Since the beginning of July, I have been pondering and praying on if I would ever really make this post. I have debated over clever titles and themes to express what I am about to write, but I have just decided to just write and see what comes out. Hopefully, it won't be too long and that boring.
A little disclaimer: If you are not of the Mormon faith, or not that familiar with Mormons, a lot of things that I mention will not make any sense. Also, this post might not even be that big of a deal to you. And to all readers, if you get bored just scan down to "In conclusion."
For those of you that know me well, you know that I love people. I love my friends and family more than anything. I love meeting people, making connections, staying in contact, talking for hours, and making silly random phone calls texts just to say hi. And I don't know if you have noticed, but you probably haven't heard from me in a while. If you have, it has only been quite recently and here is why.
I like to say that I am on a "Spiritual Journey." Now, you might say in response, "So what? Everyone is on one. Good for you." Well, with my experience in the Mormon faith, Spiritual Journeys are encouraged, but only if it fits in with the Mormon way of life and you end up in the Mormon faith. I'm not saying this is true, but I'm just saying that this is my experience. So, when I realized that my little journey would take me outside of the Mormon church, I kind of freaked out.
For a bagillion reasons, I was finding myself not spiritually fulfilled in the LDS faith. It wasn't making me happy, like it did in the past. And after guilting myself into reasons that weren't true as to why I was unhappy, I decided to finally get real with myself and with God. This was not easy. This was not fun. But, it is what I deserved to do. And I knew that if I didn't do it, I would mentally and emotionally go back to a place that I worked so hard to get out of. Luckily, I have an amazing husband that helped me create a space of love for me to do this, because I was not getting it from my bishop, even though I gave him a chance to help me.
The next series of event are some of the most sacred conversations I have ever had with God. Because of that, I will not share them here, but what I want you to know is that they happened. Some people reading this may not believe in God, or may not be able to fathom that God would lead me to these actions, but it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is what is real for me.
*And a little side note, the only thing that matters is what is real for you. Just because I receive one answer doesn't mean you will receive the same answer. So, please don't let my experience offend your beliefs or discredit things you believe to be or not to be true.
After I "got real" as to what was going on and what I felt moved to do, I felt so much peace and unconditional love inside. A feeling I don't ever remember feeling this strongly. But after I left the comforts of my own home, I realized I had to deal with everyone else. I got a huge pit in my stomach when I thought about what my friends and family would think. How would they ever understand my actions? What if this or that person knew? They would be so disappointed. Would they still love me? Would they still want me around their kids? Can they tell by what I'm wearing that I'm not active anymore? Would they wish I had never married into their family?
I know some of you may laugh at my worries, but they were so real. So, I did the only thing I could do at the time, and that was to isolate myself. Until I could gain more confidence in myself and not care so much what people thought of me, I just had to keep to myself. That is why I have been distant. I was judging all of you, before you had a chance to judge me. And, I'm deeply sorry for that. But I needed to love myself before I could let anyone else love me.
So that is really what I have been working on the most these past few months and I am happy to report that I am seriously getting there. And this blog post is a big part of that process for me. Some of you may think that this post isn't necessary. This is all personal and no one needs to know about it. Well, I am here to say, that I do need to do this. I just want it all to be out there partly so I can stop worrying about what so and so will think if they ever knew, and partly because I feel that people shouldn't feel ashamed to talk about it. In the culture that I live in, it is so hard to talk about doubts and even harder to act on those doubts. It shouldn't be that way. So, this is my way of talking about it and making it ok. I love you and I miss you. I miss being my social self and I am done with being ashamed of who I am and what I am going through.
I love the Mormon church. I love that I was raised Mormon, that I served a mission, and that I got married in the Temple. I still consider those things to be sacred events in my life and I am thankful that they happened. I am not angry or bitter or anything like that. I still like being apart of events that happen in the Mormon world (well, the ones I can be apart of), so please don't feel like you can't be yourself around me. I won't be offended or mad if you talk about Mormon things around me.
Where I am at now is that still don't know how I feel about a lot of things. And to me, that is really exciting. I will never close the door to the church, but for now, it is not where I need to be. There is still more for me to learn from being on the "outside," and when it is time for me to be somewhere else, I know that I will be led there. But in the mean time, I am having a great time searching and finding things that really work for me and finding things that don't. And I really am happier and at more at peace than I have been in a really long time.
Some of you may be freaking out and racking your brain as to how you can help me. Well, let me help you help me. Just love me. Don't treat me any different than you did before. Feel free to pray for me, but I ask that you pray for me to find what works for me, not what works for you. Please, don't preach to me. I love hearing what you believe if it comes up, but preaching will have a negative effect. And please, please don't worry and don't be sad. I know that some of you reading this feel those two things and it kills me inside that something that is making me happier and healthier is making someone else worried and sad. And if you choose to feel that, I guess I can't stop you, but I just ask that you trust me.
And where is Chris is all of this? Well, his story is his and if you are curious about the details, just ask him. But, I will say that he has joined me on the Spiritual Journey train, and is has been really great for us.
I am afraid this is getting too long, so if you have any questions or anything, don't be afraid to ask. If you can't tell, I'm open to talking about it. Oh, and if you know of someone that doesn't read this blog who would like to be filled in on the spiritual life of Randi, then please share it with them.
A big thank you to those who I have already talked to about this. You have no idea how much your love and support has helped me.
On a lighter note, this blog shall continue as normal. Stay tuned for some holiday adventure recaps and some new and exciting goals for 2010!