Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blindness of our Minds

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you were completely blinded by what you were actually doing? You know, the times when you used noble words like "committed", "faithful", "true", "loyal", "right"? Those times when your opinion of yourself and your actions is justified, and even noble. You reinforce your justification of your chosen course by telling yourself that your actions, though "not understood" by people whom you would normally respect, are higher and nobler than they can possibly understand. Our superior understanding of the situation, and more importantly, our intentions gird up and fortify our objective. Hence, we proceed to move forward, blinded by WHAT WE WANT, not seeing the potentially devastating consequences.

I have a LOT of examples of this in my life. I was convinced I wanted to marry a certain young man for whom I'd wasted 2 years "waiting" while he served a mission. Never mind that any logically thinking person could see once he got home and we were together what a stupid match it would be. No. I WANTED IT. There was no reason a girl like me and boy like him couldn't have what we wanted.

Then there was the time I WANTED to have a picture perfect, Martha- Stewart- Envy- Inducing- Cookie -Exchange, and dadgum if I wasn't going to MAKE it happen. I spent hours scouring the internet, coming up with all the right details, including "The Rules". (Any self respecting cookie exchange surely has rules to keep it from falling into the flotsam of a Homemaking Meeting Potluck) So naturally, when a girl I visit taught* called 2 hours before the party to tell me her cookie press had broken, and would it be okay if she came with (gasp) no cookies, I TOLD HER "NO".

So how is it that at this stage in my life I can look to these examples and identify them as times when my mind was "blinded"? What finally "snapped me out of it"?

Sometimes, someone else makes the choice for us. Missionary? HE broke up with ME. (Unthinkable, I know) In that case, reality slapped me hard across the face and gave me no choice but to take it. It was not easy, or painless.

The cookie party? Stupidly, all I got immediately was a twinge of guilt.

It was quickly buried under a mountain of justification. "If she had only planned further ahead she could have avoided this." "It's not my fault her cookie press broke." "It's not fair that everyone else made 4 dozen cookies and has to share them with her, who brought none." "I clearly stated the rules before the party." I even had to somehow bury the fact that there were probably more than 6 dozen cookies leftover and that everyone felt they had more than they would ever use. I managed to not even pack some up and take them to her with an apology. No, I just brushed it under the rug. I sought approval of my atrocious behavior from trusted friend. She gently tried to tell me I probably should have told her to come anyway, but I even managed to eliminate that guilt by telling myself that trusted friend didn't hold the same "standards of excellence" I was seeking for the evening.

I am afraid to report that the incident didn't strike me with it's proper horror until a much later time, when I felt snubbed from a group for not being able to contribute "properly". ("She brings a bag of chips to a potluck where everyone else brought something that took all morning to make? Let's not tell her about our next one...")

So how do we wake ourselves up to the blindness we live in TODAY? How do we avoid creating such misery for ourselves, and people we claim to care about?

I keep coming back to the idea that at the moment I find myself justifying ANY behavior, I am putting the blinders on. If my action was in course with what I knew to be right, or good, or true, I would not need to justify it for any reason. I never have to justify being kind. I never feel I have to justify being generous, or loving, or charitable. In fact, I am rewarded by feeling good. I don't have time to bother coming up with reasons why what I was doing instead WAS good.

What do you think? How have you been woken up to your "blind times"? Is there something blinding you now? Do you know what it is? How do you get out of it?

*In the Mormon Church women are assigned to each other (2 to 1) to look after and care for each other. As a "Visiting teacher" you are to visit or contact the person you visit teach at least once a month to see if she has any needs you can help with, and be a friend in general.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Only for Women who have been Pregnant....

I have this recurring symptom of pregnancy that I can't recall ever having anyone else claim to be able to relate to. Having begun its onset MUCH earlier than usual, I thought I would take an informal survey of my friends to see if anyone else has had this that I just haven't run into yet.

(This just doesn't sound like it's going anywhere good, does it?)

I call it "the wishbone effect". That is, I feel like my legs are the two sides of a wishbone, and my pelvis where they meet. The uncomfortable part is, I feel like someone is trying to break the wishbone. This usually happens while walking around (naturally). I have heard some people say towards the later months they feel like their joints are "wobbly" or "loose", but this is actually painful. Like, my face involuntarily grimaces kind of pain. I've had this before, but never this early.


Monday, October 5, 2009


My doorbell just rang while I was fixing dinner.

6th grade neighbor, whom recently pitched me Happenings books, pizzas, cookie dough, and chocolates wanted to know if I wanted to buy raffle tickets for the homecoming football game.

I said, "No, thank you.'