and Tessa moved in. For those of you watch the bachelor you might have noticed it has somewhat of an addictive lure to it. One that is enticing NOT because of the hot and steamy sex scenes but the unobtainable romance that you see week after week. Is pornography limited to only unrealistic, inappropriate sex? I don't think so. If you look at pornography, ultimately it steals the hearts of "men" away from their wives and families and gives them an unrealistic impression of what sex is, should be and ultimately could be...but they are not getting it in THEIR house. Sexual pornography doesn't show you the times when it's not "blow-out orgasmic sex", when it's just mundane or quick or simply at matter of function to create. Isn't Hollywood romance somewhat like that? We are shown the highlights of a relationship without being shown the lulls, the arguments, the communication glitches, the time when the guy actually DOES forget to call, etc. It has the ability to pull your heart away from your husband, and places an unrealistic expectation within a relationship of what is should be, and ultimately could be. The camera's role 24 hours a day for a week and we see what they want us to see, to create this fairytale fantasy. I am not sure that pornography is limited to only sexual...I believe "pornography" is anything that distorts your perception of reality and pulls your heart away from whom it is committed to.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Just Believe

When was the last time where you really believed in someone? Not just believed in their day-to-day ongoings, where it's easy to believe and your neck is far from being out on the line but really taking a chance at believing in the underdog even if it was at the expense of your dreams, your hopes, your trust, your faith...your neck? Don't you find that it's easy to believe in those who give you reason to believe, that actually also believe in themselves? Is that really belief or merely observing the observable trait in someone who has figured out the world enough to have a bundle of successes under their belt. What about those who don't give you many reasons at all; that don't have the odds of success in their favor and you go through disappointment after disappointment with the occasional success, yet you notice this small spark that may grow into a blaze if it's given just the right amount of stoking? Where is your neck then? Is it on the line or safely tucked away until the ratio of gains to losses improves? When was the last time you really believed in someone and carried their belief when they had very little...because that is the belief I want to have in my own life to show towards another. To answer my own questions? It's been far too long.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Are you my mother?

Mother's day. A day where women are celebrated, in particular those who have born or adopted children. Traditionally this has been the case, but this year, a few around me...including myself were celebrated. Not celebrated because I have children, in fact, according to my husband I am approximately 15 months away from even thinking about children. But as my thoughtful husband put it I am "a mother-to-be, a mother to him in certain ways and a mother to our dogs." My best-friend's husband dedicated an entire blog to her because of her mothering qualities and her potential to be a mother. But is a mother limited to the role of bearing or raising her own children? What about those women who never had the chance to marry but mother the children in the ward, their siblings children, the children in the neighborhood? What about the women that are unable to bear children and choose not to adopt but mother rear a wonderful home, actively love their husband or not have a husband and care for the animals? I would like to broaden the definition of what traits and attributes make up a mother and say thank you to the many mother's in my life that have helped raise and shape me into the person I am.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Living a Celestial Marriage In Everyday Life?

Today Jake gave a great lesson in the Gospel Essentials class on the restoration of the gospel. He shared how he has been converted not just one time but approximately 7 times. This caused me to think about my marriage and how I have been converted the first time by actually getting married and now that I am married, I have converted a few times or rather, recommitted, to my marriage and being a better wife. Jake made the point that as faithful members of the Gospel we should continually seek to be reconverted always and I say as faithful members of marriage, we too should continually seek to be reconverted.

A while back, my sister talked to me about a presentation she attended that talked about marriage in relation to the kingdoms. For example, those living a telestial marriage are looking at it and wondering, "What's in it for me? And if YOU are not making me happy, then I am outta here." A Terestial marriage looks a little more selfless where you are willing to look at your partner's needs before your own, AS LONG AS, they are doing the same. More of a "I will love you as long you love me back, I will give to you as long as you give back to me." Lastly, A Celestial Marriage is absolute Selflessness, it's, "I will love you...Period." Up until today, i thought for the most part I lived a Terestial marriage, but humility has shown me that I will dabble with Terestial for a couple weeks at a time until I become very self-aware, get angry and move to a Telestial state and say repeatedly, "What's in it for me? YOU are not loving me infact, what are you doing for me at all?"

My honest reaction to my realization? I'm not sure if I could let go and trust myself or Jake enough to live day-to-day in Terrestial marriage, let alone truely let go enough to live a Celestial marriage. It's frightening and fear based for me. I fear the unknown and wonder if my partner would just soak up my love and not give back at all. History has proven this to not be true, but these thoughts are the very thoughts that keep me stuck in my current perspective state with my marriage.

In Jake's lesson he talked about how the same scripture that Joseph came across that dropped him to his knees (If ANY of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God) applies to everyone regarding anything where you are indeed lacking wisdom. He made a great point about those moments in life where we simply say, "I don't know" and using those as our guide posts and indicators to invite the Lord in and ask for his wisdom. That scripture promises that God will give liberally. And so I will start with one area of my many where I lack wisdom, faith and courage. So I am going to take Jake up on his challenge, to find something and go through the wisdom seeking process:

1. Serious Reflection
2. More Reflection
3. Ask of God
4. Pray Vocally
5. In Solitude
6. Receive your Answer

I have been reading some wonderful talks today about how to increase your faith in marriage, increase humility, live celestially. Ultimately, I would like to write my own thoughts on this topic but I am just in the beginning of my quest. In the meantime and if you are interested, let me point you to the following talks.

You can find these on LDS.org and simply enter the titles in the SEARCH bar on the homepage:

Is there trust in your marriage? -- Christie Frandsen
The pitfalls of a paralell marriage -- Charles Beckertt

Saturday, April 28, 2007

What's a Soul?

I had a conversation with a co-worker the other day about my dogs and the difficulty I was having with them and their obedience. Due to a bout of frustration, I hit Kai on the nose and felt really really bad about it. My coworker said, "Well that's ok because Dogs don't have a soul." Without thinking I responded with, "Of course they do, every living thing has a soul/spirit." She defined a soul as your "will" or ability to make a "choice" which is interesting but I think Dogs do choose and have a will. So Jake and I talked about it at the park today and he thought humans and animals have a spirit because they have a brain but plants and other organisms have "the essence of life or energy." That makes sense because plants that are talked to seem to flourish and I don't think it is because of the actual conversation but the energy you are investing into the plant. With that understanding I then asked him, "If you're not dead then what are you?" and he replied, "Alive." Which I then asked, "What is it that makes something alive and you can't just say because it's not dead." Jake's thought was anything that grows. So take a cellular process, I suppose it grows but I'm just still not sure on this. What makes something alive or is the essence of life and what has a soul/spirit?

Future Wishes

As a little girl I always loved stumbling across the dead dandelion because it meant I was able to blow all of the seeds like bubbles into the air and make a wish. There was something magical for me no matter how many times I did it. Today, I really haven't grown out of it and in fact appreciate this from a different light because it keeps the little girl in alive in me. The Dandelion Postings are just my inquiries, my quandaries, my curiosities, my naievities and my plain old messups. Nothing deep or symbolic about my title I simply like the way it sounds, the way it feels and the fact that to notice the dead dandelions OR the alive wishes waiting to be plucked, you have to take time to observe, be in the moment, remember to dream, and soak in the world around you. You also have to be willing to consider viewing something from a different perspective or you may have nothing but a bunch of dead weeds overtaking your yard.

Thank you for visiting The Dandelion Postings.