Thursday, March 8, 2012

Concern Trolls are the Best

This made me laugh out loud today, from the public Feminist Mormon Housewives group.

All the responses are great, but Natalie's (such elegant simplicity) and Jennifer's (such clever use of Harry Potter quoteage!) make me particularly happy. And happy things need to be shared.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Surprising First

Prayer has always been a sore spot for me. The thirteen or fourteen years from middle school through college were often agonizing; without going into detail, I'll just say that the number of desperate prayers I've offered in my life, accompanied by hysterical sobbing and pleading and delivered while curled up in a ball on my bed or wandering the streets of Provo in the middle of the night, is not a small one. I never got the comfort I was begging for, never felt like I was being guided in any direction, never felt like anyone was listening much less trying to say anything back. My prayers were as sincere as they could be, and yet I always felt that if I wasn't getting answers, it was because I wasn't faithful enough; because deep down I knew I could never pray on my knees all night long like Enos, and that must mean my heart wasn't really in it. I didn't know how I could be better, but it was obvious that I needed to be.

Anyway, I finally got tired of trying. I don't remember when I stopped, but I can say for sure that it's been at least three years since I made any kind of concerted effort.

I don't know why it occurred to me last night, but I got in bed and just had the thought that I sort of wanted to say something to whoever was up there. I started the way I always have, by addressing Heavenly Father. Then I stopped, because it occurred to me to try addressing Heavenly Mother. I've thought about her recently, and I've talked about her plenty with my fMh and Exponent friends. But I've never thought of including her in a prayer before. (I think I may have been influenced by reading Sonia Johnson last week.)

So I started over. I said both of their names that time—Heavenly Mother first.

"Heavenly Mother. Heavenly Father. I'm going to try this out."

That was all I said. It was all I could think of to say, and the thought just kept repeating in my head for a few minutes afterward—I'm going to try this out—over and over. I realized I was smiling, and my eyes had filled with tears. And I just lay there for several minutes, smiling in the dark, feeling kind of silly but mostly just feeling happy.

Having just read what I've written here, I'm hating that it sounds like one of those stories in the New Era that always made me roll my eyes as a teenager. It sounds so cheesy, and it also sounds a lot more dramatic than it was when it happened. But you know what? There's a lot about my life that just really sucks right now, and it's been a long time since I had a pleasant experience with something religious. I need this. I need to not care that it's cheesy. I just had a good experience with prayer, for the first time in I literally do not even know how long. That's kind of a big thing for me, and I'm going to take it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I Might Have to Take a Break Soon

The internet is hard on my head lately. I'm usually pretty good at participating in online discussions, but more often than not right now I seem to be too angry or bewildered to form constructive responses. I haven't been able to figure out how to talk to someone who is defending Rush Limbaugh's most recent assault on humanity, for example, because I was under the impression that anyone with a shred of decency and respect for women understood that it was an abomination. (The general argument seems to be that yes, he shouldn't have said it, but the real problem here is that everyone's making a big deal out of the words as an excuse to ignore his message. Well, (1) his "message" was inaccurate garbage, and (2) do people really not know that when you speak to the public for a living, your delivery actually does kind of matter? His choice of words makes a statement, and his use of offensive misogynistic words is absolutely deserving of attention.)

I just can't even count anymore the times I've read a comment, tried to respond, and ended up deleting everything I wrote. Am I losing my ability to analyze a statement? Is it just that these comments are based on such faulty "logic" that analysis isn't useful anyway? I really think it's some of both. In any case, I'm getting tired of feeling like an idiot because I can't put a decent response together.

I was considering another internet fast anyway, or at least an internet diet of some sort. I think I'm going to have to impose some kind of no-reading-the-comments kind of rule if I want to be able to keep up on the blogs... And I'll probably have to just avoid Facebook entirely (since there isn't really a way to avoid the comments there). It'll be nice to focus on things like book reviews again for a while, which I think is what I ended up doing the last time I did an internet fast. Pinterest and Goodreads okay... Feminist websites not. Blogging okay, Facebook not. Reading blogs okay, reading comments not.

Yeah, actually, this is sounding really good. I think I'll start tomorrow.