Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Inspiration"

I n the "Things I Miss About Mormonism" category, "inspiration" is pretty near the top. I put inspiration inside quotation marks because I still feel inspired by many things, I just don't feel it is as often. I love to teach. I love connecting with large groups of people on things we feel passionate about. I wanted to be a Relief Society teacher for my entire adult time in Mormonism. I substituted here and there and finally, after I had begun my faith transition, I was called to be a regular teacher. I did that for about a year and absolutely loved it. And then I stopped believing and lost the opportunity to teach Relief Society, Sunday School, Young Women's or anything. I miss it. I know I can recreate those types of things in my new lifestyle, it just isn't as easy. It's sort of like learning a new language as an adult. Or learning how to play the piano or something else. It takes time to be proficient. I began publicly speaking in church at the age of 5. So it was over 25 years of learning and teaching those lessons. It feels like starting over. It is starting over. And it's hard.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Animals, Human Beings, & Bearers of a Divine Essence

T he theme of my life of late has been "rise above." I do not necessarily mean to rise above others, although it can certainly mean that, but rather to rise above myself. Over the last couple of weeks I found myself responding and reacting quite sharply with a family member. I am humbled to admit that it took me several negative interactions to realize that the problem was me. In a situation where I would normally say, "Ok," I was being mean and snappy. I thought that I was justified in my hurt feelings and that I was asserting myself and my boundaries.
But I was responding as an animal would - without thought or consideration for anyone but myself. There was a time in my life where that kind of response was appropriate. But I have moved on from that and it is no longer appropriate for me to act that way. Now is the time to see and seek out the good in myself and in others. Now is the time for compassion and kindness and love and respect. Now is the time to find similarities and ways to validate and uplift others. 
And now is also the time to seek forgiveness.