At the risk of navel-gazing, an update.
Occasionally when something crazy happens at Church HQ or in President Newsroom, people who know me IRL will reach out and ask if I plan to post about it. And there has been a lot of crazy! (Like modular temples, and a ridiculous explanation of the difference between secrecy and confidentiality, and DHO telling women to have babies, and rumored handbook changes, and Florida existing, and an absolutely insane series of letters from my stake leadership [to the stake, not just to me], and so on.) And I haven’t lately.
I went to a foreign country that was so foreign that it was like a multi-day psychedelic trip. (I mean, I wouldn’t know, I’m not currently a Mormon on Mushrooms, but it’s about what I imagine.)
I did a breathwork class, which was bonkers, and healing. And I might accept a calling in the nursery which means I have to actually attend second hour of Church? And this is related to the breathwork, but not in any way I can explain here or using words.
The weather has turned nice, finally, and there were blossoms and sunshine and now leaves. That meant my SAD (which I have experienced pretty severely the last several winters) let up and I went off meds that helped me get through the winter but that also kind of dampened my emotions and now I am feeling all the feelings, pleasant and unpleasant.
I started reading A New Earth, again. And so many other books.
Somehow as a result of all of the above, and some more stuff going on at work and home, I have found myself more firmly rooted in the present moment than I have in a long time. I am guarding that state of mind & spirit carefully. I am quite sensitive to anything that pulls me away from that. I am trying hard not to numb or distract myself. I am realizing how much I have dissociated from my own body and feelings over my lifetime (much of which is thanks to (a) Church and (b) patriarchy and (c) plot twist!!! (a) and (b) are the same thing!!!) and I am trying to get back into my body and feel my way through things moreso than overthink everything.
So, it’s hard to write much when I’m trying not to think about more than what’s right in front of me right now, and I’m OK with that right now. I have felt a little guilty for opting out lately, like people would interpret that as me being cool with a lot of really uncool things, so I wanted to provide a little context. I’m not cool with the uncool things. But I just can’t afford to spend much brainspace on all of that right now.
As the young ones say, I am not allowing anybody to live rent-free in my head. There is just so little that is virtuous, or lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, that is coming out of SLC these days. And that all deserves reporting and discussion. But I’m not in a position to be the reporter for now.
I’m totally not announcing my retirement, just a little break. I’ll be back when I have something virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy to say though!
So cool – thx for posting this non-post. Waiting to hear your actual thoughts in the next post.
Totally understand! I had to take about six weeks off, and I’m limiting my exposure to the news still. Sometimes, you just need to not think about it for a while.
Back when I was in my late teens, I got a job at a summer camp. In the days before Internet access, that meant I spent 12 weeks without once seeing or hearing the news. It was great! And then when I tuned back in, it was weird how much the same it sounded. Like, all the same topics were still a problem, but maybe some of the people had shuffled around.
FULL CATASTROPHE LIVING by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Trust me.
I look forward to your healthy return following your break. Always appreciate your posts.
“Florida existing.” Lol! Good luck with your break/journey. Looking forward to your next posts after your refreshed.
Elisa you gave us some guidance here much better than most if not all of what we get every six months from the dudes in suits. Namaste.
Such vigilance definitely takes a toll. I value the contributions you’ve made to my understanding. I hope you’ll be able to provide insights from time to time. Fully respect your stepping back, basking in the beauty and good in life.
“Somehow as a result of all of the above, and some more stuff going on at work and home, I have found myself more firmly rooted in the present moment than I have in a long time. I am guarding that state of mind & spirit carefully. I am quite sensitive to anything that pulls me away from that. I am trying hard not to numb or distract myself. I am realizing how much I have dissociated from my own body and feelings over my lifetime … and I am trying to get back into my body and feel my way through things moreso than overthink everything.”
Ditto (fungi may have been involved; a calling in Primary definitely wasn’t!). And beautifully put too. I’m going to re-read this paragraph every time my mind wants to start overheating.
Good luck to you!
@Elisa, will miss your regular writings, but completely understand your need to step away. Coincidentally, I started to write comments to blog posts here at W&T no fewer than six times over the past couple of weeks and just stopped and closed my laptop. My wife and I have decided to undertake a period of decompression, to put on hold our ongoing analysis of our relationship with the LDS church and our Mormon heritage. We are working to find some kind of path forward, and the journey has been heavy and fraught.
We pine for change within the LDS church, but it seems hopeless under the current first presidency. While ideally we would like to see many policies change, we would be encouraged by at least more sophisticated expressions coming from high church leadership on the most salient and difficult issues we face today as a church and as a society. Instead we are constantly fed the kind of banality that seems to drain out of SLC. DHO’s YSA fireside speech was the latest dross. Incidentally, one of my daughters listened to DHO’s fireside, called me and was aghast. “His advice on marriage, cranking out kids quickly and taking no thought for housing or financial planning is antithetical to everything I’ve been taught about responsibly preparing for marriage and family.” My mid-twenties, independent, highly educated and professional daughter was left confused and called said his advice was “bush league.” Why can’t we expect more? DHO could have approached this topic using such better ideas, but seemed to take the easy way out, the purely self-interested way out. Instead of exploring DHO’s ideas–like with nearly everything about the church these days–we instead find ourselves talking beyond them, because there is so little there. And this is the crux of our problem: The church feels far more like an anchor on our lives, including our spiritual lives, than the dynamic presence it should be. For an institution claiming the truth and claiming seership, why does it constantly feel so provincial and small in its vision?
And I can’t even bring up Waddell’s miserable performance on 60 minutes, except to assert, yes, this is where the LDS church is at. Perfectly represented by Waddell doubling down on the lies and the beady-eyed arrogance of our institution. [Sigh]
It’s always warm where we live now, but spring does have an energy about it that seems to bring optimism. I hope you will share your thinking again in the future. Your writings here at W&T spark good contemplations in my household and for that I’m grateful. We wish you the very best.