Sunday, September 14, 2014

Right and Wrong

For those who don't know this yet, I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so in other words, I'm a Mormon.

It kind of cracks me up that people think we are full of hate when we are really a very loving people. I think it's because we have different rules of right and wrong than most people. So, in a effort to clear this up a little bit I've decided to explain what "right" and "wrong" mean to me.

God in His infinite wisdom knows the happiest and best possible course and end for each of us. This is to become like God, literally. Our Heavenly Father, having attained this goal Himself, wants each of us to have all He has. So He has given us specific instructions, called commandments.

Following commandments is kind of like following a compass heading. There is only one "right on the mark." Everything else is wrong. They are different degrees of wrongness, but every last one of them will fail to get you exactly where you want to go. Being 1 degree off or being 90 degrees off, either way, you are going to miss the mark. Anything that does not lead you to Godhood is "wrong."

None of us are perfect, and yes all of us Mormons know we aren't perfect. As Christians, we believe that Christ can and will make up for our imperfections, after all that we can do. We don't, however think this is a one shot deal.

We believe that God constantly corrects us as we follow our compass and seek to follow Him. He doesn't force Salvation on anyone, but He knows it is easier for us to allow Him to correct our alignment a degree at a time than to turn a huge amount. The fewer degrees we are off track the easier it is for us to allow Him to bring us fully in line.

God doesn't force anyone to Heaven, we have to want it, we have to walk it, and we have to learn to accept course correction.

So when a Mormon says, "We believe it is wrong to drink alcohol."
Please, please, please, do not hear, "I think you are disgusting and evil because you drink that stuff."
Because, what we are really saying is, "It's hard enough for me to accept course correction as it is! I can't afford to deaden myself to feeling God's promptings."

We find safety, peace, and joy in walking as close to the right direction as possible.

Now here's the part where people get really confused: It pains us to watch people we care about walking in another direction.

People think, "You hate everyone who isn't like you. You can't accept that I have a right to live differently."

That isn't true.
We aren't about hate.
We do know you have the choice to do what you want with your life, your eternity.

We just wish you wouldn't make choices that turn you away from what we honestly, truly, 100% believe is the only path that ends in happiness.

And, isn't caring about your eternal happiness... loving you?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stage fright

I've been singing in front of people all my life. I get nervous when I'm up there. I get even more nervous when I'm singing in front of singers.
Why?
Well, why do any of us get nervous? I get nervous because I think they are thinking unkind things about me. I think they are noticing every note that is slightly off, every word slurred, every time I get off beat, and I think they are judging me for it.
I think these things because I've been around musician who sit there and unfavorably critique performances.

But what's more, I think these things because *I* have sat there and critiqued performances.

Oh, I try not to. I try to enjoy, I try to love and support, I try to fight the dark, judgmental thoughts that enter my head. I succeed a lot more these days, but I still fight them. I hate that I still have to fight, I don't want to be this way.

So naturally I've feared those dark thoughts in the heads of others.

But that thinking is on me too, and it's time that I accepted this. If my dark thoughts while others perform are my problem, then their dark thoughts while I perform are their problem.

No matter how badly I do, no matter how sharp or flat, or even perfect or flawed, my performance is, what people think during it, what they feel during it, that's on them.

I need to let that be on them.

Of course I will continue to work on my own ability to listen with love and not judgment. Maybe this realization I had this morning will help me with that. Maybe I just opened the door to a whole new world of music for myself.
Maybe, just maybe, I'll even be able to listen to recordings of myself and not hate every moment of it. Maybe even I will be able to actually enjoy hearing myself sing. Maybe I'll even get to the point with myself that I'm at with listening to my dear friend Kim, where I forget every tiny mistake because I'm too busy crying over the resplendent beauty of her playing.
I kind of laughed at myself just now. All this time I've been able to love Kim's music unconditionally, and I haven't been able to do the same for my own.

Sigh, oh how far I have to go... and yet... I'm so thankful for how far I've just come.

Thank you Heavenly Father, you're right, I needed this.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Being a Mormon Woman

I love my Heavenly Father. I love my Heavenly Mother. I love Jesus Christ. I love the Holy Ghost. I love being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I'm not a cookie-cutter Mormon woman. I can't stand scrapbooking, it's like nails on the chalkboard to me. I don't even much like doing crafts at Relief Society meetings (but that is just because I don't consider art projects that anyone can do and which look like everyone else's to be worth my time.) I'm re-married, semi-Goth, a Psychology Major, and my teenager is highly embarrassed at how tight my shirts are and how dark my lipstick is.
I think of myself as a fringe of the fold Mormon. I'm in the fold, and I'm going to stay. I had my little foray into never-never-land and figured out for myself that the Gospel is true and that the true path to peace and eternal happiness are in the things I was rebelling against.
I'm not heart of the fold. I'm not all hyper about how white my wool is. I know I'm not perfect yet. I'm okay with that. I'm okay with that because I know my shepherd is okay with that. I don't have to be spotless to be HIS. I know He loves me and is proud of me. I know what I mean to Him and what He means to me, and I don't have to prove that to anyone around me because anyone who spends time with me can just see it.
I'm at the fringe of the fold because someone has to be there calling out to the ones that are still out in the desert. I've gained a lot of compassion and perspective over the years, and I use it to love the people others find hard to love. That's me.
Some would think, "Oh, she's a strong independent thinker, I bet she wants the Priesthood."
I absolutely do not want the Priesthood.
In fact I find it laughable that people think that I should think that I need it. I'm sorry... why? Why would I need it?
So here's my perspective for anyone who is still reading accounts of us "downtrodden" Mormon women.
I am a DAUGHTER of God.
I have Heavenly Parents who are infinitely more wise than I am. I have a personal relationship with BOTH of them. I have seen the hand of the Heavenly in my life and I am so very grateful for it.
I understand that my life is a learning experience. I am here to make choices, to ask questions, to get answers from a LOT of sources, and in the end to learn to weed out which sources are true. I am here to learn the taste of truth, learn it so well that it is the only flavor I desire, learn it so well that I can find the tiny bits of truth in all things and recognize it when something is pure truth.
I am here to learn to be what I was Spiritually Born to be, a goddess. The path to renouncing all else and becoming a goddess is fraught with temptations and perils. My Heavenly Parents have provided a way for me to learn and get the answers to my questions. It is the BEST way there is for their daughters to travel this journey. That way is called being a Righteous Woman.
I have no need to be a Righteous Priesthood Holder. Why? Because that is the BEST way for their SONS to become a god.
They are different, but similar destinations. They are equal.
(Well, okay, in my heart of hearts I really prefer being a girl. Not that guys aren't equal to us, but it's just not my style. I am SO GLAD I am not a man.)
Men need the Priesthood to learn.
With all the HORRIBLE things that the world shoves in their faces and says "real men do this... and real men do that..." well it just stands to reason that God made a structured, guided, responsibility heavy, service oriented, program to help his sons know what future gods are really supposed to do.
I mean seriously, guys are up against a lot, and it's hard for them to know what examples to follow, what paths are right. The real, godly role models for men in this world are very few. It can be hard for men to develop the crucial traits they need and to cut out all the stuff they don't need. The Priesthood is there to help them learn compassion, honor, selflessness, responsibility, leadership, sacrifice, kindness, unconditional love, self restraint and other godly traits. They have the Priesthood to learn to be like God.
I don't need to horn in on that. I don't need to be part of that training program. I have my own training program. I learn from my womanhood every day. I am learning to be like my Heavenly Mother.
Yes I know, all those attributes that I listed that guys need to learn are things I need to learn too. Trust me I am painfully aware of how far I have to go. I just trust that my Heavenly Parents know me and themselves and the path well enough that the course they prescribed is best for me.
That doesn't mean I don't question either. Honestly, the accusation that Mormons aren't allowed to question is absurd. Of course we question. We are just careful of where we look for our answers. There are so many voices, so we trust a select few. One voice I trust, that I love to hear, that I give great regard to, is that of our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. It causes me physical pain to hear him vilified.
People say Kate Kelly got ex-communicated for asking questions. Um, no, she was teaching her own doctrine. She had previously asked questions, gotten whatever answers she got, and then she made a group, put together lessons, and preached her own doctrine. She set herself up as a teacher of new doctrine... ie a prophet.
That may be normal in other churches, but in our church we have a Prophet and we don't aspire to replace him. We are called to serve in the great network of church positions, and we do our best to carry those loads, but we don't push ourselves around on the ladder.
And that's another thing. The way that God has structured our church, people think of it as a pyramid of power. Well it is a pyramid of sorts. President Monson is at the point, and all the babies in nursery are at the other end. It isn't about power though. It's about service and responsibility. So President Monson isn't at the top, he's at the bottom. The whole church is balanced on his mortal, aging shoulders. What a weight to carry!
Yet, he loves us. He loves us deeply. That is why he is willing to carry our weight.
I feel bad for Kate Kelly, I really do, not because she was excommunicated, or that she doesn't get to hold the Priesthood, but because she has such a view of her Womanhood. I feel sorry for her that she thinks she needs the Priesthood. That breaks my heart, that she apparently doesn't get that her power is inherent, that her responsibility to serve is inborn, that the greatest among us will be the servants of all the others. She doesn't need the Priesthood to help shape and form her into what she needs to be, she just needs to trust the process that is already in place for her as a woman.
I pray this time away from the church will be a time of reflection and growth for her, as it is meant to be. I pray she will find the true path again, that she will come to understand the things that she doesn't, that she will one day be a goddess. God bless and guide you all.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

No Time for Poems

I haven't time for poems
Now that I'm in love with you,
I've not a moment to spare
There is just too much to do,

For who can write a poem
While loving a love so true?
And who has time for mere words
With such eyes to gaze into?

And who can make a poem
Who could ever find the time
To set aside such sweet lips
And just sit, and think, and rhyme?

Oh I can't write a poem
Not Tomorrow or today
For "Darling, how I love you,"
Is all I can think to say.

So I've set aside my pen
And I've started greater things,
Like basking in your presence
As my heart inside me sings.

No, I've no time for poems,
Unless I am missing you,
For when we are apart dear,
Missing you is all I do.

Thora
4-27-14
15 days until I marry my best friend

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fate


Fate

12/15/13

When Fate dies
Is she reborn,
Of her wrinkles and
Gray hair shorn?

Begins she again
With promises new,
Just as good,
Bright and true?

Rises she up
Like Phoenix song?
Is second destiny
Quite as strong?

Or does she limp
And falteringly take
Steps into the future
Her new life a fake?

Is she Fate who
Once was dead,
Or some imposter
In her stead?

Is it possible
To delirious be
When my fate
Has died in me?

I guess that I
Will wait and see.
I guess that I
Will wait and see.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Gift

Today was another one of those times when I have to stop what I am doing and find a keyboard quick, because a poem is about to spill out of my soul.

Now I can go back to my art project!


The Gift
12/10/13

Which of the gifts
The greater be?
Be it to love
Or to loved be?

For passion is
But passing flame,
And loyalty
May turn again,

But love, when true
And freely given,
Is found the greatest
Gift of heaven.

Can love yet come
To one so plain?
Yay, love sees all
Men are the same.

Weak and broken,
Pitiable men be,
When beyond
The skin you see.

Then love reaches
Out her hand,
She lifts them up,
Makes them stand.

But not the touch
Of love converts
And makes a joy
Of all their hurts.

Only in choosing
To bestow
Can fullness of joy
Man ever know.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Poems I Could Not Share, Until Now

Leaking Poetry
11/26/13

Leaking,
leaking,
my heart was leaking,
and all my words spilled on the floor.

Breaking,
Breaking,
my heart was breaking,
and all my words did rush the door.

Winging,
Winging,
my dream went winging,
back to the place it was before.

And left me empty at the core,
with all my words spilled on the floor,
and love for you is borne no more.

Then

Healing,
Healing,
my heart is healing,
and day by day is stitched in place.

Filling,
Filling,
my heart is filling,
with every tear falls from my face.

Until

Brimming,
Brimming,
my heart is brimming,
when he I meet it starts to race.

and takes up a new frantic pace.
Who would have thought this the case?
A love for me, the gift of grace.


If I'm feeling, I'm writing, but these I couldn't share, these I kept locked away, waiting for a day that will never come. But  now it doesn't matter, so I'm opening the little box of treasures, come see the diamonds I sweated and the rubies I bled.

Soliloquy
4/18/13
(This one is actually a song, a very long song)

My friends
say that we have got to speak,
if across this we would reach,
reach and hold,
hold and love,
to love and smile.

But smile,
smile is all that I can do,
do when I am here with you,
be with you,
sing with you,
just you and I.

So if I,
If I was to speak to you,
define all my words for you,
open my mouth and just pray,
these are the words I would say:

When I say, "Hello,"
it means, "I love you."
When I say, "Goodbye,"
it means, "God bring me to you,
again,"
because my friend,
there is nothing,
no where,
no one for me,
without you.

Then I,
Then I look into your eyes,
those truest eyes of blue,
no one knows,
knows and loves,
oh loves and trusts.

But you,
You with all your reasons why,
Why we should not even try,
Try to love,
Rise above,
And try to fly.

So if I,
If I was to speak to you,
define all my words for you,
open my mouth and just pray,
these are the words I would say:

When I say, "Hello,"
it means, "I love you."
When I say, "Goodbye,"
it means, "God bring me to you,
again,"
because my friend,
there is nothing,
no where,
no one for me,
without you.

Without you, without you,

No, you,
you're kinda like a white knight,
ya always try to do right,
but it's wrong,
so wrong,
to take so long.
Babe you,
Baby you just don't see,
Caught up in soliloquy,
What this does,
Does to me,
It's killing me.

So if I,
If I was to speak to you,
define all my words for you,
open my mouth and just pray,
these are the words I would say:

When I say, "Hello,"
it means, "I love you."
When I say, "Goodbye,"
it means, "God bring me to you,
again,"
because my friend,
there is nothing,
no where,
no one for me,
without you.

Stillness
4/24/13

I find that when I am far from you
I am quiet, and still, still as can be.
As if by my very stillness
I could draw you home to me.

For pace and prowl, so far you go
the wide world you wandering walk
and never stillness do you know
or just to sit, and breath, and talk.

I'll sit and wait, wait and watch
facing east in my desperate repose,
until like the sun you shining come
and bring the warmth only my heart knows.

So wander wild, wander long
spread you sunshine near and far,
but come, my love, and break my stillness,
come and rest, my shooting star.


The Song
5/5/13

I carry a song in my heart
It plays all the time in my mind
It plays be it whole or in part
And never the end shall I find

For you sing to me all the day
and lullaby all through the night
And all of the best things you say
and all of the notes you play right

My darling I sing back to you
and hope that it plays in your heart
that somehow you see it is true
that this, my dear, is my part.



On Days that I Hate You
5/14/13

On days that I hate you
I wear my high heeled shoes,
not because you dislike them
but because I really long
to be tucked under your arm.
On days that I hate you
I flirt with handsome men,
not because I feel disloyal to you
but because I would give anything
to have you claim me.

On days that I hate you
I wear my special earrings,
Not because I seek to torture
myself with a reminder of you
but because I will always
want you to be with me.

For the days that I hate you
are the days that I love you
and hate that you keep me
away from your side.


Miracles
5/17/12

What goes into a miracle?
Of what are miracles made?
It is hope? Is it love? Dedication?
It is faith that refuses to fade?

Oh what dost thou need for a miracle?
What blood sacrifice can I give
that the impossible will be possible
and the dream will finally live?

For thou hast my heart and my time
Thou hast my strength and my might
I gave all my dreams up to follow
Just point to the foe, I will fight!

But all of this stillness and patience
That now thou seemest to ask
I just don't know if my soul
Is up to this kind of task.

Oh God I beg let me bleed,
Please, let me die, let me end,
Oh let my breath still in me,
Or come, save thou thy friend.



Worthy
8/10/13

Ask me not to answer, my love
if I think myself worthy
to hold thy strong and nimble hand
and walk along with thee
ask not if I feel, that thine equal,
such a one, I could ever be.

Ask not if I think I e-en deserve
to mouth  thy sweetest name
or more if I e'er thought
to be called the very same
nay to this and all rights
I ne'r pretended I had claim.

For I know that those women
who worthily loved thee and
proudly beside thine glory
did boldly live and stand
were so much more than I
In truth, I understand.

Nay, I swear, thought not I,
my meager self, ever to aspire,
to hold thy great heart or
kindle inside of thee love's fire
Nay, instead sought I God's help
in quenching my foolish desire.

N'er thought I this very course
would long and hard before me lay
when but to banish thoughts of thee
of my heavenly Father I did pray.
Know not I, my dearest love
what defense there is to say.

So, thou finest of all mortal men,
I beg of thee, please, to hate me,
Laugh me to scorn, chide, deride,
wrench my bleeding heart, berate me,
then perhaps this the bond of God
will somehow end, abate, for me.

Till then, my love, I weep, and yearn,
I wait. I watch. I hope. I trust. I love,
while away from thee my pleading
arms thou dost so roughly shove.
Remain I, until I am freed from thee
by word from my master up above.



He Cricket
10/7/13
Outside my window the cricket chirps,
twice per second he counts my life away,
and older I become with each chirp,
never saying what I have to say.

Then pauses he, as if to catch breath,
but know I the silence in his song,
he stops not to fill miniature lungs,
but halts only when he moves along.

And sharp the pain enters my breast,
and jealousy into my heart doth race,
for sings he all of the night long,
in search of her he does call and pace.

And sit I here, and watch, and wait,
tied secure, but seemingly free.
He searches all the night for her,
When will you ever search for me?