Thursday, October 28, 2010

Penelope Post

Penelope here again. I am deeply connected to all things mid-singles related. I love the idea of mid-singles and try to support it as much as I can. I was on facebook the other day and found this power point from a talk to mid-singles which speaks about aligning our desires with the Lord's. There was a slide about the scripture D&C 130:20-21 which states:

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

In the speakers notes, I found this:

"How we interpret the following scripture adds to the problem. We tend to interpret this as “each law has its attendant blessing.” Keeping the Law of Tithing, for instance, should bring forth the promised blessings. What happens, then, when that doesn’t happen? We keep the Word of Wisdom and get cancer. We keep the Law of Tithing and lose our job. Worse yet, we wonder if we’ve “earned” our blessings, why God withholds what we’ve earned. Does he love us less or are we unworthy? Does He really “owe” us?"

For me, that perspective was really impactful. Am I acting like God owes me a marriage because I've been faithful or done my duty? Am I getting bitter at God because I expect to have an immediate blessing from living a good life?

And it brought home another perspective, the perspective of those who are married. I guess I can see why some might think that a single person isn't worthy/isn't doing the right things to get married if you take this scripture literally. I wonder if it depends on how you define blessings.

What are your thoughts on this?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Meet Penelope

Hello readers!
We have another guest post from Penelope I'd like to share with you:

Hello new friends, I'd like to introduce myself. I'm in my mid-30's like many here. I recently went to an event with speed-dating where a man asked me if I had been married before, I replied no. He asked me if I had kids, and I said no. He asked me if I had a cat or dog. I said nope. I said, well I have 2 plants that I have managed to keep alive. He was silent and just blinked. I don't think he knew what to say. See he was a single dad to 4 with part time custody and I'm sure he was thinking, wow this won't be a good match. Luckily I wasn't too invested in the relationship to be offended that he didn't "pick me."

As for my blog name, Penelope, I took it from a movie I watched recently. Yes, I watch odd movies on Netflix. But the idea behind the movie and Penelope fits me. Penelope has a physical deformity as a result of a family curse. Her mom hides her away because people were trying to get pictures of how horrible Penelope looked. Eventually Penelope's parents decide to try to get her married off because part of the curse was that she had to marry "one of her own," someone rich and powerful who would still love her despite her odd looks. After many rejections, she runs off on her own and allows people see her for who she really is. Interestingly, she realizes that people are ok with her, despite her mother's warnings that people will reject her. She even is able to...get married....of all things, despite looking bizarre because she is just herself. Recently, I feel like I've hit the stage of being ok with myself despite being told I'm not pretty enough to get married. If others want to say I'm not pretty enough, that's ok but I'm not going to hide myself anymore. So Penelope I have become! :)

I also have had my share of the dating woes and they are still on-going. I hope that I can share some of them here and get feedback with comments, questions or thoughts. I originally came to this blog a long time ago because I felt a kindred spirit here to know that I wasn't alone in my single status and the experiences I was having., So I hope I can do that for other sisters as well.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It Begins with Me (Marnie)

I visited with a friend of mine I haven’t talked to in a long while. She wanted to know how I was doing since my breakup last spring. As I gave her a rundown, it brought up some feelings I guess I still haven’t let go of. I thought I had been doing much better, but when I it all came out, it was apparent I wasn’t. It depressed me to think so much time had passed and I hadn’t worked through it yet.

She was great to listen and not pass judgment, although I know she felt helpless in being able to help me. She’s married with 5 kids and as her life keeps changing, my life doesn’t show much in that department. The concern and worry on her face as I vented my fears, frustrations, and lack of hope, made ME concerned. How depressing was it to listen to me?? How many times does it feel like I’ve been here before and told her the same things? I feel like a broken record – with no new insight but just the same old problems and insecurities. It can’t be true – but it sure feels like it!

So I’m done. I’m done complaining about the quality of men I date, the lack of results I get, and the hopelessness I feel. I feel like all I do is complain through my cycle of relationships, and doing this complaining doesn’t seem to help. It surely doesn’t help my attitude, either.

I can make a list of reasons why I’m not married - from irrational thoughts to logical statistics. But even I’m bored by them now! I can’t figure it out and I don’t think I’m meant to. So the only way I know how to change what is happening is to stop. Stop it all. Not stop trying, just stop this obsession to understand why. Stop discussing it in minute details. Stop wallowing in the past disappointments, yelling to the sky, “WHY???” over and over. My heart has been broken before – it will be broken again, no doubt. So why dwell on it? Yeah it hurts like hell but living like this - dredging up the past and reanalyzing it, and questioning God doesn’t help me feel better. I believe in the grieving process, but being the drama queen I am, I have taken this grieving to a new level that just isn’t right and is affecting my happiness.

I think what I really need to do is start forgiving. Forgiving me, forgiving the men I’ve dated that have hurt me, and yes, even forgiving God for not giving me what I want. I know that shocks a lot of you – because some think one shouldn’t be mad at God. But its how I feel. This natural response – at least for me – has got to metamorphous into something better. Because I won’t give up! I won’t stop looking or flirting or dating or trying to get a spouse. I refuse to die like an old maid – even if my soul keeps getting bruised and kicked against the curb. But I’ve been dealing with this all wrong. If I’m going to continue to work on achieving this goal – my reaction and how I deal with it all HAS got to be better. Otherwise I’m not getting anywhere and remaining miserable.

I’ve talked before about my frustration with and desire to accept God’s will, and I haven’t gotten very far. So that ends today. From now on, I accept God’s will and I’m going to trust Him. You may think I’m lying or even crazy to think I can do it, but frankly, waiting for my feelings and desires to change isn’t working.

I’ve heard several talks from General Conference in the last few years about choosing faith. It’s a choice and not something you just get from nowhere. You just have to decide and take a risk. Then the faith comes. And I think choosing and trusting God’s will works the same way. I can pray until I’m blue in the face but until I change how I’m going to think and deal with this all, nothing will change. I have to take the leap of faith and just do it. I believe God helps us – a lot. But I also believe he lets struggle until we “get it.” And I’m just beginning to “get it.”

The other thing I’m going to do is truly forgive. I’ve been praying about it, hoping God will just make these horrible thoughts and hurts go away and let me forgive. Yep, you guessed it! It doesn’t work that way. I just need to decide. So whether I’m ready or not, I’m going to forgive. Just like that!

How am I going to do it? After I told a friend about my problem with forgiving, she suggested it was time I actually did it, and then prayed for the feeling of forgiveness to come into my heart. I need to take action and properly acknowledge what I’m forgiving. Once I do that, then it’s all up to God. She suggested I write down “I forgive….” for each of the people I need to forgive listing the action I’m forgiving. And that list of people includes myself. Something about writing it down makes it much more of a reality instead of just a good idea. It gets out of your system. Once I write it out, I’m going to get rid of it. That way, the process is really permanent. No sense in dwelling on the past. It’s time to move on…

Some of you may not like this blog entry. You may think I’m being trite and not sensitive to how hard it is to be single. That is where you are really wrong. I know it. I feel it. It hurts. But my bad attitude has not helped and it’s time to adjust it. So I will choose faith, trust God’s will (as much as it scares the spit out of me), and truly forgive – not just the half-hearted kind. It’s going to take some time, a lot of work and self-control, AND a lot of prayer but I’m going to conquer this! Because something has got to change and frankly, I can only change me.