Friday, November 7, 2008

One of my Blinding Moments

I was that girl in the class who NEVER raised her hand. I would answer when called upon, but never by my own volition. I was terrified of being wrong, or even worse, being laughed at. If grades were assigned based on voluntary vocal class participation, I would have undoubtedly flunked. Fortunately, I knew how to go with the flow, adopted each of my teacher's individual teaching methods, and kept a low,  unopinionated profile. I was a model student.

But today, I need to raise my hand. I know that we are by no means in short supply of political opinion and don't pretend that I have anything of real value to add to the massive throngs of passionate outbursts. I have tried to adopt a policy of non-offense in my persona. I value humanity and the many solutions to a problem that can be presented by each of our own personal experiences. I have a "Rubik's Cube" theory of the world. We are all part of a whole and each of our movements can affect one another, but we need to have respect for our individual colors while we make these movements. Absolutism is one of my greatest fears and consequently, I tend to remain a bit mushy on almost every issue. I want to keep a flexible stance so as to remain open to different points of view. Usually, I have rationalized this behavior with the excuse that I don't have enough unbiased information to make a completely objective decision. Heated conversations are often interpreted as personal attacks. What I have realized more recently, however, is that it is also very likely that I may not trust my relationships with others to withstand a strong differing opinion. I need to apologize to those people in my life. I am sorry that I allowed my own fears of disapproval or disappointment to inhibit me from fully offering myself. And if our relationship doesn't withstand the whiplash of this offering, I apologize for not putting forth the effort to establish a stronger relationship in the first place.

I don't have enough time to elaborate on my LDS background and I know that my blog doesn't extend far beyond the boundaries of those of similar Mormon faith. I graduated from Seminary, served a mission, got married in the LDS temple, prayed fervently, read my scriptures, and truly desired and still desire to be a good person. I tried to have the childlike faith that entail believing, even if not understanding.

I have known about Polygamy all my life. It was one of those things of the past that I could shrug my shoulders, laugh, and say, "thankfully, I don't have to understand that in this lifetime." I have seen many personal ancestral pedigrees including wife #1, #2, #3. I am a product of polygamy. I can't explain what happened to me the day I read the journal entry of a polygamist woman who wrote of the day her husband took another wife, "Today, all the joy my life has ended." Something in my heart broke and I cried for days thinking about what that woman had to endure. I still cry when thinking of these women. I had a similar experience the day  I read about the man who was found dead on the LDS church doorstep, a self-inflicted bullet wound, and calloused knees from trying to pray his homosexuality away.  It is impossible for me to reconcile God's love with the pain these people were feeling. Is there something we can do to help alleviate this pain? Is there something that I am personally doing to contribute to the pain of another individual? It is far easier to label their pain as a product of their weakness or lack of faith than to take any personal responsibility.

My family is the most important thing in my life. It is my family, not because I had a female mother and a male father, numerous cats, and lots of brothers and sisters. My family is my family because they are people who will accept me for who I am; they are people who will love me on my dark days and on my brighter days. They are my family because I have hope that they know that I drove our family car through a flooded parking lot, are witnesses to some of the really strange things I can do and they still love me. When my sisters married, their husbands didn't become part of my family because they were male--they became family because my sisters chose to love them for who they were, and I choose to love them and accept them.

The real threat to my family is not a redefinition of marriage. It is the possibility that we can be ripped wide open, see each other for who we really are, see the pain and insecurities that we are each facing, and turn away from the not so pretty picture. My greatest wish for my children is not that they will find an opposing-sex spouse and have the white picket fence. My greatest wish is that they will support and hope for other people, whoever they are, the same happiness that they have had as a family.