I'm someone who puts a lot of value on being honest, and it is possible that I underestimate the value of buttering people up. I'm pretty straightforward if I need to say something. I've gotten over the excessive use of those words that lend uncertainty as to the point of my question or comment. you know, those words like kinda, sorta, maybe, a little, possibly.... I still use them I just get to the point. My friends often relay to me that I have offended someone in my tactlessness. Of course I feel bad that they were offended, but not to the point that I am going to walk on eggshells around them.
So, when my bishop found out that my weekends are about to clear up, and made the comment "great! so we'll be seeing you at church again!" I had to interject. "actually, no."
See, this is something else about myself; I'm not spiritually motivated. I hate the fact that it has taken me this long to write off going to church as something that just doesn't jive with me. But the fact is, there is nothing about it that I value--or rather, everything that there is to church that I value, I can also find from a different source, without the high concentration of things that I don't value. I won't expound here upon my reasons.
Something along with that. I'm trying to deal with the fact that I live in a society where so much emphasis and value is placed on ones faith and spirituality. There are aspects of this that I don't mind so much, but then again it puts me in a weird position. It's nice to live around so many people who generally have the attributes that I value, but then again, I would say that a very high percentage of these people have intertwined their values with their religion. And this is where I become the odd one out. It's all well and good if I don't smoke, have a very strong sense of integrity, respect women and children, know who I am, and am constantly working to be a better person. But if I do not "delight in the things of the gospel", then it's "seeyalaterbye". I don't have a problem with being honest with myself and others, but it hurts to forgo relationships that would be strained by the dynamic of my views and actions. I can't ask someone to be with me despite our fundamental differences. I could bare my soul and pledge my affection in hopes that she would love me anyway, or I could try the responsible approach and just stuff those emotions down, pretend that I never wanted something more and we can both go on about our lives. I've always been unable to function without exploring what might have been.
This time around I'm going to accept the terms of my decision and not put it on someone else to map out the boundaries I have committed myself to. This song pretty much sums up my feelings on that issue.
It sucks. but that's life. It would be easier to continue to go with the formula for happiness that the LDS church has laid out for its members, but that would only be for the sake of being accepted by family and friends or lovers, avoiding controversial discussions, Etc. I have never found a part of religion that I have valued that is exclusive to religion. I don't have to be spiritual to value honesty and integrity. I don't have to worship god to be an example of goodness to those around me. I have chosen not to exist on the pretense that I am inherently flawed. I wont say I am constantly, anxiously trying to become the best person I can be, but I AM trying to be a good person. And I don't attribute that to anything but my own interpretation of what is good. (Yes, my values are subject to social influence.... Please, let's not get all caught up in the philosophical implications of deciding what is "good" and "bad").
This isn't something I've randomly decided to do. Maybe I'll explain more later.
No doubt this blog will come as a shock to at least a few of you, my dear readers. I can understand that. I hope you understand me as well. Please, don't grieve the loss of my eternal soul. I am not (I think) on the wide and welcoming, albeit slippery, pathway to perdition. I am simply disillusioned to (and perhaps a little bit idealistically critical of) the "only way" mentality of organized religion. I am evaluating my relationship with God through the absence of his influence in my life, and I believe in a god that respects my need to do so, for my own sake.
Again, I wish you would give me the benefit of the doubt before you throw the book at me. A few words come to mind as potential descriptions of my views. heretic, apostate, reprobate.... and maybe these fit, who knows? Just rest assured that my new paradigm is not a contrived excuse to do all the things that do not coincide with LDS doctrine (word of wisdom, law of chastity... all those).