Monday, November 17, 2008

Agency (Leah)

Marnie's post got me thinking about some of my past break-ups. One in particular, about 6 years ago, taught me to appreciate agency. He was a big fan of it. His father was not a member of the church, and despite both sons going on a mission and the family being active for 20 years, the father continued to choose to not be baptised. As a son he learned to respect his father's decision and not take it personally. When this same guy chose to not commit to me I was sad for months. I held on thinking/hoping he'd change his mind. He got married to someone else about a year later, but it took some serious self asserting action on my part to get over him. I had relied on him in many ways, and couldn't imagine not telling him everything that passed through my heart and mind. That dependence on him lasted about 5 months after our breakup. One fast Sunday I was reading a newspaper article about getting your children off TV. I realized that one reason I fast is to give me a healthier appreciation for food. To gain a healther perspective on TV the article suggested going on a fast. I realized that I needed to get off my dependence of this guy so I made myself go on a fast. I started treating him with the cordial (warm but not too warm) affection of an acquaintance. This was a really hard adjustment for me. Actually, first I went on a total fast for a week where I didn't speak to him at all. Then I was able to have a more balanced relationship. I tried this with the last Phil I dated and it really helped me get over him. Anyway, that's another lesson in dating I learned.

What I really wanted to share was the lesson I learned about agency. Since this guy exercised his agency by not dating me I did some major pondering. I realized that the greatest gift God has given us is our agency. We can choose to be a part of His family or not. We can choose to have access to His power or not. We can choose to be happy. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to not be a victim (had done that plenty of times in the past and there's no point in going there again). So I decided to do what he was doing. I decided to use my agency. I began on a daily basis to choose to have a full and meaningful life. I examined all the things in my past that had given me meaning and happiness. I tried to fill my life with more of that - basically doing things that were challenging and self affirming. I chose to not take the break-up as a personal insult. I chose to see it as him doing what felt right for him, just as I have to choose what feels right to me. If I want my agency I need to allow others to have theirs. I chose to refocus my relationship with him and find balance. I chose to tell myself that there was at least one great man out there that would love my quirks and love to be loved by me, and I would meet him some day. If this were testimony meeting I'd bear my testimony about the gift of agency. This is a power beyond belief. I will always love that guy and cherish our time togther for the lesson he taught me about agency. I even wrote a long series of poems that were inspired by that relationship. Maybe some day I'll post them here!

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