Sunday, December 14, 2014

Float On

One of the scriptures we read in class today was James 1:5, which is a pretty popular verse in my religion. It says "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that give to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him." Our teacher read us the definition for the word upbraideth, which is "to find fault with, or reproach severely."

That definition brought on a whole new meaning to that scripture. You can pray to God about anything and He will never scoff at the things we ask. Our Father will never judge us, He will never be angry with us, He will never pick at the faults we all have. He truly loves us unconditionally, in a way we can never fully comprehend.

As 2014 draws to a close, I've been thinking a lot about where I was this time last year. I was starting to recognize that the relationship I had with my missionary out serving was destroying me emotionally and that it needed to end. I was struggling to adjust to a new school and let go of the anger directed at the school I had left behind. I was juggling three jobs and full time school, trying to manage my ever-growing to do lists. As my 20th birthday was approaching, those adulthood questions began to nag me even more. What am I doing? Is this what I want to do with my life? Are these the types of relationships I want to have? Who? What? Where? When? How?

So much has happened in that year. So many blessings, so many miracles, so many triumphs. And yet there were so many heartaches, breakdowns, and failures. Through everything that has happened, I'm so grateful my Lord was there with the unconditional love I so desperately needed. I'm grateful I could come to him when I had really messed up and He responded with words of forgiveness and mercy instead of the anger I had expected. I'm grateful that in moments of pain, He responded with feelings of comfort and peace. I'm grateful that when I had no one to turn to, He responded with the assurance that He had all the time in the world for me.

After this lesson, I was thinking about the Christmas present I could give to others this year and I've decided on practicing unconditional love. Love with no strings attached. Love that doesn't change with the seasons or the mood. Love that pushes through barriers and climbs out of pitfalls. Love that I have received for years and years from my Savior.

Behind that though, I learned today that I need to have that same love for myself. If the Lord, the most powerful being in existence can see past my shortcomings then how dare I let them take over my life? If the Lord can forgive the sins I've committed, then how dare I use them as proof that I'm unworthy of love? If the Lord is willing to pull me out of my dark places, then how dare I let myself give in to that pain? If the Lord will never give up on me, then I have no right to give up on myself.

Life progresses. I'm progressing with it.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hurts Like Heaven

The way life has been taking me these past few weeks has made me recognize people again. Individuals with stories. Outsiders with hopes and dreams. Socialites with dirty secrets. The soft spoken with loud tales. The outspoken with unspeakable challenges. People are kind of beautiful that way. We're all hiding things and bearing heavy burdens in our hearts while effortlessly pretending all is well.

People are experts at building facades. We're the wardens of our own prisons. We're the monsters hiding under our own beds. We're the gatekeepers to our own fortresses.

One of my favorite books of all time is A Thousand Splendid Suns. It is hauntingly and heartbreakingly beautiful. Never has a book brought me down with so much emotional weight, but in the end, the heartache is what makes the experience beautiful. The book has so many ugly chapters but is beautiful in the power that it has over you. It is beautiful in the impact it casts upon the reader. It is beautiful in the way it inspires.

I had the chance to talk to my lovely friend Kenna the other day. She told me that it's quite easy to ask why all of the challenges of her life have happened to her. But the answer is that these challenges make us more able to relate to others. We become tools in the lives of other by our shortcomings and mistakes. We become a friend to those who think they have no where to turn to. We become a bridge that links past pains to future happiness. We become impactful and inspirational.

Everyone person that will ever walk the earth is a book filled with ugly chapters. We carry horrible secrets, mistakes, shortcomings, faults, and illnesses. We are all far from perfect. No two books are exactly the same. However, if we use these ugly chapters to teach, uplift, and inspire others, ugly things are made beautiful. Suddenly we discover purpose and a reason to continue. We understand our place in the universe. We recognize light in places that are very dark.

Be willing to open these books when invited. Be willing to listen to the experiences of others. Be willing to take in their triumphs and downfalls. We all have a lot to learn from each other.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Disparate Youth

I'm doing ok.

I'm learning my limits.

I'm learning to breathe in.

I'm learning to breathe out.

I'm learning about being in control.

I'm learning how to be the bigger person.

I'm learning to find my happy place.

I'm learning about empowerment.

I'm learning to let things go.

I'm learning what joy is.

I'm doing ok.

Monday, November 10, 2014

All The Right Moves

Music nowadays is freaking horrible. Absolutely terrible. The songs currently rocking the charts are polluted with misdirected and inappropriate messages about how we should see others.

I'm sure you've all heard that song "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor.

I'm bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny witches that
No, I'm just playing I know you think you're fat,
But I'm here to tell you that,
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top
Yeah, my momma she told me don't worry about your size
She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night
You know I won't be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll,
So, if that's what's you're into
Then go ahead and move along

Or "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj

This one is for my witches with a fat caboose in the freaking club
I said, "Where my fat caboose big witches in the club?"
Screw those skinny witches,
Screw those skinny witches in the club

(And yes, I did edit out the lyrics for those that are more sensitive to the language. But caboose should definitely make its way into lyrics nowadays amirite?)

I don't know about you all but these songs, and many others on the radio, makes me feel horrible about myself. I'm all for people celebrating their bodies, whatever body type that is. I think it's awesome that there is this new movement in the music industry to push aside the norms of "beauty" and celebrate what we've got. But it's 100% NOT OK to celebrate that at the expense of others. It's never ok to lift yourself up by pushing others down. So does this mean that if I am a size two with no hips, butt, or boobs to speak of that I'm gross and unattractive? Oh, and screw me? Thanks bro. 

It's really easy to fall in this frame of mind when we need a boost of self-esteem. It doesn't even need to be about looks, if we're feeling down on ourselves about anything, it's easy to want to bring others down to our level with whatever flaw we can see. It's like a balance beam, if one side is pushed down then the other side must come up. This way of thinking is toxic to our relationships with others, whether they be strangers, acquaintances, or loved ones. It damages our perception of people and the world. It traps us in a never-ending and painful cycle where we have to depend on the flaws of others for self-validation. It's a very unhealthy thought process and it's pretty scary how accessible these ideas are to others. It's scary that shaming others is acceptable, cool, and even celebrated nowadays. 

I'm definitely not perfect at thinking kindly of others, especially when days are rough. There are those days when I see a picture of an old ex with a new girl and I convince myself that he seriously downgraded to make myself feel better. There are days when I see that someone got a better score on a test than me and I find some flaw to pick on to make me feel high and mighty. It's a vicious cycle that's hard to get off of. Temporarily, it eases our pain but in the long run, it makes us weaker when we recognize the only way we feel happiness is through the degradation of others. 

Search for better outlets and esteem boosters. Take yourself out for dinner. Pour yourself a glass of chocolate milk. Buy yourself a nice new pair of shoes. Surround yourself with people that love you. Find an uplifting song that speaks to your soul. Love yourself so you can learn to love others. And if it wasn't clear before, it is NEVER ok to lift yourself up by pushing others down. Ok? Ok.  

Love, peace, and all that jazz you beautiful people. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

This Too Shall Pass

Things are going to be ok.

I have a job.

I'm going to an amazing school.

I have a wonderful family that is mine forever.

There's like two people in the world that think I'm cool and they aren't my mom.

Hocus Pocus was on TV tonight.

Things are ok.

I'm ok.

Well, I'm not really ok. But I'm going to be ok. It's going to be ok. Everything's going to be ok.

Ok? Ok.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


I've had a really hard time talking these past few days. I'm hoping writing will release some baggage.

I don't understand a lot of things. I don't understand why I have to keep being brought to this point. I don't understand why I need this lesson over and over again. I don't understand why I have to be broken again and again in the exact same place.

I don't understand why you think I'm invincible.

I think I've done an absolute fabulous job of proving I'm incompetent in these aspects of life. I think I've made it clear that I can't handle this anymore. I think I've exceeded all expectations in the category of screwing myself over.

I think I've done this enough times.

I don't want to be a pawn anymore. I don't want to be used. I don't want to be the end of a joke.

I don't want to be a player in this game.

Let me know when I'm considered worthy enough to understand the purpose behind it all. Let me know when I'm considered smart enough to see the bigger picture. Let me know when I'm considered good enough to have some questions answered.

I'm anxious for it

Sunday, August 10, 2014


There ain't much that's dumber, there ain't much that's dumber then pinning your hopes on a change in another.

How dumb am I.

I wish I spent less of my life hoping a change in one thing will bring about changes in other things. I wish I spent less of my life hoping an answer will present itself. I wish I spent less of my life hoping my happiness is safe with fickle events and fickle people.

I wish I spent less of my life hoping instead of doing.

I don't need this to happen for me to be happy. I don't need a good job to be happy. I don't need a degree to be happy. I don't need to be more successful than them to be happy. I don't need to be prettier to be happy. I don't need a shiny ring on my finger to be happy. I don't need a missionary badge on my chest to be happy. I don't need to be superior to be happy.

I don't need you to be happy.

I am the only one in charge of my happiness. I won't let you, or him, or her take away that power. I won't let this moment or this hour or this day or this year take away that power. I won't let myself give away that power.

Needing is one thing and getting's another.