Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I baked some goodies and made the deliveries on a Sunday early this December. It was fabulous to see them! They really appreciated the visit and goodies. I knew they would ask about my new ward and social life because that was why I left the family ward - to inject my social life with some new possibilities.
Knowing they would ask about my social life, I had my speech ready. It usually went something like this:
Older sister: So how is the singles ward?
Me: Oh, great! I’m meeting some really wonderful people!
Older sister: You dating anyone? (the older folks always get to the point).
Me: Not right now – I dated a guy for a few months but it didn’t work out (I mention that so they know I’m trying and succeeding in some respects).
Older sister: Oh, that’s too bad. [Silence.]
That’s when I give my current mantra. I don’t want them to worry about me and I don’t want their pity, so in 8 different visits I said, “but January is a new year and I feel good about what’s coming up! Lot’s of new opportunities! And I will find me someone new to date! I can feel it!”
Now at first it was just something I made up. But now, after saying it out loud 8 times, even I believe it! All of them each got excited for me when I said it – instead of giving the pity look – and they all reiterated that I could do it! That really felt empowering!
New Years is around that corner. I hate that holiday too – along with my fellow bloggers – but it’s a new opportunity to work on some skills with meeting people. Yep, I’m going to a big singles dance that most likely will have a great assortment of all sorts of men – the good, the bad and the ugly – hopefully more good than bad. And I am bound and determined to meet lots of people, smile big and give my “security guard” stare when I can.
When I first heard about mantras I thought it was silly, but I don’t believe that anymore. You become what you hear yourself say – especially when you are talking about yourself. If it’s negative, it will affect you negatively. If it’s positive, it will affect you positively! And I think that’s why we’ve been told to have faith and hope by the Almighty. Talking about those things helps us keep positive. And I know for a fact when I am trying hard to be positive, I do better. I’m happier and more appreciative of my life. And I smile more. And when I smile more, I tend to be nicer and friendlier. And that helps my life socially as well as spiritually.
So my challenge to any that dare, try a POSITIVE mantra for a month! Say it three times every morning for a month. Mine is: "I am open to relationships. Good things are up ahead for me and in January 2009, I will meet many good “potentials” and find a great guy to date and have a relationship with."
I’ll let you know how it goes…
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
But here is where it gets tricky. This is not my first MoTab Christmas concert and without even thinking about it I started to compare. Two years ago (I am pretty sure it was two years ago) a wonderful artist Sissel came. It was magical. She would open her mouth and this glorious sound would emerge with seemingly little effort. It was moving and spiritual and rather perfect.
This year’s performance dimmed in comparison. But how unfair is it to compare. The guest artists are in completely different genres and have very different performance styles. Just because Sissel was as near perfection as I can imagine that does not mean that the other performances was not good. So why did my opinion of the performance seem so low?
Now you might be wondering why I am critiquing MoTab here but really I started thinking. Subconsciously how many times do I compare for good or ill the men I date? I discovered that if someone remotely reminds me of Gap (my ex) I turn and run. Fast. Gap had many good qualities. I should not run away from a person because they exhibit certain similarities (there are others that yes I should be running). And then there is of course Charming. They guy I dated in college and was hopelessly, madly, stupidly in love with and still can only remember the good (even though there was a lot of bad). Sometimes I wonder if I do not give a guy a chance because he reminds me of Gap or because he does not remind me of Charming. I should look at him based upon his own merit; not how similar or dissimilar he is to people that I have morphed in my mind to the good guy and the bad guy.
I guess for me it is the subconscious part that is disturbing. Am I running because of legitimate red flags or just because of some small insignificant similarity? It is something I have not thought too much about before. Well nevertheless I still liked Sissel best…
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I’ll tell you what I came up with this morning. After spewing a bit in the journal I opened up the scriptures and read about healing. It was the section of the index that came open and it seemed mostly relevant. I turned to a passage in the D&C. It talked about how healing requires tenderness and love. Can’t argue there. Then a couple verses later it said something about weeping for those who die. Having experienced this sort of loss I could relate to it. I could see that it is more than okay to weep for someone who has died. Then it said something like how much sadder it is when someone dies without the hope of the resurrection. I know that when I’ve had to process the grief related to death I’ve been extremely grateful for the hope of the resurrection. I wondered to myself then, how a breakup is like death. It’s the death of a relationship you shared with another person (I like to believe it’s like a third person – there’s you, him, and then the “us”) – the “us” has died. Usually in terms of breakups we lack the hope of resurrection. I always force the hope of friendship – I think that’s my way of having a resurrection of sorts, and after all, there’s the hope of a new “us” with another “him.” But the scriptures said it is okay to weep for death. We all fear the time we will be sad, but since death is inevitable wouldn’t it be better to just accept it and give yourself permission to weep? Just have to be sure you have a hope of the resurrection. Now don’t get me wrong out there in blog land – I’m not going through any breakup – I was just wondering about the fears that creep up in relationships and how to distinguish between those feelings to find truth.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Bridgett, as I was reading your post I thought of the word "blockage." I was discussing dating with a guy in his 20's - like he knows anything - and he said singles these days have blockage. He was actually talking about his own peer group. Hmm, maybe he does know something. Maybe we're all alike in the end. I do think those married ward people have a lot of the same issues (blockage) that we do. But anyway, back to the thoughts I had in response to Bridgett's post. I participate in a wonderful discussion group with a few women - we call it "vision group" - we work on achieving visions. We've discovered that part of the good we gain from meeting is that we have safe honest friends with whom we can address some of our blockage. Life is a process and requires much self reflection. If you can get it out of online dating, carry on. I get a lot of it out of teaching. I read a passage from Julius Caesar this week where one guy is trying to be a "mirror" to another guy. In truth, he's being manipulative and is not a true mirror - but he says one true statement - about how you can never really see yourself for what you really are. You need to trust friends to show you what you're like - to be your mirror. I think blockage is processed and removed through some good self reflection. Maybe reading old posts will count.
I hereby vow to practice what I preach. Ha! No really, I intend to love freely and focus more on my relationship with God. Today's testimony meeting was really good. I'm inspired to do more to build my personal relationship and get to know my Savior as a friend that can be trusted - as He really is that. The atonement is good for the remission of sins, healing hearts, and removing blockage. If some behavior you have is not drawing you closer to the Savior (i.e. leaves you discouraged and hopeless) then I say quit it.
And Bridgett - about the "when it's right it's right" thing - I agree. Trouble is, you won't always know until there's some hind sight. Keep processing, keep reflecting, keep believing.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Not long ago I was at the grocery store with DK we were in the chips section because DK is very fond of all things salty. And I smiled at the very decent looking man walking past. He smiled back. Later we were near the dairy and I see said man again and give him a bold, bright smile. I read in a book that you can find people even in grocery stores, even with your kid in tow. The guy smiled. In his cart three massive cases of Coors. Now he did not approach me or ask for my number but what if he had?
So on to the next experience. My friend, let’s call her Temple (as in Shirley) went to an all day self defense class. She met this really nice guy, dreads and all. The thing is that he approached her. He was nice and she used the word engaging in conversation. She said nearing the end of the day she felt that if she had put out a minuscule amount of effort he would have asked for her number but she did not because he is obviously not a member. And now that Temple is home without any method of communicating with this guy she regrets. Ok regret is probably too strong a word but feels disappointed. He was nice, socially capable, good looking, interesting and more important interested in her. To top of the conversation we had just spoken with a very well respected man who had joined the church many years ago for his then girlfriend. The man has a solid testimony and is honestly one of the most amazing people that I know.
So what am I trying to say here? I have no idea. I have never been one to tote the idea that dating non members is a good idea but my friend really wishes he had given that guy her number. What do you think?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
When I was seeing The One, we once talked about dating. Some girl he dated for a few weeks told him she didn’t want to see him anymore. He was bummed about it. When he ran into her a few weeks later, she asked if he was still mad at her. He responded with, “no, why should I be mad? You didn’t want to go out with me. So what! I’m not going to take it personally, it’s just the way it is.”
See, this is where men and women are vastly different. The One took the rejection as a fact of life and was in no reflection to him or his personality, looks, humor, or quality of a human being. She didn’t want him. So what? There were other girls that would want him (like me for instance).
Yet, my latest rejection has left me with constant inter-reflection of what went wrong: why did he suddenly loose interest? He liked me before…or did he? What is it that is so wrong with me that he doesn’t want to be with me anymore? Am I not pretty enough? Funny enough? Smart enough? Domestic enough? Spiritual enough? Too loud? Too insecure? Not adventurous enough? The list can go on and on and on if I let it.
The fact of the matter is: it’s over. Analyzing it to death won’t bring the relationship back. And I don’t really want it back. The last thing I want to do in this world is be with a man who doesn’t appreciate me for all my positives AND negatives.
So why can’t I be more like The One and just let it go? Just let it be? Just move on and say, “well, he isn’t the right guy for me, so who’s next?”
Well, I tell you why! I’m letting my weaknesses and fears keep me from seeing this logically and practically and letting my emotions – my very irrational emotions - keep me down.
Thus, I’ve decided that I’m not letting those fears that creep up to the surface that I constantly have to squash – and some days I do it better than others – get the best of me! This isn’t a contest to see if I can convince a man to love me. It’s about finding a man that will love me for who I am - of his own free will. I keep forgetting that! So when a man doesn’t want to keep me, it’s not really MY fault. In actuality, I didn’t fail at anything! He just isn’t the right one.
And the truth is, that’s his loss! Because I’m REALLY funny….
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The result of this for me has been surprising. It hasn't been discouraging in any way. In fact I've never been more happy to be single. I'm so happy I'm not married to him or any other person that marriage would not work with! I'm also very happy that I've maintained the friendship with him. It also made me appreciate Rod and I'm also very happy to have maintained that relationship and also happy not to be married to him. Like joyfully grateful.
I also got back in touch with my first date in high school this week. Where I come from asking someone to a dance in high school is a big production. This usually involves puzzles left on doorsteps, the discovery of live goldfish in your tub, and the like. To ask me to the homecoming dance Bob (as in Bob Dylan) stole a bus stop sign off the street wrote on it and left it with a tape recorded song about it on my doorstep. He and his best friend were our class hippies. Clean cut though they were. He was sensitive and sweet and went into a trance to try and contact Buddha at dinner before the dance. He was the first guy to hold my hand. It was so sweet to see him again. He hasn't changed except now his receeding hair is to his shoulders and he has a sweet wife and, I think, seven kids. What a divine soul he is and, again, how blessed and joyful I've felt to know him.
I've been so blessed. As of today (check watch) I'm very grateful for my life and where I am and the men I have been blessed to have in it. Is it possible I could stay in this state of gratitude and appreciation like forever? I really hope so.
Monday, November 17, 2008
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!
Friday, November 14, 2008
My first reaction was to start bawling. It was a Monday morning and it was after a rough weekend and it just seemed too much. I eventually picked myself up and went back inside to fix my wounds and get the leaves out of my jacket. I felt foolish, clumsy and stupid for misjudging something I was so confident in. Plus, it hurt like the dickens and I suffered the consequences of that action for days with bruises and sore knees.
I haven't admitted to it yet, but I started dating Mr. Click a while back. Like his name indicated, we clicked well. I've never had such a great first date! (And I've been on a lot of them in my time.) It was a great experience and I enjoyed being with him every second. Sure, I had my moments of doubt and was unsure as to what was going on, but overall, I had a blast.
But we broke it off. I'm not going to say why or go into details because it's not important. Mr. Click still doesn't know about this website (which is why I never said anything about him). But I can tell you that the end was unexpected for me and I have felt some of the same feelings I felt when I fell down on that rainy, miserable day...foolish, clumsy and stupid for misjudging something I was starting to feel confident in.
Let me sum up some of my current raw emotions:
EMOTION #1: I'm missing him terribly. We had become close friends and I felt like I could trust him without judgment. He is a GREAT guy and still is. He was my equal and let's be honest - we often don't get to date our equal. So the loss of him is much bigger than just some random cute guy I casually dated for awhile.
EMOTION #2: Loss of a real potential. Although at first I wasn't really into him, I gave it time and realized he had a lot of the characteristics I was looking for. We were really compatible but still had some differences to shake things up. And now that potential is completely gone. I feel like I'm on the board game of Chutes and Ladders. I almost won the game to a real committed relationship (and I'm NOT even talking about marriage - just a dating relationship!) but instead I landed on the space with the huge chute that goes all the way back to the beginning of the game. I'm starting over from scratch. AGAIN!
EMOTION #3: I feel betrayed. By him, by God. Of course I'm just putting blame wherever I can because that's how I work. It's completely irrational and I don't REALLY believe it deep down inside. And really it is no one's fault. It just is. But I want to make sense of it all, so blaming someone else for a relationship not working out is just natural for me - although very destructive thinking.
EMOTION #4: I feel rejected. Ok, you figured it out, I liked him a LOT. And that wasn't enough for this relationship. I'm now looking at myself and wondering what's wrong with me? Why can't I get ONE man on this blasted earth to want to be with me longer than a few months?? Am I that unlovable? Yeah, that's more destructive thinking that's got to stop.
EMOTION #5: I want to run and hide. After spending some time with him, I made a decision and took a risk. I opened my heart to him and cared for him. And because it has ended, I feel like I never want to do it again! Why risk it when you just get rejected?? Why go that extra mile if you just end up all alone and hurting? It makes me never want to trust a man again. Although if I want to get where I want to go, I've GOT to get over that!
EMOTION: #6: I'm feeling stupid. I made mistakes which is natural for a human being - especially one with as little experience in relationships as me. I've been thinking of things I should or shouldn't have done - like they would somehow have kept this all from happening. Yep, more destructive thinking that I just have to let go.
EMOTION #7: Sometimes, I just feel like crying. I can't even put my finger on the exact emotion that is causing that cry. I guess I don't have to label it. It just needs to get out of me and I do believe it will help with the healing.
Now, this isn't my first breakup. Getting over the love of my life (aka "The One") was so hard I thought I would die. And I am in no way in that position. I think the difficulty with this break up is that I have been working hard to envision me being married. I've felt more ready to be in a relationship than ever before. I was on a roll! I was gaining momentum! I was doing things COMPLETELY different from before - big scary stuff that I've never attempted. Things that I was proud of for conquering - all appearing to pay off!! And because it was so different, I let myself think that it could very well be a relationship that for once would actually stick.
I had to re-read my last few blog posts to remind myself of my past answers to prayers and to start getting my hope back. Although my emotions make me want to believe some lies and completely irrational thoughts, I do believe everything will be ok in the end. I will survive! I will move on! I will break through and make it so these emotions will become less and less on my mind and in my heart. And I will be able to trust a man again and be ready for another risk. I WILL GET MARRIED!!! If anything I'm in a much better place to deal with this than in the past. Since June - even before I started dating Mr. Click - it has been my goal to work on the one relationship I have complete control over - my relationship with God. He is constant. He will never leave me. And He will help me. He has a real plan for me and all of this stuff makes sense to him. I just have to remember that and trust Him.
And I do believe all the sacrifices and efforts in improving my prayers and taking more time to read and ponder the words of God and his prophets has given me the reserve of strength to not hide away and fall back to where I was before. I refuse to loose that momentum! I will get back out there as soon as I'm able! It will hurt - oh, it will hurt - but I can't let those emotions keep me from being the adult I need to be.
And an adult picks herself back up after she falls down hard on the cement in the pouring rain. She brushes herself off, cleans up her wounds, dries her tears and walks, limping a little, but making it to her next destination.
"Sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can fall together." Marilyn Monroe
I'm really counting on that...
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Me: Lorelai, I am a 33 year old divorcé with a 5 year old son, DK or in other words the Dark Knight, he loves Batman with a passion and sleeps every night with a black teddy bear named Bruce Wayne. Graduated from Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) and then moved to Utah. My siblings followed me out here and I found I had no reason to return to the Midwest.
Buck: The first guy I ever “dated”
Charming: The amazing wonderful talented guy that got away or I got away from …
Gap: my ex-husband
Parsley: my best friend and will be often referenced
I would never consider myself a ‘dater.’ I dated (note past tense) but even back in my high school/college days I was not avid. I think I was more of the dreaded “hanger outer” and because of that lack of education on how to date; being thrust back into the dating world has been a challenge. I have dated since my divorce but mostly I have been driving around with my taxi light off (so says Parsley). But the closed door attitude has begun to change. I have even been practicing, smiling and talking to men!
A bit about me:
When I am not in the blogosphere I like to play with DK. Mostly we like to play at Liberty Park or get down with the Wii our favorite game is Lego Star Wars. I love to read, mostly fantasy or a good cozy mystery. I am an aspiring novelist. I love board games and playing cards and I enjoy taking walks especially in the mountains. I like to be able to do things while talking, so those kinds of activities appeal to me. I dislike traveling but I would love to see faraway places looking forward to the whole beam-me-up-Scottie thing so I can have my cake and eat it too.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Okay, I'm done rambling. Just felt the need to post and that's what came out.
So I have talked a lot about this whole dating thing to friends and family (and yes even my mother – honestly what was I thinking her hopes are up, way up! Poor sweet wonderful woman). I have done a lot of talking but not so much doing. On Halloween I decided to do some ‘doing’ and went to a very fun party, costume and all, but once I got there I felt completely out of my element. Fortunately I had friends there that kept me smiling but interacting, talking to people (especially men) that I don’t know is way harder than I remember. So is it harder or am I just that out of practice?
I have been pondering that question for the past few days. And I decided that the answer is yes to both. Not only was I married for five years but after my divorce almost four years ago I have pretty much avoided men. I am out of practice.
The yes answer to the other half of the question was a bit more problematic because is it harder? Is it more difficult to meet men, talk to men, and get asked out on a date? Or is it me being closed (even though I say I am open?). The rules of this game have changed and I didn’t get the updated manual. I honestly feel like an innocent bystander watching a game from the stands that got thrown in for the big play. Throw me back in the stands. I don’t want to try! A stubborn internal battle is going on, one part of me says if it ain’t broke don’t fix it; stay home, be a mom don’t worry about this at all. But then there is this other part of me that says you have to try. You have to because that part of me wants to be in a loving relationship where we can face daily joys and challenges together.
So today I am feeling a little bit like I am all bark and no bite. I am not giving up, I just got started. But today, just today, I think I will hang out on the side lines.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I know. I hate it when it happens to me too! And I find it's hard to keep the faith and have a positive attitude when you are in the midst of another hard time.
A friend sent a link to an article that talked about our relationship with God. And this quote is so true to how I think sometimes:
"Too often we create and want a god who demands nothing of us, protects us against all disappointment, tramples the agency of others so we may never be hurt by them, arranges life so that we must never stretch beyond where we are, instead of worshiping the loving, powerful God who sees all and promises that all things in their time will work together for our good if we just hold on with faith and trust in Him."
Maurine Proctor, "Pouting Before the Lord"
This quote describes how I have felt in the past - OK, maybe even yesterday! Why can't I just trust God??? I mean, out of all the people I know, shouldn't HE be the one true person that knows what's best for me?? Yet still I doubt him whenever it gets tough or when things don't go my way! And I have even gotten mad at him for letting these problems happen to me.
The eternal perspective is so hard to keep concerning life here on earth. Everything around us is temporary and the world's philosophy is all about "what I want RIGHT NOW." So it makes sense that it would sneak into our daily lives and make us confused and forget the real reasons we are on earth - 1) to get a physical body and 2) to be tested with different life situations to see what we will do and what we will get out of those experiences. That's the core of it. But we are also to be happy along the way...("...men are that they might have joy" 2 Nephi 2:25)
So how do we go through what is expected to be some "hard times" and be happy with it? Well, I'm not sure I know exactly how to do that. I know the Sunday School answers are all about service and being grateful for what you have. And I believe that they do help in getting outside of yourself and seeing the forest from the trees.
But I also believe stopping and looking around you - right in the middle of your problem - and trying to see the bigger picture. If I can keep my perspective, things seem less tragic and disappointing. But it's hard. VERY hard. When I can do it though, it helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel faster, because I'm actually looking up - instead of down, crying in self-pity.
Lately, my goal has been to be an "adult." The kind of adult that we all thought we would grow up to be and that we thought all grownups were. The kind of adult where you think through things FIRST before you say or do anything. The kind of adult where you try to think rational thoughts instead of letting emotions take you to some new level of absurdity. (Can you tell I can be a drama queen at times???) The kind of adult that you wish the TV character would be when someone is possessed and starts saying really crazy hurtful things to those they love. (You know, like on Charmed, when one of the sisters goes crazy and says she hates the other two and points out all of their failings and problems. And you think, "DUH! It's so obvious!! She's possessed by a troll!! It's not really her!"). I can't tell you how cool that would be! Not being possessed by the troll - but being the adult...a real, live, mature adult.
I guess it's about maturity. And in relationships, sometimes I come off so short in my reactions to what life throws me. And really, the situation needs some maturity to deal with it properly and to keep things in perspective.
I'm kind of rambling, but that's what has been on my mind lately. So my new goal? Start actually believing that God does know what's best for me and being mature enough to deal with what happens like a real adult.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Hi, I am Lorelai guest blogger. Here is my story: I was cruising along thinking I had found my prince and then slam things changed and I found myself bouncing in a lifeboat through an ocean of uncertainty. Where had the fancy cruise with endless buffets of yummy food gone?
As I was out there alone in the darkness of anger and hurt I felt like I wanted a big pity party in my honor. I had done all the right things and look where it landed me. But clinging to bitterness and defeat is just not in my nature. I did not date at all for about a year and then hesitantly tried to get back in the game.
I have dated one good man and one not so good and gone on several one-time dates but realized recently that I am sitting at home with the lights turned off. You know when Halloween night you run out of candy and instead of making a late night run to the store you just turn off the porch light. The thing is that I have been willing in theory but not in practice. So what does it take to brave the dating game? To be vulnerable AND to trust that it will be different this time? For everyone the answer must be different but for me it was my son.
I was getting pretty content living alone, doing things my way. It was easy; hard in many aspects but easy on the heart. Having a loving five year old tell you that you are beautiful does wonders for the soul. But one day he told me he wanted to buy a brother because in Primary they talked about families and he wants a brother so bad he is willing to buy one because mommy you know families are forever. We talked about how buying brother was not going to happen. But it got me thinking. I had been complacent and perhaps I will not marry again but I wasn't even trying – at all. So with renewed hope, faith and a not so gentle shove from friends I am back in the game. So good luck to me and good luck to you.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
What I want to blog about is the trip I just went on to New York with my two brothers and one of my sisters. I had a great time, but with all of the hustle and bustle and the many, many people hustling and bustling around..i was very happy to get back to the west coast. The strong desire to get back home told me that i am in the right place for me geographically. The question I then have found myself asking is, Am I in the right place emotionally? Spiritually?
I answer this with an unequivical YES.
I read through a Depak Chopra book while in New York..he proposed that basically if we're in a situation, there is a reason and instead of wishing we were in a different place, to accept that what we are feeling, experiencing in our life at this very moment is the way that its supposed to be. A lot of anxiety in life, he noted, is the fight against the feelings that we're having, and would be diminished if we can just again, accept.
In the current theme of blogs, imaginining and seeing ourselves in the situations we would like to be in is so helpful. Saying that, there's a reason we are going through the experiences we're having...there's valuable lessons involved. The ability to accept is important to master...and to just be in the moment, because according to many wise teachers, the moment and being in it is a very important tool for joy.
Many times in the past for me , a trip to New York would be spent thinking and obsessing about the moment that I would be back at work and the moments in which I am seeing the sunset on the top of the Empire State Building, or eating the amazing chocolate cake at the delightful eatery Serendipity , or singing along to Elton John songs played by the piano man at Brandys Piano Bar would be past and lost. Never to be found again. Its in the moments girls, I feel it in my soul.
Thank you for sharing your feelings about Marnie’s posting about Visualizing Marriage. I can feel your pain in your words and I’m so sorry you feel the way you do. I think we’ve all been discouraged at different points in our lives – I know I’ve been there more times than I care to remember.
What I love about this blog is that it forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I also love how the other writers remain hopeful and optimistic about reaching the end goal – even when the process is sometimes painful. I think everyone who is single and who wants to get married has been discouraged many times. What I’ve learned is that there really is no one right way to date or get married. What works for one person may not work for another. The point of this blog was to force us out of our comfort zone, to try things differently, to just make us accountable for getting out there and doing something…anything.
I give total credit to this blog for getting me married after 42 years. My relationship with Clue was on a path headed towards failure. We weren’t communicating, we weren’t connecting and we definitely weren’t progressing. For me, this blog helped me open up and communicate my feelings with Clue. That was all the opening we needed. In hindsight it seems so simple, but at the time it seemed so difficult and hopeless.
So my challenge for you, Anonymous, is if visualizing marriage hasn’t worked for you, try something new. Maybe you could start with Marnie’s “security guard stare” experiment. I’ve been trying that lately and it’s not always easy, but it’s something!
Hang in there Anonymous…we’re rooting for you and we’re here for you if you need a cheerleader!
Friday, October 17, 2008
I have had some conversations with some friends who are younger than I am who are where I once was about 7-8 years ago. Kris's last entry brought this back to mind. At this point, they're not dating and they've never been kissed. These are beautiful women in thier 30s. How do I put this . . . within the context of my perception of what a "good mormon girl" is—they are all much closer to that than I am now and will probably get to heaven quicker than I will. Having said that, I'm so glad I'm not where they are anymore! I'm so grateful to have had some experiences with men! Some good—some bad, but not all bad and in-valuable because they didn't end in marriage. Speaking to those friends I remember how confused and closed and bad I felt about myself for things that DIDN'T MATTER! I let issues that I had about my body and beauty and whether I thought God even liked me so overtake my thoughts. I'm grateful for the changes I made (including some counseling) that put me in a different place and let men into my life.
Now I'm just working on finding THE one. I haven't been very open to men in the ward in a little while. Feel like I'm maybe starting to round the bend on being too old for them or something. Online I'm having a hard time getting to the meeting in person part. Maybe I'm coming off as arrogant or something. I don't know. Seems like that has dried up a bit. Maybe some new photos. (I so hate taking those) Maybe I'll switch services for a while.
Anyway, thanks for all your latest posts ladies! Very inspiring. And congrats Marcia and Kris!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The next question was what to do about it. I felt I needed to change to have a more forgiving heart and be able to let go of everything in my past, big or small, and be open to love. I did a number of things. I fasted every Sunday to have a forgiving heart and for the ability to open my heart to others. I worked on changing my self talk about myself and men. I made an effort to have gratitude for the men who were in my life, even if they weren't asking me out, or even be grateful for the men who asked me out that I didn't find particularly desirable. I focused on changing my energy and keeping my desire in the front of my mind, for instance, I wore a necklace that had a chinese character for love on it.
It took a few months, but it worked. I've dated more since then than I have my whole life (which isn't saying a lot since I've never been a huge dater). That was six or seven years ago. I admit I went into it thinking it would bring "Mr. Right" into my life immediately, which it didn't. But I've always tried to be grateful for whatever relationship- one date, a casual boyfriend, a serious boyfriend, or even a pretty rotten boyfriend- that came my way. That seemed to help keep my heart open through it all.
I realize some of what I did will seem silly, and I'm not saying my specific experience is what anyone else should do. However, I do think the idea of honest self reflection together with prayer and a willingness to change will lead us in whatever direction that will bring us the most happiness.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The conversation then turned to me and my wedding plans. This is a friend I’ve known since I was about 7 years old. She knows me well and as I started rattling off wedding plans she stopped me and said, “Yes, but how are YOU, are you getting cold feet?” Ah, she knows me well. In fact, I have been scared spitless about getting married. Apparently when you’re almost 40 and still single there are possibly some phobias around commitment. Ü I proceeded to tell her how much I’ve enjoyed being single all these years. I have figured out how to be happy and on my own. Now I’m faced with heading into something I know very little about and I’m scared. Can I really be as happy or happier? And if I’m not…. then what? I’m stuck.
My friend laughed and said she is seeing a mirror of this situation and her trip to Cambodia. She called and was worried about doing something unknown and I laughed because I knew it would be OK because I’ve been there. Now I’m stressing about my unknowns and she can laugh because she’s on the other side knowing that all the bad “what if’s” are just in my head. It’s the same kind of thing- as long as I’m not going to do anything really stupid, it will all be fine. Just like her trip.
Funny- reading my post from a few weeks ago, it's pretty much the same issue. The funny part is that it felt like a revelation to me last night figuring out what has been bothering me, however, looks like it's the same issues coming up in different ways. Recognizing where it is coming from helps a lot. I'd just like to know how to get rid of it altogether. Any ideas?
As for the vision I had when I was 14 - the one that had me in a white dress and all - well I never really lost it. I never turned my back on it. But truth be told, the older I get, the harder it is for me to really fathom the idea that it will happen. When I start dating a guy it's natural for me to start seeing and making accommodations for the inevitable break up. It's what I'm good at. I still see the white dress, but the vision I really need to work on now is the relationship getting past the slower harder awkward parts without giving up or self destructing. And for the record, I still have a hard time being able to say that I can get a guy to want to even go out with me. They ask every now and then - but really - not very often. I don't know why New Phil asked when he did (well I might - I blogged about it early on this blog), but I don't know why he keeps asking me out. It's not surprising when he doesn't call. Hurtful a bit, but it's very natural for me to go this route. I wish I could see past it. I'm working on that.
So whatever step in the vision is hard for you... figure out a way to see beyond. Look through the bedrock mountain and press forward. I've found that just my talk - the kind in my head and the kind out loud - can make a huge difference. Even when it's hard to believe I make myself say things like, "I'm in a meaningful productive relationship. Men ask me out. They enjoy my company and we have deep connections." Stuff like that. Okay, I think that's my two cents for the night.
About five years ago, a super-chic, super-cool woman a couple years older than me moved into my Midwestern ward. She was so glamorous, introduced me to Sephora and In Style Magazine, and convinced me that every year, we needed to attend at least one Single Adult activity. I had no problem going with her, because she made everything an adventure. Even when the activities featured dozens of women and 3 men. Then she moved. But I continued her challenge, considering it to be an offering on the altar of "please-don't-let-me-die-alone."
Well, these Single Adult activities usually leave me frustrated, sometimes in tears, and it gets more difficult to gird up my loins to attend them solo. There's one coming up next weekend, and I'm still on the fence about making an appearance. I can't make it to the keynote (Julie Beck!) because we are rehearsing for the Primary program, and I am the pianist. But I could make it for the workshops and—gulp—the dance.
I've been feeling like I need to make my yearly offering (it is October, after all), but I'm not sure I have the emotional strength for a conference. So when a friend asked if I'd be interested in "just emailing" someone she knew, I said sure...and let his email address sit in my inbox for a couple of days. He had my email too, and why should I be the one to write first? Wasn't that a little desperate? But then I weighed my options: attend the conference, or send an email. I sent an email.
I don't know if it will go anywhere—long distance, email-ish things have not been kind to me—but it is this year's offering. I am willing to do something, to not just wait for Heavenly Father to FedEx a decent guy to my doorstep. I took action. Again. The next step is taking more than one action a year. Hard to do in the Midwest, but is it any harder than parting the Red Sea or sending seagulls to eat up crickets? Probably not.
Monday, October 13, 2008
If you’ll recall, when we were first dating, I didn’t feel a connection. Clue also “accused” me of being emotionally unavailable. Gradually things started to change. I was starting to really fall for him but he wasn’t the type I thought I’d end up with. I was both resisting and falling in love at the same time. One night I was praying about what to do about Clue. I don’t always receive strong or immediate answers to my prayers, but that night I did. The answer was so clear that it brought tears to my eyes: “He’s what you’ve been praying for.” I was completely surprised. And then I thought long and hard about Clue. His resume looks different than what I was looking for, but I realized all the essential elements plus more are there. I'm grateful for prayer and answers to prayer since I wasn't smart enough to see that myself. From that point I tried to focus on learning from rather than worrying about our differences (and I still have to remind myself of this). The rest, as they say, is history.
Hopefully my experience helps…personally, I think you’re on to something Bridget!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
In 2003, my best friend and roommate got engaged and was going to move out. I remember distinctly one very cold morning I was walking from my car into work and pondering this huge change in her life. And I tried to put myself in her shoes and envision myself getting married: putting myself in a wedding dress, envisioning a reception...what it would look like...what HE would look like. And the harder I tried, the more I couldn't do it. I could NOT see myself being married! Since my biggest desire was to be married, it scared me to death!
When I was 16 years old, I decided I wanted to go to BYU's study abroad program in Israel. At the time it seemed SO far away and so impossible to accomplish, but it's what I wanted. And from what limited knowledge I had about Israel and the BYU center, I could envision myself being there...going to classes and seeing the country. A lot of what I pictured wasn't even close to what happened or how it really was, but I could see myself there. It was a hard road getting there (lack of money, political unrest, etc.) - but without that picture in my head, I honestly don't believe I would have gotten there and experienced the Holy Land.
So, for me not being able to even SEE myself in a wedding dress - something girls dream of since they are little - was a real wake up call!! It was then I realized I needed to change my way of thinking and envision me - as a bride, wife, and mother.
At about that time, a good friend started challenging me to "get outside of the box." Her ward was working on many things that would help them grow and change for the better. I accepted the challenge. Basically, I started doing things that scared me spit-less...blind dates/set ups, going to grad school, living by myself in my own place - there are too many to name them all here.
I also had to start putting myself in an image of marriage. Before when girlfriends would ask me about what I wanted when I did get married (dress, colors, ring etc.), I had no idea. I had put off the decisions of what it would all look like when that day came, because I just couldn't see it. I didn't understand that it was a mental block that kept me from doing so. I had to force myself to think about what I would want in a dress, a ring, colors at my wedding, where I would have my wedding and wedding reception. It actually was hard at first, but the more I applied myself to the task, the more came open to me on what I wanted. The point was not to plan it out so that 2.7 years later it would go as I had drawn out, but to "see it" all in my mind's eye and let my brain and heart accept the concept that yes, I could get married! It could happen, because I can see it!
It's an image I've had to work hard to keep in my head. I know for so many it's so easy to do, but I think fear and lack of faith - in my myself and God - really held me back for a lot of years. I'm just grateful that I at least see now what was blocking my path. Because once you see it, you can start conquering it!
And trust me, when that day arrives, I'm going to look gorgeous in my ivory, sparkly, buttons down the back, sweetheart neck wedding dress!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
(not really my hand or ring - protecting my not-so-secret identity - but you get the idea)
I'm giving a lot credit to the blog for this relationship. There is no way I could have been so casual and open to internet dating had I not felt like I was just doing an assignment for the blog. Plus support from fellow bloggers and tips from Bridget helped as well. It took away a lot of inhibitions. Thanks to all of you!
Let me put it out there again, if any of you want to join as a regular blogger or guest contributor let us know.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I've had some interesting realizations lately.
1. I know the Lord send us people that help us to keep the hope alive. I met someone from an online dating site about a month ago. We talked for about a week before we met up...during the week we texted and talked on the phone a few times. It was very cool to get to know this guy. In the week of chatting, and moreso when we actually met (we had a nice time...)I just focused on having fun. I focused on being comfortable, even though I would be out of my comfort zone. In the end, we didn't have the chemistry to get to a secon dated..but I continued on with more hope that the person I'm looking for will appear at some stage of the game.
2. I know the Lord hears our prayers. And answers them when its the right time. A few weeks ago I prayed one week specifically to have a fun date, to kind of break up the monotony of life. I volunteer up at a children's hospital and many of the Saturdays i am up there, there is a really cool guy that volunteers as well. I had never looked at him as someone that I would particularly like to date. But a few days after I started praying specifically to have a fun date, he asked me if I wanted to go lunch with him after volunteering. I felt very strongly that this was an answer to my prayer. We had a great time and went to lunch another time as well. I don't necessarily think we're compatible...but I do know that my simple prayer was answered .
3. I can ultimately trust the way I feel about a situation. I can trust that things work out the way they are ultimately supposed to. I don't have to question why,or analyze why I don't want to date someone, I can learn to trust my gut feeling. Although it takes practice, to listen and hear what is going on inside of us is a great skill. Remember Dodger Guy, he was an online prospect from one of my first blogs. For some reason, the thought of actually meeting him in person made me anxious. Ultimately, I didn't meet up with him, I let him know that a long distance relationship (he lived 6 hours away,in Northern Cal) was not an option for me right now. I stressed and wondered, why can't I just go out with him and see where it goes? Why do I need to be so closed minded? I kind of stressed myself out about it. Recently I texted him to see how he was, because in the time that I talked to him, I got a sense that he was a really good guy and was genuinely wondering how he was doing. He said he had a found a wonderful woman that lived close to him, he felt he would marry her. I was happy for him. During that conversation I felt for sure that things had turned out the way they should have. I felt like my lack of inspiration to meet him, was just that, a lack of inspiration. It didn't have to say anything about my commitment issues, or social anxiety..or that I was "wasting" a chance to meet a potential husband, and I would be alone forever because of my close mindedness,or whatever else I obsessed about at that moment. Saying that, I know it is also important to make sure we are open to stepping out of our comfort zone and into the unknown when we feel inspired to. But its ok if we're not inspired...I have been since, and I will be again...