Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Audacity of Hope (Anne Elliot, guest post)

I can feel it again.

That space in my heart that I've kept closed off for so long is starting to fill, and at times I'm worried it will burst.

That lurch in my stomach that borders on nausea every time I see his name on my phone or read his emails.

That lump in my throat when I click “send” and worry that I've revealed too much, too soon, and I'll never hear from him again.

And that tingling in my toes when I do hear from him again, the euphoria that he's chosen me for one more day.

It's been years since I felt this, and I'm surprised at how easily and how fast it returns.

I play angel and devil in my head.

The angel says to enjoy the moment, develop the friendship, trust his words.

The devil tells me I have no reason to hope, he's just like the others, and to not be surprised when it's over.

I really thought I had lost this ability, this capacity to feel hope and happiness, the beginnings of a possible relationship. I was prepared to live the rest of my life alone. Now I don't want to. I feel these physical manifestations of emotions and I want more. Whether it's with him, whether it's with someone I've yet to meet,
I'm not ready to give up after all.

I really thought I was.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Today I am thinking about men. As a lover of all things boy (and regularly confused by them) I find myself often watching men and wondering what makes them tick. I pray the Spirit will be with me and I am going to write VERY CAREFULLY to ensure that my post today is not mis-interpreted...Heaven help me.

Ever since our last general conference (April 2011) I have been thinking about Elder Oaks talk on Saturday afternoon: "Desire."
Elder Oaks said many things but this got my attention: "I am sure that some anxiously seeking young men would want me to add that there are some young women whose desires for a worthy marriage and children rank far below their desires for a career or other mortal distinctions. Both men and women need righteous desires that will lead them to eternal life."

I wish I had the guts to ask some of the never married, divorced or single LDS men that I know some of these questions...

  • Do you want/desire to be married?

  • Do you feel marriage is important?

  • Have you ever met someone you thought you could be happy with?

  • Do you feel that you have something/nothing to offer a woman?

  • Do you feel that you still have tons of time to make this happen?

  • How do you feel when the leaders of the church call you on the carpet? Does it make you try harder, feel pounded and 'bad' or do you tune them out?

  • What do you think about Brigham Young's statement (I think??) about a man over 25 who is still single is in the grasp of satan?

  • Are men (in their 30's and up) still looking for that physically 'perfect' ideal? Have you ever been looking for that or is that an unfair stereotype?

  • Do you feel that it is your 'job' or priesthood responsibility to actively seek marriage? Why or why not? Do you feel that you are doing that?

  • Do you feel that the woman you're interested in give you a fair chance? Have you ever thought that you're looking at the wrong kind/type of woman?
These are the things I wonder - I think it would help us all if we would just talk about it and share our points of view. We're old enough now that we shouldn't be afraid anymore to be real with each other. So you don't ask me out - I'll live - but I sure would love to know why?

I've decided to be the first - if you're a single man I want you to know this (and I don't think I'm too different from other women but please feel free to chime in):
I am a smart, confident, devoted to the Gospel LDS woman. I am imperfect physically but judging by the many stares I get on a regular basis I'm as beautiful as I think I am. I have held myself in reserve (and in the interest of realness that has NOT been easy) so that I may share my whole self with you someday (and I am VERY excited for that day.) I am courageous and I am accomplished. To the outside world I have it all but in my heart I know that my true self waits for you. Every decision I make, every path I take, every thought I have is somehow connected to my desire for you and our family. I move forward because I am on this earth to progress. I continue to try to improve myself so that I will someday be able to offer you the most amazing version of myself I possibly can. I do not do these things because I am career driven, or because I view my priorities as more important then what I could do within a family. I progress in the areas of my life that I'm allowed to progress in at this time.

I need you more then I can possibly ever put into words. I need your strength, I need your perspectives, I need your calming influence when my femaleness leads me to irrational, emotional freak outs. I need your priesthood and righteousness to lead me and guide me to greater paths. I need your strong arms to hold me so that I can be weak once in a while (as my current world and lifestyle requires constant strength.) I need you to be you and I need you to not be afraid of all that I am.

I don't need you to be rich. I don't need you to have a fancy education, toys, or material things to offer me. I don't need you to be scared of what you aren't. You are a son of God - you are already more amazing to me then you will ever know and I will do everything in my power to make you feel that. My accomplishments in no way take away from yours and I don't need you to feel badly about who you are or where you've been. The only thing that matters is where we will go together. I need you to be confident and love yourself. I need you to know that I am not "her" (whoever "her" is to you.)

I need you to try. I need you to put away fear and recognize who that comes from (the jerk) and that the purpose of fear is to keep you from being happy. I need you to trust me enough to open the door to possibilities. I know you've been hurt - we've all been hurt- but I need you to get over it and keep trying. I need you to not hold yourself back and I need you to not choose the easy way or the path of least resistance. I need you to know that I will use every gift, every lesson, every single thing at my disposal to help make your dreams come true - I will not take away from you but will add and I need you to do the same for me.

I need you to pay your tithing. I need you to read your scriptures, say your prayers, go to the Temple, attend church and magnify your priesthood. I do not need you to be perfect or on the path to future apostleship. I do not need you to be able to quote entire books of scripture but I do need you to have firm faith and know where to go to find the answers. I need you to love me - all of me - as I will love all of you (wrinkles, puckers, and imperfections.) I need you to just hold my hand sometimes and let me depend on you. I need you to know that you are the head of the household and I believe that starts in dating. I need you to take the lead and let me be the woman. I need you to stop waiting for me to ask you out - it's just not going to happen. You're not going to find me at just the "fun" activities. I'm long past that - if you want me you're going to have to come to church - I'm the beautiful blond with the sexy shoe collection.

I need you to start being (or continue being) the amazing man that you are. I need you to start living your best life (please excuse the Oprah reference but it just sort of fit) and I need you to pursue things that will bring true happiness. I need you to trust our Heavenly Father, our Savior, and the leaders of the church and believe them when they tell you that I will be the greatest decision you've ever made.

There's really no other way to say it - I can be happy without you if I really try but I'll never be complete.