Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Comfort Zone

I remember it well. I was in the 9th grade. I was so shy, even introverted. I hated myself. I wanted change, I wanted to like myself, to be comfortable in my own skin.  But how? I was taking a class in psychology.  The teacher was telling us how we have an imaginary circle around us, our comfort zone.  If we want to change any aspect of who we are, we need to step out of the space that we feel comfortable in. 

I decided to pick one thing that made me feel uncomfortable and change that.  It took me several months, but I worked on that one thing.  It worked.  I had increased my comfort zone.  Then I chose another thing. I wanted to learn to water ski but didn't know how to swim.  I taught myself how to swim so I could feel comfortable in the water and learn to water ski.  I did.  Then a friend talked me into trying out for the drillteam.  I had thought that I would not make it (I had no dance experience), but it was stepping outside my comfort zone. To my surprise, I make the drillteam! I didn't think I was college material, but I applied, was accepted, and eventually graduated.

I have made a life time of stepping out of my comfort zone.  I am, by nature, a shy, introverted person who doesn't like to try new things, but people who know me today find this hard to believe.  It has become second nature to me to try things I find difficult, hard, uncomfortable.  Is it still hard for me? Extremely.  But it is this habit that I began in my early teens, that I believe gave me the courage to walk away from a dysfunctional marriage, an abusive church/organization. To begin a a career at the age of 40, to buy a home on my own for the first time at the age of 40ish.

I am often perplexed when I see others who are fearful of making these huge life decisions at this life stage.  I see that their life choices are not working for them and wonder why they would prefer to stay stuck rather than step out of their comfort zone.  I have to remind myself that they have not made a life of stepping out of their comfort zone, and even though I have made a life of it, I still have a difficult time stepping out, it is uncomfortable, unsettling, even painful.

My comfort zone has expanded, my confidence in my self has expanded over the years, and my self-esteem has expanded.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happiness Discovery

What makes you happy?

I am happy when I am with my children, when I am successful at work, when I am excercising, when I am watching a sunrise or sunset or sitting on a beach and the tide is rolling in.  I am happy taking photos of nature.  There are so many things that make me happy.  Crawling into bed after a long day and the covers are just the right temperature.  Being up in the mountains and hiking a trail, or remembering being on a snowmobile, or racing my car really fast. Running early in the morning with my music blaring in my ears and no one is bothering me. Being so engrossed in a book that time doesn't exist. 

When I was in the mormon church, I was told there was only one way to be happy.  That one way for a woman consisted of being married, having lots of children, staying home, cleaning house and being submissive to her husband.  I did not desire these things, but since I was told this was the only way to be happy (even though I was not unhappy and quite liked my life and felt happy and fulfilled without these things) I did what I was told.  The more I embrassed these things, I discovered the more unhappy I became.  I thought I was doing something wrong.  I thought there was something wrong with me.

After 20 years of being very, very unhappy, I left this myth of happiness behind, left the mormon church, got a divorce, got a job... and discovered happiness.

I discovered that there are many roads to happiness, one organization does not hold a corner on happiness, they cannot tell everyone how to be happy.  This is a road that each individual must discover for themselves.

I am so happy I discovered happiness before I died.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I had a conversation with a man not too long ago where he claimed that women and men had sex for very different reasons.  He said that women have sex because they are in love.  I didn't disagree with him because that is certainly one reason women have sex.  Today, someone posted the following link on my facebook and an interesting discussion followed.  I won't post the discussion here, to protect people's privacy, but I am posting the link to the book.

 Women do have sex for many more reasons other than because they are in love, though that can be one of the reasons. I hope you find the book as fascinating as I did.


In my efforts to understand men, I have been on a search.  I have checked out a book from the library. I will blog about it when I am done reading it.  I have read the following articles on the net and am linking you to them.  The one I find the most fascinating is the one on why men cheat.  I absolutely believe it.  I also believe it is the same reason some single men cannot commit to one woman. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2386392/men_and_cheating.html?cat=41

This next article explains how men express themselves emotionally:

In this last article, the author asked men what they wished women knew about men.  Men are candid about the fact that they do have emotions, they have just been conditioned to not express them, and after years of this conditioning, they are inept. It also goes on to say they do not want to spend endless time discussing emotions. Men want sex because it feels good. Men don't get our little hints, they want us to just come out and say what is on our minds. Also, they don't like being criticized in public and like feeling in charge or being king:  http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/90235/girls_can_we_talk_about_men_what_men.html?cat=41

There you have it, take it for what the articles say, leave a comment if you wish, I will post it if it is productive, thanks.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I have known since childhood many of the secrets of the mormon church.  Many of these truths they try and hide from their current membership by telling them to avoid the internet, they suggest that if they avoid the internet they will avoid such evils as pornography, but  what the church is really afraid of is their members finding out its true history and leaving, just as the members are leaving in droves.  Yet, I have often wondered why, since knowing so many of these awful things about the mormon church, why did I stay so long?  I have pondered this question countless times and trying to find the answer to this is one of the reasons I maintain this blog.
I have known about its teaching of Kolob: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolob
I knew about Joseph practicing polygamy and that Emma was not always on board with it, and in fact was in conflict with it and therefore in conflict with D&C 132 which states that she must give her constent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHo76tEb5c&feature=player_embedded
I knew about  the racist teaching of the leaders of the mormon church: http://www.realmormonhistory.com/god&skin.htm#The Mark of Cain
I knew that they taught a blood atonement:
I have asked myself, ‘Why did I stay?” I have addressed this in other blog posts. Yet, I have not been satisfied with my conclusions.  I was so unhappy in the mormon church. I questioned what I was taught. I taught gospel doctrine class and taught many things that were in contradiction to the official church stance.  I was even told at one point to stop teaching because I had strayed from the lesson material.  I had been in a state of cognitive dissonance for many years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
I had stopped attending church on a regular basis.  I openly questioned the leaders as to their ‘inspiration’ they received. Yet, I did not fully walk away.  Why? I had an epiphany this morning.  I was only able to fully walk away when everything I hold dear was threatened to be taken away from me.  My marriage was falling apart, I was losing my home, living out of a suitcase, sleeping on a mattress on a floor, my children were sleeping on the floor living out of their suitcases, we had no furniture, I hadn’t worked in 15 years.  I didn’t know how I was going to financially support myself and them.
Only when I was losing everything which I  valued; my marriage, my family, my spirituality, was I able to face the one thing I feared that I was not able to face before; that I could be wrong.
I could be wrong about everything that I was ever taught. I was taught that if women will only love their men enough that they will be loved back.  I was taught that If you submit in marriage you will be happy.  I was taught that the only place to find happiness was within the mormon church.  I was taught that the only place to have an eternal family was within the mormon church.  I was taught that the only place to find truth was within the mormon church. 
When I was able to face an opposing view, I could toss out my old belief system and learn many truths that contradicted what I had been taught my entire life that was not true.  Truth is not found in a small, insignificant church that makes up only .01% of the world’s population, that is diminishing with each year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Life's Lessons

*Don't mistake my kindness for a doormat

*It is your responsibility to set boundaries around yourself. Love yourself enough, respect yourself enough to do this, no one else will

*Women want to be wooed; don't put us on a pedestal though, they tip over

*Love yourself, believe in yourself, even when you are rejected by others

*You are of worth simply because you exist, not because of your religion, your parentage, your bank account

*Keep friends who have your back, disengage with those who stab you in the back

*Life is a colorful box of crayons, not just black and white

*Love is a two way street, not a one way street

*Love DOES mean having to say you're sorry

*Everyone makes mistakes; take responsibility for yourself, stop blaming others

*Relationships should be win-win first, compromise second, anything less is a red flag

*You are a whole person, you don't need another person to complete you

*Listen first; ask questions second; make judgments to protect yourself not to criticize others

*Everyone has a hard luck story, stop feeling sorry for yourself

*The world is round because you are to bend around it, it is not to bend around you

*FOX news appeals to people's ignorance


Sunday, December 12, 2010


Maybe I have been single too long, I don't know, but it seems to me that it shouldn't be that difficult to find a man that isn't too clingy yet will also call and ask how I am.

Is that so much to ask?!

But I will take being alone to emotionally constipated men any day, thank you very much!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Capacity to Love

What determines a person's capacity to love? Is one's ability to love limited? What limits a person's ability to love others?  If a person is not fully loved by their family of origin, are they then destined to never learn to fully love others?  If a person desires to learn to develop their capacity to love others, is there an age at which they have a harder time learning to love?

Just as people get older, they have a harder time learning new technology like computer and texting, they seem to also have a difficult time learning social skills, like the ability to open themselves up to loving others.  I have met several people in their 40's and 50's who have parents that were emotionally distant. Although their parents did love them, it was a limited love, a love that was conditional, judgmental, reserved.  Some of the offspring of these parents have been able to go on and learn on their own how to develop a large capacity to love their spouses or significant others and children.

 I have found, however, that many of these offspring are emotionally distant from their spouses, are not able to connect with, or commit to an important relationship--even when they strongly desire to.  Their capacity to love and emotionally commit to others seems to be limited and even when they seek out counseling, few are able to learn how to love. They keep their loves, their children, their siblings at a distance.  They do often have a few close friends.

Can a person learn to love, or is a person's capacity to love limited?

Monday, December 6, 2010


I heard it said that the definition of intimacy is to be in the moment with the person you are with. I like this definition because it means more than being sexual. It means that you are not thinking about work, bills, or another person while you are with the person you are with. That said, intimacy combined with sexuality are the epitome of great satisfaction.

lips parting my mouth
skin touching my skin
hand caressing my back
eyes peering into my soul
head nestled on my chest
leg entwined around my leg
fingers running through my hair
breaking benjamin vibrating in my ear

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Polygamy: the Truth

I am posting a warning for those who do not want to know the unvarnished truth about polygamy and the beginnings of the mormon church, you do not want to watch these videos.  They are truthful and disturbing.  They are also enlightening and freeing for those who are not afraid of the truth, the truth you will not hear in any mormon Sunday school class.

Why was polygamy started? What is polyandry? Did god command polygamy?  Why does the book of mormon condemn polygamy and the D&C embrace it? What is the connection between Joseph Smith and Elizabeth Smart? You have questions, these videos have answers.


Jim Whitefield's "Will the Real Joseph Smith Please Stand Up" 

How to Change

Let's say a person wants to go about changing a fundamental part of themselves. Let's say they are perpetually late and their family and friends are upset with not being able to depend on them. How does one go about changing a character trait?

The first thing is to ask, is change necessary? You have likely heard the saying, 'the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result'.  You need to ask yourself, 'Can you be wrong? Is there something in your behavior that is not in harmony with your ideals? To ask oneself the question that you could possibly be wrong is a huge step. It takes insight, intuition and humility. Many people are not able to take this step.

Second, is this behavior harming yourself or others? If others are not able to depend on you, if you are lying to yourself or others, if you are not able to be intimate with others, you are likely harming yourself and others. A behavior that harms others needs to be looked at and changed.  Ask, how the behavior is harming yourself.  Do you keep others at a distance in order to protect yourself from potential pain? You are likely also keeping yourself experiencing true love and intimacy, also. Ask yourself what what great friendships and life experiences are you missing out of by pushing people away? Are you trading deep, meaningful relationships for shallow, short term ones?

Third, are you willing to step outside your comfort zone temporarily and risk greater happiness? Change is hard. Risking being vulnerable is hard. Admitting that your could be wrong is hard.  What are the possible gains by risking? What are the possible downsides?

I have been surprised and happy with most of the changes I have made in my life. Will you?