Friday, June 28, 2013

The Lord of the Rings Eagles are Jerks

Just this morning a friend of mine posted this picture on his FB account...

He claims the thing was as big as his fist and just chillin' outside of the door when he got to work this morning. I promptly informed him that I would never be returning to Cody, WY (the location of the monstrosity), to which he replied that if I thought this guy was bad, I ought to see the spiders........

...............

...................................

I.............

...........I.................................................I am NEVER going back to Cody, WY.

Let me make myself perfectly clear:

I would ride that moth like a Shetland Pony. I would climb upon it's majestic back like the Winged Pegasus or like one of those Golden Eagles from The Lord of the Rings.....or The Hobbit....take your pick because the stupid things were in both movies. 

And you know what?...now that we are on the subject.....Seriously???, Come on, really eagles??? Really??? You wait until people have lost their lives and Frodo is two seconds away from becoming Gollums new love interest, not to mention the fact that you coulda swooped in at any time in the prior...oh...I don't 3 MOVIES!! I mean seriously guys! Do you even give a flying fetch about Middle Earth? I would argue no, but perhaps you are banking on the idea that when it all goes to pot you can just fly above it all with your feathered appendages and obvious apathy for the carnage going on beneath you. But hey, no big deal, I'm sure it's like the whole Noah's Ark thing where if you can just stay airborne long enough the problem will basically take care of itself and then you guys will have the whole of Middle Earth all to yourselves.

Wait a minute....

THAT was your diabolical plan all along wasn't it?!?!

Oh, I'm on to you Eagles. You aren't fooling me with your feigned attempts at "saving the day". I can't just hear you now sitting in your comedically over-sized nest (which would have to be even that much more gargantuan in order to accommodate the discussion between whatever hierarchy makes such life decisions), plotting the whole thing....

Eagle #1: Hey, Hey, Hey guys, guys...Hey guys...guys!!

Eagle #2: *In a British accent*    Yes....What is it Marcus?

Eagle #3: *Aside to Eagle #2* Who keeps inviting this guy to the meetings?

Eagle #2: He is Clarence's brother who also recently made a generous donation to the foundation, and he asked if we would be willing to help get Marcus out of the house and make him feel "included" and all, and well, you know. 

Eagle #3: I tell you what, if we didn't need that new wing for the "Conservatory for the study of how to be a jerk eagle"......

Eagle #2: I know Stephen, I know, but we have to do what is best for the group; so let's just give him his 2 seconds to speak and then send him out for bagels and coffee.

Eagle #3: Alright fine, but can we please get something other than plain bagels and plain cream cheese this time? You know..."branch out" a little.....Expand our horizons, as it were.

Eagle #2: Why Stephen, I had no idea you felt so strongly about the subject.

Eagle #3: Well now you do Hans!

Eagle #2: Stephen....does this have anything to do with the other night?...because I thought I made it pretty clear that I was drunk and that while I had a lovely time, I love my wife very much and....

Eagle #3: Can we just NOT talk about this right now. 

Eagle #4: Umm...excuse me guys, but do you want me to write all of that in the minutes for the meeting?

Eagles #2 & 3: NO!!!

Eagle #4: Ok, ok, just asking.

Eagle #2: That's alright Steve, you are just doing your job, thank you for asking.

Yes. There are in fact two eagles named Stephen that sit on the committee, but you will notice that one spells his name S.T.E.P.H.E.N while the other spells it the less formal S.T.E.V.E.N. It might be of interest to know that this caused no small amount of confusion in the beginning, but after the eagles took to calling Ste(ven) Steve and the other, Stephen, the confusion subsided and they were able to move on from it.


In the end, Hans and Stephen were able to work through their issues and Hans even invited Stephen to spend the 4th at their summer home near Lake Valinor where they all enjoyed a pleasant drama free weekend. Soon after this meeting took place, Marcus ran for public office, he received zero votes as even he did not vote for himself. Ste(ven) or Steve as he had come to be know, had his name legally changed to Lady of the morning kitten whisper and now resides in Las Vegas where he performs 3 shows nightly, to moderately enthused crowds and has received several Best of Strip award nominations, but has yet to actually win any.

So you see.....um.....uh......So....what was my point again?

Oh RIGHT!!! I remember. 

Eagles are jerks. 

And I hate spiders. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DOMA: The Fallout

Today's topic is a sensitive one. It has been made even more sensitive by the Supreme Court ruling that came down against the DOMA just the other day. Before I begin, let me say this, my post has nothing to do with my feelings or opinions of the DOMA ruling or my opinion about the subject of gay marriage in general. If you would like to know my opinion on that matter, then you may feel free to ask me and I would be glad to have an actual conversation with you about it. I will not, however, post anything that can be so easily misconstrued and lost in textlation. I don't agree with the mud slinging I am seeing on both sides, and I have no desire to pick up a clod anytime soon. We are ALL children of God. I realize that emotions are running high, I know both sides feel passionately about their positions and totally justified in their stances, but it breaks my heart when I read that people are ending long-time friendships because of a comment or opinion that was shared in a less than loving fashion.

We can do better.

With that in mind, I want to talk a little today about a phenomenon I have been observing for a while now. As many of you know I am a theater kid, and as such, I have been exposed to a variety of people and a spectrum of sexuality.

And since I am also LDS and living in Utah, it has only made this dynamic all the more....colorful?

I've met gay LDS guys who are out and proud, I've met former LDS men and women who are out and bitter about the church, and those who hold no grudges. I've met bisexuals, asexuals, and those who are as of yet, "undecided". Some are religious, some are spiritual, some believe in only what they can see and science can prove. Some see sexuality as a strictly natural or biological urge, in the same category as the need for food or sleep, and some see it as a sacred communion with another soul.

What I find so interesting is what happens when you throw the gospel into the mix with people who claim one of the "alternative" lifestyles. What I mean by this is that, in my opinion, people who claim one of these alternative lifestyles, but also grew up or are still a part of the LDS church, very often are faced with a unique set of challenges and conversely, a very unique set of personalities and paradigms. 

On one hand they have the faith of their childhood telling them one thing about who they are and who they should be, and then on the other hand they have whatever combination of things that go into making a person and a personality, telling them something maybe totally different about who they are and who they should be. No wonder we see so many gay LDS youth and adults struggling to find their place in this world and in this church, and within themselves.

This problem only increases when hot button issues like DOMA come up. Many of us feel like we are being forced to take a side. For many of us with gay friends, colleagues, and family members who we love dearly, are being made to feel FROM BOTH SIDES that, If we are not WITH you, then we must obviously be AGAINST you. But I would ask, why does it have to be this way?

In the world of formal logic and philosophy, this kind of thinking is what is referred to as a "False Dilemma" or "False Dichotomy"      

Let me try and give an example to help illustrate:

If I said to you that I felt like I had to stay in Utah and find a husband because if I didn't then God would be displeased with me because I know that what God wants for me is to stay here and get married, but at the time I also told you that I believed that their were NO eligible men in Utah left to date, you would easily be able to point out to me that I had successfully painted myself into a corner. It's a no win situation fueled by fear and just a pinch of ignorance and an inability to see past my own paradigm.

This kind of thinking is exactly what I am seeing playing out right now between parties on both sides of the isle. Both think they are right, both think that they are entitled to something, and both are doing a fantastic job of totally alienating the other side.

Less productive.

Though I am no expert, I will say that I can see the argument clearly from both sides, and both sides make sense to me. I can totally empathize with either side of the isle, and as such, I have no desire to tell anyone that they are "stupid ignorant jerks", or that they should "take this ruling and shove it down their pretentious throats", or that they are going to quote "be sorry when they get to the other side and realize how screwed they are"......yeah....these are actual quotes I have personally observed from either side. 

Someone please explain to me how comments like these are helping either sides cause? In all honesty, please somebody explain to me how we actually believe that by spreading poison we are going to fertilize the garden??

I don't know what it is like to be a gay man or woman, I don't know what it must be like to feel as though your basic human rights are being withheld from you. I will say this though, I DO know what it feels like to feel as though your very nature is somehow contrary to what you have been taught God prefers. I do know what it feels like to hate yourself due to some perceived  inherent lack. I know what it feels like to literally wish to God that you were different, while at the same moment realizing that if you can't learn to love and embrace who you are, whether who you are at this moment is "right" in anyone else's eyes, that you are going to waste the rest of your life engulfed by self-hatred. 

If we truly believe in a loving God, then I have to believe that He would never want a fate like the one I just described for any of His children. How does hating yourself serve His purpose? How does hating others serve to heal this fractured world? How does telling someone that they are wrong and that if they really knew the mind of God that they would see how wrong they really were serve to bring us together in unity and love??(this is coming from BOTH sides). And how does all this mud slinging follow the commandment of Love thy brother like thyself or Judge not lest ye be judged ???



I realize that I have veered off topic a bit, but the point I am trying to make is simply this,

It doesn't matter who is "right".

It doesn't matter who is "wrong".

Being "right" doesn't give you the excuse to an in a way unbecoming of a child of the human race and beneath your dignity as a child of God. 

Being "wrong" doesn't excuse you for treating your brothers and sisters with such little consideration.

I doubt that God is impressed by your quippy and snarky posts, I doubt He is sitting up there looking down on this going "Baazzinga!! You really got em there!! Atta boy!!"
 
 While it is true that there may very well be a certain way that God would prefer something be done, I am still fairly convinced that the way He would want us to go about implementing these things are not by name calling, mud slinging, passive aggressive attacks, ruining friendships, disowning family members, or worse of all, purposely, knowingly, and intentionally attempting to make someone feel wrong or evil or inherently broken or forsaken by God simply because of the side of the isle they happen to fall on.        

Please guys, brothers, sisters, there is a better way of doing this. Let us try to find common ground, but before we can even attempt to do that, we need to be willing to put our weapons down.   



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Curtain Call

This morning I woke up, like I have for the past 30 years of my life. I got up, I took a shower, I ate a bowl of oatmeal, I thought about going to the gym, convinced myself that I was too busy to go to the gym, and then proceeded to invent things to do with my day in order to justify being too busy to go to the gym. Not a lot changes for me. My day in and day out have remained pretty much the same for quite some time now. The characters of my story change, some are given leading roles and others seem content with cameo appearances. But even though the cast of characters may change, the story remains the same, day in and day out.

There are times when the routine nature of my life brings me great comfort. There are other times when it feels like a slow hamster wheel to nowhere.

The past few days I have been struggling with that hamster wheel feeling, and last night after having dinner with a friend I had a chance to reflect on the matter as I drove home from the other end of the valley. At one point during the drive I turned on my radio to the local news station just as they were reporting on a story of a girl who's body had recently been recovered from a boating accident that had occurred over the weekend. I always hate hearing stories like this; they are just heartbreaking. To lose a loved one is hard enough, but to lose someone in such a tragic fashion, and at the tender age of only....how old did they say she was? 29, yes, they said she was 29, just a year younger than I am, or even possibly the same age, depending on when she was born. Nevertheless...too young...too young.

As sad as I found the story to be, I was amazed at how quickly I settled back into my mind rut once I had returned my thoughts to my own life and my own struggles. Then today as I was going about my routine, I again found myself driving in my car, again feeling like life had lost all of it's meaning, and trying desperately to pull myself from whatever funk I had managed to get myself into, when again on the radio came the story about the girl from the lake. This time they went on to say that not only did this young girl lose her life, but also the mother and the daughter of the man who had been driving the boat when it crashed. Again my heart sank....that poor man. In one moment, the course of his entire life has changed in an unalterable way. I was immediately hit with the realization of how quickly life can change for any of us.

I think so often, we as humans tend to fall into these mind ruts where we falsely assume that every day that follows is going to be roughly the same as every day that has proceeded it, with minor variations of course. We assume that the people we love will be there the next time we want to see them, and we assume that we in turn will be around the next time they want to see us. We put off going to the gym until tomorrow because we assume that we are going to get a tomorrow. We put off telling someone we love them, or that we forgive them, because we assume that there will always be another more appropriate time in the future to do it.

And then things like this happen.

Shortly after hearing the story for the second time, I received a text message from someone from my church informing me that Valerie Bradshaws funeral would be held this Saturday and asked if there was anyone who would be willing to help out with providing food for after the service. Now understand, I go to a young single adult ward, and as such, if I am receiving a funeral notification, it usually means that someone far too young has been called home much sooner than any of us could have ever expected. As I was reading the text, the pieces started to come together in mind. I thought to myself....Did they mention a name during the new cast? 

Remember, I had heard the story both times on the radio, and as such I had not seen any of the pictures that might have been released through other sources. The second I was able to pull over, I hopped onto my phone and typed the name Valerie Bradshaw into my phone, and the moment that picture loaded, I felt my heart drop into my stomach.

Valerie Bradshaw, the all-American girl. A classic beauty with a winning smile and personality for days. A girl who when we attended high school together, I secretly wished I could be. In my eyes, Valerie had everything in the world going for her. She was smart, gorgeous, talented, and above all of those things, genuine. She, was one of the kindest and most humble girls at our school, a trait that is not all too often associated with girls who had achieved such a level of popularity as she had. From where I sat, Valerie was the kind of girl that other girls wanted to be and all guys wanted to be with, and even though we were never more than acquaintances, I remember that Valerie always treated me with love and kindness, however brief our encounters happened to be. She was beautiful, but her true beauty radiated from within. It was apparent to anyone who ever met her...this girl loved life.

We never know when it will be our time to exit the stage. We do not know the moment or the day when the people we love will walk out the door for the last time in this life. It is very cliche' to say that we must live today as if it were our last, I kind of doubt that many of us even really knows what that means. We understand it as a concept, but we can't conceive of it because every morning we wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and invent reasons why we can't go to the gym....or tell someone we love them...or forgive someone who has hurt us.

For some reason though, when tragedies like this occur, it suddenly makes these cliche' concepts crystal clear. Suddenly we not only hear, but we understand.

THIS day, THIS moment, THIS breath, THIS heartbeat....THIS life, is the only one that matters. There may be a million more, or there may be one more, and for this reason we must love and make the most of the one we have Today, Right Now, and we mustn't fear how many more there might be. We are in Gods hands, He was there when the curtain went up, and He will be there waiting for us when the curtain falls. Those left in the audience will wish for an encore, and someday, they will have it, and what a beautiful day that will be.

May our thoughts and prayers be with the families of those who for the time being must look forward to that day with hope in their hearts, and their eye on the stage.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Whole(ly) Flawed

OK, so I just got around to replying to all of the replies on the post I wrote called Is Beauty like Art of the NBA??

In this post, I talk about this ideal standard of beauty that we have been taught to aspire too, and I also open up about my own experience in dealing with an eating disorder for many many years of my life. 

I was blown away by the response to this post. Normally when I write a post it will receive somewhere between 100-400 views, sometimes a couple hundred more if it is a particularly popular one. With that in mind, I can tell you that within a matter of only a few days, and thanks entirely to those of you who chose to share it, this post reached over 10,000 views!!! I was amazed, I was dumbfounded, I was moved to tears.

When I started this blog almost 2 years ago, I always hoped that someday something I wrote would resonate enough to make an impact on this world. I am a simple Mormon girl from Utah who enjoys making observations about life and is tickled pink when people actually enjoy what I have to say. It feels good to know I can make someone laugh, or think, or feel, or hope. I may never do anything great with my life, but it feels nice to know that maybe somewhere out there, something I wrote has made a positive difference in someones life.

I don't claim to be anyone who anyone should look to for absolute answers on any subject. All I can do is share life through the lenses that is my own unique set of glasses. I am also a deeply flawed human girl and as such, prone to my own unique set of challenges and short comings. When looking for roles models, I could very easily point to many many others who would be much more qualified that myself. 

If there is one area in which I seem to excel, it is in my uncanny ability to see and recognize my own deeply flawed human nature, though to be fair, not even this ability has saved me from acting out of ignorance or mistaking my strengths, or experiencing feelings of superiority. 

I have been a class A jerk, and a hypocritical liar. I have, on multiple occasions, done the exact things I was telling others that they shouldn't be doing. I have called people out in public for things that I myself was guilty of doing to others. I have been angry and chastising of those I claimed were knowingly and purposely withholding love from me, all the while withholding love from those who wanted or needed it of me.  

I have at times presented myself as "above" some of these human follies, but the truth is, I am the worse kind of offender. I have worn a mask and played many a part in order to be liked, or to garnish some sort of attention, or to receive some sort of validation. I have lied with the best of intentions and hurt people I love with my selfish and ignorant behavior.

But of all of the things I have done, the thing I am most ashamed of is how often I have offended myself. In my attempt to be loved....in my attempt to feel like I was worth something to this world and to this humanity....I have sold out, sold myself, sold pieces of my soul to those who regarded it with as much love and respect as a piece of chewing gum, enjoyed for the moment and then readily discarded. But whereas I use to blame these people, blame the world, blame God, I now see that the only blame I can assign is that which I can place squarely on my own shoulders. 

I share all of this with you for several reasons. 

The first is that I do not wish anyone to think that I believe myself better or more enlightened or more anything than anyone else on this planet. If I am more of anything, it is only more flawed, and maybe more painfully aware of those flaws.

The second is that I want people to know that it is OK to admit that we are all human and as such, we are all deeply flawed, if not still well intentioned creatures. 

I realize that it is not requisite for us all to walk around airing our dirty laundry to everyone we meet, and maybe I am just projecting my own short comings onto the general populous, (which I am also an expert of doing)....but I really think that we have become a culture that is absolutely terrified of weakness. 

We are terrified of the weaknesses we see in others, and we are terrified of the weaknesses we see in ourselves. And maybe I am wrong, but perhaps the reason why we are so terrified of the weaknesses of others is precisely BECAUSE we are so terrified of our own weaknesses. So because of this, we all walk around like we are without weakness, and because of this we are drawn to people who appear to be devoid of weakness, and then when we find out they are just as weak and flawed as we are, we bolt because we believe that we can't even handle our own weaknesses, let alone the weaknesses of another human being.

The problem here is not that we are flawed, the problem here is that we see flaws as weakness, and anything we perceive as weak we automatically loath, or reject, or attempt to hide. I don't think it matters how many blog posts I write on the subject, as long as we all believe that flaws and weakness are something to be hated, something to be hidden, or something to use as a reason to loath ourselves for, or to use as an excuse push others away, then we will spend our lives in a constant state of disconnected chaos, both within ourselves and with others. 

We have to be who we are, flaws and all. We don't have to dwell on these flaws, we don't have to make them our identity, or use them as an excuse for never doing better, but we also don't need to hide them in a closet and pretend like they don't exist and that eventually someone isn't going to smell them rotting in there. 

I will be the first to admit how deeply flawed I am. I freely concede that I am a biased and yes even judgmental person. I have been terrified of the flaws I see in other people because I have been terrified of the flaws I recognize in myself. 

I have often felt as though I am ill-equipped to "handle" this life, exactly because I feel so flawed and so weak. I use to believe that it was because of these weaknesses that I needed the approval and validation of others. I felt so weak and so flawed that I knew I would never be able to hack it alone, and when I looked around me all I could see was the abundance that others seemed to have inside of them....conversely though....whenever I looked inside of myself all I could ever see was lack. 

Because of this perceived lack on my end, I sought out people, men, gurus, spiritual leaders, teachers, philospohers, and basically anyone who I felt possessed whatever it was I thought I was lacking, hoping desperately that they would be able to impart upon me some portion of their abundance. And while I can say I learned many wonderful and sometimes even life-changing lessons from these people, you know what they were never able to give me? They were never able to give me myself. They were never able to impart that thing that I felt like has been missing in me since before I was even able to conceptualize the idea of lack. 

You want to know what else? Without exception, every single one of these people, no matter how intelligent, or successful, or enlightened, or spiritual, or so on...not ONE of these people were totally devoid of flaws. There was not one among them who was without their own unique (and sometimes not so unique) set of weaknesses.

I can say this however; those individuals who appeared to be the most "happy", or rather, those individuals who appeared to be the most at peace with themselves, and with others, and with the world, were those who both saw and recognized their own weaknesses, made no attempt to hide them, made no attempt to allow them to define them, and then went about their lives knowing that eventually with mindful effort, these weaknesses would someday become strengths. 

It is important to note that they did not place time restrictions or deadlines on when these changes must occur, they merely recognized that much like the flow of a river, or the changing of the seasons, or the migration of birds, that these personal changes happen when the time was right, and that the "right" time was the moment it happened and not a moment sooner or later. 

As for myself. I now realize (though I am still prone to forget) that the only thing I have been missing all of these years is the truth that has been in front of me the whole time. The only thing that made me feel like I was lacking, was itself the belief in the lack. Once I realized that I was the only one who could impart upon myself that which I had spent my life trying to obtain from others, the illusion of lack disappeared and much to my great amazement, I realized that I already had everything I ever needed. All of the value, and approval, and validation, and acceptance, and unconditional love that I had been suffering and struggling to get outside of myself for so many years had been there all along. 

This ability is within all of us. This capacity of wholeness is not only for those we see as "perfect", because after all, there is no such thing as a perfect person. We can all be whole however, even though we are flawed and weak at times. We don't need anyone but ourselves to believe that this is true in order for this to work. The only person this requires to believe it is you. 

Thank you for allowing me to share. Thank you for your love. Thank you for reading, and sharing, and for your thoughtful replies. God bless.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

You Aren't as Special as You Think You Are

Remember when you were a kid and your parent or teacher or spiritual adviser would show you a picture of a snowflake??


They would then go on to tell you that every snowflake that has ever fallen to the earth is unique in that it is the only one that will ever look exactly like it does. No two snowflakes will ever be exactly the same....In essence....Every single snowflake is SPECIAL.

Then these same parents, teachers, and spiritual advisers would turn to you and tell you that you are exactly like a snowflake, in that in the history of all human life on this planet, there has never been, nor ever will be, another human being exactly like you. In essence...YOU are Special. 

In this sense, they are absolutely right. You are special..... and so I am.....and so is your Aunt, and your 5th grade teacher, and that one girl you dated once, and that homeless guy giving you the eye. You are Special.....just like EVERYONE else.

Now, if you have spent any time growing up in the LDS church, you might have started to believe that on top of being Special by nature, that you were EXTRA Special because God allowed you to be born within the church. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it wasn't or isn't a blessing to be born within the gospel, I am just merely trying to paint a picture of an overall feeling of Specialness that a person growing up in position might feel.

Add to this now, a kid who comes from a family, where, from very early on, they were regarded as "different" or "more" (in whatever aspect), than the rest of their siblings. Supposing people had been telling you from as far back as you can remember that, even among the special...YOU were even that much MORE special. 

Sounds pretty nice right? I mean, after all, who doesn't want to be special right?? Right???

How does the old expression go?? Something about the best laid plans of mice and men being paved to Hell with good intentions?...Something like that.

The problem with being special...

http://media.urbandictionary.com/image/page/shortbus-46967.jpg

No.....not that kind of "special".......









 http://www.glamour.com/images/entertainment/2012/05/0510-andrew-garfield-spider-man_aw.jpg


Yeah!!! THAT kind of Special!!! 

*To the side* Oh Garfield.....I would make you feel special EVERY day".

And We're Back!!

We all know the epically cliche' line that comes from this movie right?

"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility".  

So here's the problem....One might indeed be special....(as in the case of snowflakes)...but I have found that there is a fine fine line between feeling special and feeling obligated to an unhealthy degree due to the thought that more is expected of you because of your specialness. Do you follow?

So often in my culture I look around and see people (including myself) who, because they were born in the gospel and therefore "know better", hold themselves to an unobtainable level of perfection, and because of this, they are constantly miserable because obviously, nobody could live up to these unrealistic expectations. 

There is a reason Utah has one of the highest prescription rates for anti-depressants.  Just sayin'.  

But seriously...this statistic has always amazed me. You would think that a people who claimed to truly understand the nature of God and the doctrine of Christ would be...oh I don't know....happier??? 

And yet I look around me and a lot more of what I am seeing are a bunch of people who believe so firmly that God expects MORE from them, that when they inevitably fall short (due to being human), they beat themselves up, and suffer, and get depressed, and believe that God is now going to punish them or withhold some sort of blessing that He otherwise would have given them had they not screwed up.

But hey, maybe I am just projecting here. Maybe I am the only one who has felt that way, and, who at times, still struggles to NOT feel that way. I've always been a guilt prone child, and wonder of wonders, I kind of grew up to become a guilt prone adult. 

I'll tell you one thing, we in organized Christian religion have got this guilt thing down. Can't nobody feel guilt the way a Christian can.....unless we are missing the mark here...

What IF...and I'm just throwing out ideas here....What IF we aren't as special as we think we are? Blessed? Yes. Knowledgeable? Perhaps.....But what IF even with all of that, God recognizes that we are still flawed human beings and as such, prone to messing up. I obviously can't and don't and wouldn't presume to speak for God, and you know, maybe He is up there shaking His head with that disapproving scowl on His face, with His hands raised up above His head in an "Are you kidding me?!?!" fashion, while muttering in a disappointed tone.

"You know...I just expected MORE from you. Everyone else gets to be human, Everyone gets to mess up, make mistakes, realize the mistake, course correct, and move on, but you..... You should have known better, I expected you to be perfect because you knew better. You are Special, you are SO special that you are above being human, above making mistakes....I'm so ashamed."  

Are we so special that we are exempt from being human? Does God really expect so much more from you than He does the kid in Africa or the man living atop a mountain side, or your next door neighbor? 

 I know some would argue that He absolutely does, and I am not saying that I disagree...I am merely suggestion that the EXTENT or AMOUNT of the "more" He expects from us may not reach the epic perfectionism level that I see many of us attempting to achieve, much less what we are telling everyone who will listen.

Even the scripture, Be ye therefore Perfect even as your Father in Heaven is Perfect, when properly translated from it's original meaning reads, Be ye therefore WHOLE even as your Father in Heaven is WHOLE. Kinda changes things a little right?

Look, we as members of the church believe that it is the purpose of our existence to become like God, and then to become Gods ourselves someday. If we are to become exactly like God we must assume that at some point we are going to have to be perfect like God.....but who said it had to be today? Or tomorrow? Or even by the time we leave this life? We are here to learn, to experience, to fall down and get back up again. God knew we were going to fall.... a lot....So knowing that the fall was inevitable, what do you think might more matter more to God? The fact that we fell....or the fact that we realized our folly, picked ourselves up, learned from our mistake, course corrected, and then did better next time??

 http://images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1340/800/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_934193.jpg




 Baby steps....Baby steps make a mistake.....baby steps pick myself up....baby steps brush myself off......baby steps try again.....




Perhaps this would be a healthier and more balanced mindset than I have been laboring under for the better part of my life, which in reality, has done little more than make me hate myself and second  guess every single tiny little decision I have ever made in an attempt to try and guess the mind of God and His will for my life. But like Bob I was so afraid of making the wrong choice, that more often than not I ended up making No choice at all. In this state of paralyzed anxiety, I allowed literally years of my life to slip away. 

I know that to some this mindset of "God truly does expect more from me than He does of you and therefore I am not allowed to screw up to any degree" and "It's perfection or nuthin'!",  will seem ridiculous, but I also know that to others, it is going to resonate deeply, and I know that still to others, that all they are going to hear when they read this is that I am giving everyone permission to go out and do whatever the hell they want and then use the excuse that they are only human and therefore God didn't expect much of them....to those people I would say...

I've been there my friend, and I would love to help you carry your cross...if you would be willing to remove your white-knuckle grip that is....  

We are all special....But maybe not as special as we think we are....Thank Heavens.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why Nice Guys Finish Last and How You Can Get Out of the Friend Zone

Question: Where is the one place that a single hetero-sexual man never wants to find himself besides the bathroom of a Village People's concert?

Answer: The Friend Zone

For years I have listened to my male friends lament about how much it sucks to like a girl, attempt to get to know a girl in a respectful manner, and then be thrown into the Friend Zone where the possibility of romance is all but removed permanently.

What is worse is that there seems to be a concentration of men out there who, by their own admissions, are chronically, and habitually cast into the Friend Zone by almost every woman they try and date. Many of these men have adopted the philosophy of "Nice guys finish last", because they assume that the reason women Friend Zone them is due to the fact that are too nice.

If you look around, it is easy to see why they might draw this conclusion. There are plenty of D-Bags out there with women who seem to not care, or even be drawn in by their Douche-Baggery. Many a Friend Zoned man has spent many an hour sitting on the couch with the woman of his dreams listening to her drone on about some jerk that she is caught up on. She wants to "figure him out" she wants to understand why he is acting the way he is so that she can formulate some scheme in order to get him to like her and treat her better. No wonder guys have this notion that what a girl REALLY wants (despite what she CLAIMS) is a guy who treats her with indifference and even condescension.

How frustrating.

OK, so I think that there are a few things going on here. Before you nice guys give up and join the Douche' side, I would like to make a case for how you are right...but also how you are wrong...and ultimately why staying the nice guy is the way to go.

1. She might not be Physically attracted to you

I know, I know, we women are suppose to be the ones that overlook the more superficial aspects and love you for all of your other wonderful qualities. And we do...that's why we want to be your friend. You think we just let any ol' person into our circle of trust? No. We like you, we like your mind and your humor and your compassion, and your so on, but that doesn't therefore mean that we can see ourselves having physical relations with you. 

I'm sorry...I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry..... Trust me..I KNOW how bad it stings to find someone you are perfectly compatible with on EVERY level...only to find out that they are not physically attracted to you or vice versa. It SUCKS!!!

But come on, even you understand that there needs to be a physical/sexual attraction. And if you are being REALLY honest, would you really prefer a woman marry you even though she isn't physically attracted to you, so that ever time you want to have sex she does it for YOUR sake and not because she wants you in that way? She may still love you, she may still do it, but really....is that really what you want? True, attraction can grow, and true, a woman may stick around and give a guy a chance even though she isn't initially physically attracted to him (story of my 20's), but wouldn't you rather have a girl that saw you from across the room and said in her mind..."Yes! THAT one!"  

I maintain that for every human out there, there is at least ONE if not many other humans that will find that person physically attractive. Whether or not you will be physically attracted to THEM is another story. But that's dating. That is what we all are doing.

2. The girl could have major issues

EVERYONE has baggage. Those who claim to have NO baggage often have a carry-on, 3 army issued duffel bags, 6 designer knock off matching luggage sets, and a handbag more baggage than those who actually claim their baggage. 

As much as it makes me sad to have to say it...not everyone got to grow up in healthy family environments with healthy stable examples for parents. I know, I know, it boils down to that cliche' again right? I'm sorry...but Freud might have been a pervert, but there is a reason his theories are still around...and one thing Freud got right (or at least close to) was his belief that we tend to chase after people who remind us of our opposite gender parent.

This doesn't mean that deep down we are all harboring the repressed urge to "do" our parents. 

*Shudder*

What this means is that we get use to a certain kind of personality, temperament, and patterns of behavior and treatment that when we grow older, we seek out unconsciously because it is what is most familiar to us. This is why many children who are abused grow up to become abusers or marry people who abuse them in the fashion they are use to. The cycle can be broken of course, but this takes a great deal of self-actualization, courage, and concentrated effort on the part of the person attempting to do differently. There are people out there who recognize that they are drawn to unhealthy people and/or relationships, realize they don't want to be, but are still unable to be comfortable with anything BUT what they grew up with. It is a viscous cycle and we should have charity for those who are struggling to break the bonds of their childhood conditioning.

However, this doesn't mean you have to date, rescue, or "fix" these people. If they want to change, then it has to be because THEY want to. You can spin your wheels all day long with a girl who feels most comfortable being objectified and sexualized because that is what her father did to her mother, but just know that you being the sweet, amazing respectful, man who is loving her for everything but that, is probably never going to peak her interest. She will love you as a friend and respect you as a confidant, she might even invite you to come spend the weekend with her and her family out on the lake, but she is probably never going to be sexual aroused or romantically inclined towards you.....until and only if SHE makes the choice to break the cycle. 

With all of the love in my heart good guys...please don't waste your awesomeness on a girl because you think that if you just stick around long enough and treat her the way you know that she knows she really wants to be treated even though she continues to date men that treat her like garbage.....

But hey...who am I to say? Maybe your love will cure her. Or maybe you can spend the next 3 years of your life playing platonic therapist on the same level in her mind as her gay friends.

3. There is a fine fine line between Alpha and A**Hole

OK guys, this is going to sting for some of you. I'm sorry if this pricks at your manhood but somebody has got to say it, and since having this blog has basically blown any chance I have of attracting a good decent guy, I suppose it is fitting that I am the one who says it.

Real women want real men. Period. 

Here is where the misunderstanding comes into play. Guys have become polarized on what it means to be a "real" man. We seem to have a little confusion that is making it hard for any of us to know, let alone talk about what is going on.

A friend of mine gave me a great example the other day that I would like to use. It's flawed, but it is helpful in trying to understand the difference between a real man and a real jerk.



http://www.cerebralcanine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Lead-sled-dogs-musher-33-West-Yellowstone-20112.jpg

In a team of sled dogs there are usually one or two lead dogs. In a wolf pack, there is usually one Alpha Male and one Alpha Female. Now, for the purpose of the example we are not concerned with the characteristics or merits or worth of the rest of the team and the rest of the pack. What we are to illustrate here is that an Alpha or a Lead dog posses the qualities and characteristics of what we might consider a "real man".

Alphas don't take crap from anyone. They refuse to be abused or mistreated by others. Alphas know what they want and they go after it. Alphas are natural leaders, and you will often find that people are naturally drawn to them. Alphas have a quite confidence that radiates from them. They are totally comfortable in their own skins and make no apologies for who they are. An Alpha need not be a captain of industry or the head of a fortune 500 company, or the leader of a nation. In my opinion, people like Gandhi would qualify as an Alpha.

The mistake we often make is when we get these squirrely non-alphas who try to parade themselves as Alphas, and when that doesn't work, the bite and snarl and growl and exercise unrighteous dominion in order to prove to themselves and the world that they are in fact Alphas. These kinds of men may be powerful, successful, and may even have many followers. See the trouble here? On the surface, an Alpha and an angsty pup with a Napoleon complex can appear very similar, so please forgive us simple minded women when on occasion we mix up the two.

What we want is an Alpha, a man who respects us and respect others, and respects himself. We want good honest men who aren't afraid to take control of a situation when the need arises, or defend our honer when the situation calls for it. But often times, and unfortunately, we can mistake an A**Hole for an Alpha because at first blush, he appears to embody all the attractive qualities that makes a true Alpha. 

We don't want Doormats. We don't want Douche' Bags. We want Men. 

   

My posts have been a little lengthy as of late, so even though I would like to continue to expound upon what it is that good healthy women are actually looking for in a man, I hope that I have at least shed a little light upon why nice guys seem to keep getting the shaft. In their attempt to not be A**holes ...some will swing to the opposite extreme and become doormats, we don't want that. But then some doormats will get sick of being doormats and swing to the polar opposite side and become A**holes, thinking that this is what women really want. But I say again...we want neither of those things.

We want Alphas. Or we want to be Alphas...but that is another post for another day.  


     

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Why I Absolutely Positively LOVE Men!!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY all you amazing male type creatures!!!!

In honor of Fathers Day, I have decided to make a list of all of the things that I love and appreciate about you great guys. But since I realize that many of you aren't or are not yet Fathers, I have decided to extend the list to include ALL MEN. 

That's right....even though it may seem at times that I am always tryin' to keep you men humble, it doesn't change the fact that in SO MANY WAYS...I wouldn't ask you to change for anything. 

Without further Ado....In no particular order....My list of....

Why I Absolutely Positively LOVE Men!!

1. Your Hands

I LOVE big masculine hands. There is something to be said about a pair of weather worn and rough hands. To me, it shows that you aren't afraid to go to work and do what needs to be done. However, hands need not be rough to be masculine, and I appreciate a man who works with his mind to make the world a better place while sparing his appendages. I love putting my small hand up to yours and just marveling at how something so big and powerful could be so gentle and loving all at the same time.

With your hands you plow the field, kill a bear, sign a peace treaty, paint a work of art, wipe away the tear of a child who fell off of their bike for the first time, and rub our shoulders when we've had a hard day.

Your hands are awesome.

2.  Your Logic

OK..OK..OK....I will admit it....for as much as I'd like to think that I am a rational and logical person, the truth is that I often allow my emotions to dictate how I feel about myself and the world. This is why I LOVE the fact that you men have the ability to remove emotion from a situation and see it for what it is....and normally what it IS is not nearly as dramatic as I make it out to be.

Which brings me to my next point...

3. Your Compassion

I absolutely LOVE the fact that you are willing to listen to me drone on for hour upon hour simply because you know it is what I need to feel better. I know, I know, if it were up to you, you would just assume FIX the issue as opposed to discuss it ad nauseam ...but you love and care about us so much that you are more than willing to sit with us while we cry and tell you all about how that one woman at work has it out for us even though she has never said so to us directly. 

4. Your Smell

A nice cologne can be intoxicating, but that is not what I am talking about. I am also not talking about the funk you give off after playing video games for 56 consecutive hours with no shower breaks. I am talking about just good ol' honest you. The way you smell when you are clean, but not necessarily quaffed. When cuddling on the couch or nuzzling at a movie, the essence of man is one of the most wonderful things in the world. You might find this one odd, and I am sure there is some sort of science behind it that is going to make one guy smell better than another to any given woman, but nonetheless.. I LOVE it!!

5. Your Desire To Protect, Provide, and Serve

The world can be a scary pace, especially for a woman. I know there is this attitude circulating that we as women no longer "need" you men. We can start our own business, make our own way, be mothers without your assistance and open our own doors (Thank YOU very much). I personally see nothing wrong with a woman who wants to be self-sustained, but that doesn't change the fact that I absolutely LOVE that there are still men out there that say, "Yes, you CAN do all of those things for yourself, but that doesn't change the fact that I WANT to do all of those things FOR YOU."

It is that selfless attitude that I LOVE. The fact that you are willing and DESIROUS to open our doors, pay for our meals, put your jacket on our shoulders because we didn't dress for the weather, go to work every day, mow the lawn, support our dreams, and help us raise our children is nothing short of incredible. 

Whenever I hear a guy say that he stopped opening doors for girls because every time he did the girl would chastise him with some snarky comment about how she was perfectly capable of doing it herself......I wanna straight up slap that girl in the face.  I wanna say to that girl..."Look here little Miss Do-it-Herself, I know that you are perfectly capable of opening your own doors and you don't believe that you need a man to do anything for you, BUT STOP MAKING THE ONES WHO STILL WANT TO DO THOSE THINGS FOR YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY WANT TO...You are ruining it for the rest of us women who still appreciate it!!!"

6. Your Fearlessness

We have talked quite a bit about my more anxious nature. To sum up...I have always been more like the cowardly lion than anything else. It is for this reason that I LOVE how seemingly fearless you men are. You amaze me with your devil-may-care attitude, and your ability to know what you want and then stop at nothing to get it, is an inspiration to me. Whereas I will sit back, weigh the options, explore the risks, dwell on the risks, get psyched out by the risks, and then return back to the safety of my cave, you say "LET'S DO THIS THING!!!" and then you jump out of airplanes, climb mountains, build empires, conquer the sea, and marry the woman you met for only a moment because a moment was all it took to know that you never wanted to be without her again.

Which brings us to..

7. Your Poets Heart

There are a lot of things I love about you men, but I think the fact that you are often times so GOOD at telling us how much you love US, is the thing that I LOVE about you the most. I mean, come on....Look at the never ending fountain of music, art, literature, and so much more that you men have created in order to convey your love, desire, and admiration for us women. You have fought wars for us, changed your lives for us, stood under windows with boom boxes for us. You Like us! You really REALLY like us!! And we LOVE that you love us, We ADORE that you adore us, and we are GRATEFUL that you are grateful to have us in your life. 

There is no greater aphrodisiac for a woman than to look into the eyes of the man she loves, and to her delight find pure desire and love shinning back through his.  Thank you for all of the songs, the poems, the sweet comments whispered while you are holding us close, the little notes, the phone calls "just because", the flowers on the pillow, our favorite chocolates for no reason other than they are our favorites, the silly jokes just so you can see us smile, the late night conversations, the breakfasts in bed, the foot rubs, the giving of the last bite of brownie Sunday, and above all things, the Love. 

Thank you for loving us. 


There are so many more things I could list, but I think I am just going to leave this post by simply thanking you....all of you amazing, incredible, wonderful, generous, giving, selfless, sacrificing, fearless, funny, remarkable men out there. 

THANK YOU for being YOU.


    
 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Woman Made Me Do It

Recently a good friend of mine (who's blog is worth a read) posted the following observations on modesty in regards women and their dress. The link follows below.


I May Look Twice, But I Will Not Ask Once

 

 

 I adore my friend and I love he fact that he is willing to stand up and say that a women need not exploit their bodies in order to receive attention or validation from a good man. My friend makes several really good points in his post, and overall, I get what he is trying to say. He is trying to express that the way that a woman dresses is a reflection of the way she views and values herself, and that the kind of woman he (and he implies that other good guys feel as well) want to end up with (Let's call them "The Marrin' Kind") are the kind of girls who don't use their bodies as sexual fodder. 

I agree with my friend to the extent that a woman should never ever EVER feel like her only value to a man is whether or not he finds her sexually appealing. A woman's gauge of her worth should have ZERO to do with her physical appearance. If a woman (or any person for that matter) is basing even a portion of their worth off of ANYTHING that is subject to change at a moments notice, then they are setting themselves up for needless suffering. 

Value, human worth, and self-esteem are inherent and unchanging. You are of just as much value and worthy of love as I, or Joe Shmoe over there....Pant size, cup size, and six packs are irrelevant when we are speaking from the eternal perspective. No matter how much your weight fluctuates, your value does not.

There was one aspect of my friends blog however that made me cringe a little bit. This statement has always set me off, even before I was old enough to understand why. With no disrespect intended towards my friend, I would like to discuss what has irked me for a very long time. I call these kinds of statements The Great Well-Intentioned Lies and they are just that....Well-Intentioned....and LIES. Let's talk about the statement first and then I will tell you why I take issue with it.

Although it's been said...many times...many ways...

"A Man is helpless to his sexual desires, drives, appetites, and subsequent actions"...is a total pile of CRAP.  

In his post, my friend uses the following analogy:

   
"Let’s try and put ourselves in a guy’s shoes. I think we can all agree that as girls, exercise is important to us. We want to stay healthy and are often working on getting fit. We work out and stay away from carbs or sweets. We use all of our willpower to not eat the chocolate cake on the counter! Now, let’s pretend that someone picked up that chocolate cake and followed us around all the time, 24/7. We can never get away from the chocolate, it’s always right there, tempting us and even smelling all ooey gooey and chocolate-y. Most of us, myself included, would find it easy to break down and eat the cake. And we would probably continue to break down and eat cake, because it would always be there. Our exercise goals would be long gone in no time."


http://madeinhisimage.org/the-bikini-question/


You know me, I LOVE a good analogy, and I totally get where this gal is coming from. I agree that it is hard to stay resolved to a goal, such as eating healthy when you are constantly surrounded by junk food. But if I may....and I'm afraid that here is when I am going to ruffle some feathers...I am once again going to call Hogwash...allow me to illustrate.

We all have appetites. These appetites have biological underpinnings that make them all but impossible to avoid. The need for food is not something that you can "will-power" your way out of needing. You can't wishfully think yourself out of the need for sleep(for very long at least), and you can't white-knuckle grip your way out of the need for oxygen. 

However, and even though I know that there are people out there that try to argue to the contrary...Sexual needs and the sexual appetite do not qualify in the same arena as these other examples.

The fact that I am a happy healthy and functional 30 year old virgin proves that I don't HAVE to have sex in order to survive. The same can not be said about food, water, oxygen, or sleep. If I had totally abstained from any of those things I wouldn't be sitting here blogging today. So to say that Men are "helpless" when it comes to acting out on their urges the same way that a person on a diet is "helpless" to resisting a piece of chocolate cake is true in one sense and absolute malarkey in another. For the record, I believe that the intended implications of the original statement were more on the true side, but again....when taken in a broader application, I fear it begins to feed one those "Great Well-Intentioned Lies".

I shared that I have been living in Wyoming for the past month and that the family I am staying with eats with a very farm-to-table mentality. Even though the bulk of their diet is fresh produce, organic meats, and healthy fats, I discovered that they also keep a supply of chocolate and other such "naughty" items as well. Normally I would find it difficult to resist such temptations. I may never go out and BUY a candy bar, but if a candy bar is sitting right in front of my face I have a hard time saying no to it. Here is the crazy thing though....in all of my time here, I have never raided the goody stash. I love chocolate, carbs, and sweets just as much as the next girl...but I have never felt a need to raid the contraband....Why is that???

As far as I can venture a guess, my working theory is that for the first time in my life I am nourishing my body the way it was meant to be nourished. Apparently, and shocking as it might sound, it would appear that when one properly nourishes their body, the craving and desire for such sugary temptations fades away. Impossible to conceive yes? And yet....here I am.

Now this is not to imply that any man who finds himself sexually stimulated by a pair of prominently displayed breast is somehow devoid of character, or some sort of spiritual nutrient that would otherwise make him impermeable to the appeal of the mounds of flesh.  What it does imply that the argument that stands on the logic of "If it is around, I am powerless to resist" is in reality...a cop out. 

Let me take this a step further.

If your argument is that simply by having the chocolate cake in front of a person's face is the reason they are incapable of resisting it, then how is it that there are in fact people out there that are able to do just that? To say that we are in essence slaves to our appetites is to remove all personal accountability.  

True, I will grant you, that having the thing that tempts us the most waved in our faces and under our noses can add a level of frustration that one would be totally justified in trying to avoid, but it does not therefore follow that we are helpless to say no, or that we can absolve ourselves of the personal accountability of the actions WE CHOOSE to make when presented with the stimuli.

To say that a man is "helpless" to his sexual appetite and subsequent actions, and then to say that because of this it becomes the woman's responsibly to act, dress, and present herself in such a way as to never rouse those uncontrollable reactions in men is total Horse Spit. 

YOU are responsible for your THOUGHTS.

YOU are responsible for your ACTIONS.

and You are totally, utterly, and 100% unequivocally responsible for the way in which YOU choose to respond to the stimuli that surrounds you.

I am a broke starving artist. All around and every day of my life I am surrounded by people and business and cars that all hold something that I want very much and seem to be lacking in spectacular fashion...namely..MONEY. Now, if I were to take the stance that I am helpless to rob any of the above mentioned resources simply because it was being paraded in my face and I, being the genetically weak-willed woman that I am was rendered totally helpless to my urges, they would look at me like I was trying to sell them a literal pile of human waste and then swiftly cart me off to jail.

If a man or woman tries to justify a man's sexual deviancy in thought or action based off of the same sort of logic, I would contend that we are within our reason to look at these people the exact same way.

If I choose to walk down the street wearing nothing but a pair of heels and a smile, then the only personal accountability I hold in the matter is the amount of the ticket I am going to receive for public indecency. 

Don't get me wrong, I am going to be so ignorant as to say that my actions have no effect on other people. I am fully cognizant of the fact that we are a society and a people that have built our world on symbols to which we then assign a certain value. But the fact that women in other parts of the world can walk around bare breasted and still be seen or perceived as "modest" proves that the excitement and arousal that a pair of jiggly boobs incites in a man has more to do with culture and less to do with his biology. Does that make sense? The urge for sex and reproduction is biological...what set's this urge off has more underpinnings in society (with certain exceptions). 

So on one hand I concede that I, as a woman, and as an observant kind of duck, have been able to ascertain from my studies of THIS particular culture and society that there are certain parts of the female form that men find more appealing than others....for example....my butt is going to be more sexually appealing than my elbow. 

Taking it a step further, I admit that if my aim were to elicit a sexual response from a man then an easy and effective way to do this would be to display the part or parts of my body that I know from my research work in accomplishing this goal. Fancy writing aside, what I am saying is...

I know guys get turned on by exposed flesh. I'm not an idiot. I get it. I get it guys. If I wave my boobs in your face then you are probably going to have a sexual thought that triggers a release of chemicals in your brain that will then travel downward to your reproductive organs and cause a physiological response that will be clear to anyone who happens to be looking in that particular direction at that particular moment. I GET IT. 

So if what you are trying to convey to us women is that you would rather not have to contend with the constant bombardment of stimuli and therefore humbly ask that we not dress in such a manor so as not to elicit such a response....I would say...OK. But then you must leave it at that; because when you take it a step further and say that you are "helpless" to your thoughts and subsequent actions, I have to call Bull on you. 

One more little thing.

We must be very...very ....VERY careful about the way we approach women and their sexuality. To say that a man holds no responsibility and the woman should therefore be expected to be the "regulator" in the relationship WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY telling the woman that her body and her sexuality are "naughty" or "shameful" or something to be hidden or avoided or repressed or locked away is playing a dangerous game indeed.

Think about it men.

What kind of woman do you ultimately want to be married to? Do you want to marry a girl who has grown up with the mentality that men are nothing more than slaves to their sexual appetites and that, if give the opportunity or excuse, they would deflower you faster than you can say Bob's your uncle, and therefore you must repress EVERY aspect of your sexuality so as not to entice that "uncontrollable" desire to deflower??? 

Repression is best. Said NO ONE EVER.

THIS is why we hear stories about women who lock themselves in the bathroom on their wedding night. THIS is why we hear stories about women who are unable to achieve orgasm during intercourse with their husbands leaving both parties disenchanted and dissatisfied. Is it really so difficult to conceive why a woman who has been told her whole life that her sexuality is something to be ashamed of eventually ends up BELIEVING IT??? And then even worse, ends up resenting you for merely WANTING sex and sexuality. Really people??? REALLY??? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!! 

No no, it's fine. Let's keep laboring under these same delusions. It seems to be working really well for us, as made evident by the lack of sexual hang-ups in our culture.

TRUTH TIME

Men AND women are born with innate sexual appetites. Men AND women have a need to engage in sexual interactions. Men AND women have sexual thoughts, feelings, and desires that are totally natural and God-intended. A woman can be sexually aroused by a man with his shirt off just as easily as man can be sexually aroused by a women showing a little cleavage. Hell, I get sexually turned on by a guy who is FULLY CLOTHED!!! In fact...I am going to go out on a limb here and say that even in societies where women are forced to cover every square inch of their bodies, that the men of those societies STILL MANAGE TO GET SEXUALLY AROUSED. Crazy...I know...but true nevertheless. 

Ladies and gentlemen....Mr. C.S. Lewis

"We have been told, till one is sick of hearing it, that sexual desire is in the same state as any of our other natural desires and that if only we abandon the silly old Victorian idea of hushing it up, everything in the garden will be lovely. The moment you look at the facts, and away from the propaganda, you see that it is not.

They tell you sex has become a mess because it was hushed up. But for the last twenty years it has not been (Thank you The Media). It has been chattered about all day long. Yet it is still in a mess.

Modern people are always saying that 'Sex is nothing to be ashamed of.' They may mean two things. They may mean 'There is nothing to be ashamed of in the fact that the human reproduces itself in a certain way, nor in the fact that it gives pleasure'. If they mean that, they are right. Christianity says the same. It is not the thing, nor the pleasure, that is the trouble."

--Mere Christianity--

Demonizing the female body or her sexuality will prove to do nothing but make her into a dual-minded creature that will ultimately end up hating that part of herself that resembles anything of the sexual nature. 

We as daughters of God respect and embrace our bodies and our sexuality, but we do not make apologies for either. We also do not bare the responsibility for the sexual conduct of the men of this church.

If a man chooses to indulge his sexual appetite then that is HIS choice and HIS responsibilty, mini-skirts notwithstanding. 

We as loving daughters of God know that we have no need to reduce ourselves down to our base sexual appeal. But when we choose to dress modestly, it is because WE want to, and not out of fear or guilt that if we don't, we will therefore be seen as slut or fallen or evil in any way.  

Men...do you wish for women to see you as powerless sex-crazed deviants, the kind that are incapable of controlling your thoughts or actions? Do you wish for us to look down on you because you find us sexually appealing? Do you want us to believe that the mere glimpse of our exposed flesh is enough to make you totally abandon your convictions and the reasons you choose to remain virtuous until marriage in the first place? Do you really want us to repress our sexual natures in the name of "not tempting you" thereby squashing that part of ourselves that you yourselves concede is a critical and vital part of a healthy relationship?

Of course not.

Women...it is time to learn how to be women again. It is time to recapture the sexuality that you have been taught is something to be ashamed of and repressed. But how do you do this? Is this goal accomplished by flaunting your breasts or using your body for the sole purpose of catching the attention of males? 

No.

While there is an obvious physical and biological component to sexuality and sexual desire, it is not the whole story, and we do ourselves a great injustice when we set it up as such. Our bodies are not the whole of what make us sexy, unless all that sex means to you is the carnal gratification of your base biological urges. Sex and sexuality are a spiritual as well as physical manifestation of love and commitment. To trivialize it and reduce it down to something as trite as an exposed tummy is reducing us down to the level of animals, on the same accountability level as a dog in heat.

We are not dogs in heat.

We are human beings and children of God. We are creatures to ACT and not creatures to be ACTED UPON. We have agency, we have free-will, we have a CHOICE in EVERYTHING we say and do. 

When Potiphar's wife tried to get Joseph to do the horizontal mambo with her, he didn't say.."Gee...I personally don't really want to do this because I personally believe this is wrong...BUT there is a half-naked women standing in front of my and therefore I have lost my agency and my ability to choose not to do this...so.....let's do this thing!" What he did was make a choice based off of the true desires of his heart to remain virtuous and then promptly got the hell out of dodge.

Compare this now with the story of King David, who in his earlier years slew Goliath and was one of the most righteous men in the kingdom. One day David sees Bathsheba bathing on the roof and decides that he must have her regardless of the consequences. He could have done like Joseph and got himself promptly out, but he didn't. HE chose to look, and then look again, and then think, and then dwell on those thoughts, and then eventually act upon those thoughts. Agency intact.

I know that this has been a long post and I thank you for sticking it out until the end. 

My hope is that we stop demonizing the genders for whatever wrongs we perceive that we are inflicting upon one another.

A man who wants sex does make therefore make him a sexual deviant, and ergo a lesser or fallen son of God.

A woman who wears a bikini does not therefore make her a harlot, or says anything about her devotion to God or her adherence to the gospel or it's teachings. 

STOP CASTING BLANKET JUDGEMENTS.

Examine and approach people organically and on the whole summation of their beings, and not based off of dogmatic or cultural measuring sticks. 

Let's build bridges between the genders. Let's celebrate our unique differences. Let us accept our sexual natures. Let us take personal responsibility for our own choices and actions. And when the time is right, let us share this aspect of ourselves openly and unabashedly with the one we have chosen to spend the rest of eternity with.

We can do it.

I believe in us.