Monday, March 27, 2006

A New Me

Don't ask me how I turned out this way. I could blame too-early sexual exposure. I could blame my parents' lack of affection. I could blame the Mormon authoritarianism. Maybe it's all of the above, or maybe it's just the way I am. But lately, I've been attempting a reinvention of Me.

Last week I got contacts, and just today I got a 3rd piercing on my left ear. When Gordon B. Hinkley gave the edict of only one pair of earrings for girls, I took my second pair out. Why? Because it was a tangible commandment I could obey, as opposed to "Love Thy Neighbor". Now I see that edict as being just another way to say, "become one of us" or "we are the Morg, we will assimilate you". Does having 3 piercings mean I'm a total punk? Not at all! There's not very many things more harmless than a cute little earring. Bunnies can do more damage!

Sure, I drink way more than I did before leaving that church. But I know that I'll find a happy medium somewhere between total alcoholic and total prude. It'll come.

Here's one thing that I'm only now learning: I have control over myself. No one else does. (I could really go off on the Mormon principle of "agency"!) And what does that mean? It means that if I want to lose weight, I don't need some bishop telling me that I will finally find happiness if I do. It means that if I'm stressed out by my kids, the safer thing to do is calm down by a drink, instead of letting it get worse and worse. It means that I can love my body the way it is, if I want to! And it also means that despite my opinions (which are mostly well-intended) I cannot expect others to have the same ones. I'm much more accepting now, in my opinion. :)

And there's one last thing I want to say. I have great examples around me of people who love themselves. It is such a strange and foreign concept to me, but one that I must learn. So I'm going to try to give myself a pat on the back once in a while. Don't think I'm a pompous prick (can a girl be a prick?), but realize that I am taking important steps to gaining balance. Peace!


Eric said...

The Commandment to "Thou shalt haveth only one set of ear baubles" is in many ways like the one where male members of the church, especially priesthooded ones, CANNOT have facial hair for fear of becoming Mahan's poo. It's a very simple, seemingly harmless, level of control and conformity that prepares members for the much deeper, more controling aspects of the church. Professional manipulators (politicians, con artists, and even playas) begin with sublte guiding cues and suggestions that get you moving in the direction they want you in. As they push you a certain way more and more, acclimation to the force allows them to push harder and you to accept more. Eventually, they might be able to tell you when and why to kill yourself and you'll gladly take action as required. I don't think this is an exageration.

Individuality, even agency, is the ultimate ability to be your own person. The church cannot exist within true agency, therefore, they spend much time and energy telling the public they have agency while scaring the hell out of them to get them to conform.

Your new piercing, my facial hair, or any other non-conformity is a single strike against the control the church has on us, our family, and those around us with enough sense to notice.

J. said...

I find that the oruice for balance is a constant one that needs to be paid. Here's something that I noticed over the past two days. I was both nice, adn extraordinarily rude, and today I am cool with everything.

Some people would think I need medication, but I am learning about myself. I'm allowing my buttons to be pushed, I'm allowing myself to feel emotions on both sides of the spectrum again.

Is it really bad to do this? I don't think so. It's the human ability to feel again after being shut down so long, that I am having a hard time processing everything, just like you.

I love the last line in the Matrix.. it opens alot of doors.



Sideon said...

I sing along to the radio or cd player when I want to feel "up" or confident. Seriously. The last couple of years, that "Beautiful" song by Christina Aguilara really did a number for me. No, not with flashing disco lights and a troop of go-go boys... but a number in the way that I remembered to raise my head, that I walked with shoulders back, and sometimes walked with an almost-strut.

Celebrate yourself. It sounds very 3rd grade, but it's a lesson in life, just like birthdays. After a certain age, no one remembers except you... SO... CELEBRATE yourself, because the worst thing you can do is forget yourself.

Lecture over. Congrats to you and the family on being "out" of the Morg (I think Epik posted something, but I'm getting tired and am not sure).

Dreamland beckons.

La said...

Those are truly beautiful words! Thank you so much Don! I will celebrate myself, and if others want to join in, that's great. But there will be at least one person who really appreciates me; ME!

Thanks again.

Joseph's Left One said...

I can certainly relate to that. Why is that we Mormons have such a hard time loving ourselves or even accepting ourselves?

We were taught in so many ways to loathe ourselves because "the natural man [or woman] is an enemy to God." So, we lose what is natural and individual about ourselves by conforming, by taking out those stupid earrings.

And they say it's not a destructive religion.