Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Elephants In the Room...

Why is it that we think that if we ignore the elephant in the room, it will go away?

In Charles Dickens story, The Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge grows up full of faith and hope for his life, love, the present, and the future. Poor but happy, he meets the girl of his dreams, with which he wishes to climb into love. But as he gains success monetarily, he begins to believe that his worth is based on his earnings and worldly gain. Consequently, he allows his pride to keep him from the person he wishes to be with the most. So he watches his true love walk out the door. Not willing to humble himself and make changes in his life so lasting happiness can thrive, he chooses instead to build walls around his heart. He fools himself into thinking that these are walls of defense and protection. But in reality, they are walls of selfishness, fear, pride, and pain of his past.

He spends the rest of his life becoming absolutely wealthy, and absolutely miserable. Closing off his heart to any and all who would bring him lasting joy, he chooses instead to invest his time in gaining more worldly possessions. Money becomes his love. But, alas, money has no love to return. It is cold, inanimate, and at times ruthless. But that is just what he has become! It isn’t until life-threatening experiences in his old age that he is compelled to humility, and is finally broken enough to change.

When I watched the movie version of this tale, I was struck by the subtlety of change found in the character of Scrooge. It went straight to my heart and mind. I thought to myself, how many times have I had a scrooge attitude? When have I thought things such as the following?

- Poor me.

- Why can’t he/she be smarter?

- I am the only one in the world who has felt pain, sorrow, and heartache.

- I am the victim here!

- My world has fallen apart. No one understands the pain I am going through.

When we are not where we want to be, do we criticize those who are? Or do we create a false world where we look completely put together, polished in all we do, say, and even dress, thus hiding from what the core issues really are? Covering the elephant up with pretty jewels and expensive materials does not make it disappear. It is merely disguised as something else…a fa├žade that does not portray the heart beneath it all.

Scrooge wasn’t a bad person. In fact, he was a really good person. He had so much love to give, and he was really kind and gentle. But he had allowed life’s experiences (his past) to dictate his future.

I once read a quote that said that if you change your thoughts, you change your world. I believe this is a true principle. The beautiful part of the Christmas Carol story is when Ebenezer chooses to step into the light, and live.

Dear Life, I think it is time for a remodel. It is time to break down those walls and build bridges instead.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Believe

In a world where infidelity in relationships, divorce, extra-marital affairs, and counterfeit love are rampant and ever-spreading, is it any wonder that our youth and young adults today are scared to believe that a happy, healthy, and eternal marriage relationship can happen for them?
We look around, and on every street corner, there is an ad, a campaign, a t.v. show or movie that distorts the joy, the passion, the fulfillment, and the lasting love that marriage can bring. Instead, slogans shout, “Follow me to a place where it will feel good…” “This is better than the pain of your parents’ divorce,” or how about the popular “The culture around me accepts this kind of behavior…I guess it’s acceptable for me, also.”
Wake up to the reality of what REALLY IS, people! If we will sit still long enough, in a place that is quiet enough, even our own private refuge from the world, and really listen, we will be shocked at what we will hear. The voice of the Spirit is speaking. Are we listening? Are we hearing?
I believe in marriage. I believe in its holiness, in its sanctity, in its eternal length of time. But I also believe, somewhere inside of me, that marriage in the world today has been beaten down until it looks nothing like that most glorious love story of the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve had learned great knowledge in a life before their Earth life. It was there that they developed talents and great abilities, and had prepared for their great Earth life, and for each other. Theirs was a glorious, intelligent, passionate, exciting, and eternally holy marriage, ordained of God.
The marriage of Adam and Eve is the model of all models for us here on Earth of what marriage really is and can be. I believe this kind of marriage can still happen today. And more than that, somewhere deep inside of me, I know that it should be happening. But that doesn't mean that there are no clouds of fear threatening my faith and work to believe?
Is it any wonder that hearts are failing? Failing to believe that it is our potential to have our very own personal Garden of Eden love story? Failing to believe that God really does want our personal happiness in marriage and family life? Are we failing to realize that our very existence here centers around the family unit, our own personal marriages, and that without marriage there is no point to this world having even been created?
When God spoke to Adam, He was speaking to Adam as a whole unit. Adam and Eve were the two essential halves of this unit. He married them for time and all eternity, there in the Garden. He created them, taught them, loved them, and gave them charges. Adam was made governor over the entire earth, and the powers of the priesthood of God were placed upon his shoulders. Eve was the mother of all living. It was through the power God placed within her to activate life that Adam and Eve were able to keep the first commandment that God gave to them once married. She was to teach and to direct and to lead her children in spiritual light and knowledge, in the nurturing of the spirit. Together, she and Adam made up the unit of Adam, or Man. Together, they would articulate the vision of marriage, family, and all that God would command them to do. Together, they, with God, would be unstoppable.
When the man that I desire to be united to walks into my life, I will either be prepared, or I won’t. And if I am not, then he will marry someone else. And I will be alone, out in the cold, on the other side of the door, while the wedding party is inside, feasting and celebrating the eternal union he will be making to another. But I am determined to not let such a thing happen. I am preparing, even now, even today, to equal him, to be worthy of him, and to fit naturally with him, without a struggle. My destiny depends on it. My future children depend on it. The future of the church depends on it. I must not fail. I will not fail, for God and legions of angels are on my side. Deceased family members, very much alive in the spirit world, will also be helping me, for one righteous, virtuous woman can save an entire generation. They are on my side. I will not fail.
So bring on the eternal marriage, and bring on someone who will choose me and choose to remain with me, such as Adam did with Eve, such as the prophet Joseph did with Emma, such as any good and righteous covenant-keeping priesthood holder has shown me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tilt-a-whirl

Do you ever have times when there are so many thoughts swirling around your mind that you feel as though you are on a tilt-a-whirl, spinning and spinning, but never slowing down enough to see straight? I feel like the last two months of my life have been this way. There is so much inside of me that I wish I could clearly, exquisitely express, but putting my random rings of thought into straight sentences has never been my forte. Maybe this is why I go to paper and pen when I don't know what to say, or how to say it.

Dear life...is there ink enough for me?