Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Who am I?

This has been on my mind for awhile now, saw a few things on some other blogs that got me thinking even more, and then finally last night during some quiet, introspective time, I think I got some answers.  Okay, maybe not complete answers since I think we are all  'works in progress' but at least some clarification for where I am now.

It's no secret that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints.  Heaven knows, I've linked back to the church's website often enough.  We have some pretty high standards in our church and if we are temple worthy (meaning we are living a certain standard high enough to qualify attending the temple - determined by meeting with leaders and truthfully answering some worthiness questions), then we are living pretty clean lives.  BUT - we are not perfect.

I believe with everything I have inside this ugly, ole body of mine, in all the doctrines my church teaches.  To me it is true gospel stuff.  I believe it, I know it.  I try hard to live it.  I understand what is required of me, and while I have a hard time doing everything I should, I really do KNOW..

But do people really believe that about me?  I swear like a sailor.  It's true.  I have a pretty bad potty mouth.  And I can crack some highly inappropriate jokes.  I have no filter when it comes to my thoughts and things that strike me as funny.  No filter whatsoever.    Now, I'm not out on the town carousing about, living the high life, imbibing in things that I believe I shouldn't.  But at the same time, I fall short of the daily efforts that are necessary on my part to keep in the straight and narrow each and every freaking day.

So I suppose, some may take a look at me (or a listen), and think, well, she's a nice enough girl, but really?  Is she really the church going, temple worshipping,spiritual type?  Nah - she just likes to crack jokes and have a fun time.  But she isn't really that serious about her religion.

I think I need to set the record straight.  First off - to those who may think I am NOT that type.  It's okay,  I get how you could.  I don't have the best "presentation".  But, in my heart, I am good.  As the song goes, "I am trying to be like Jesus", but we all have our downfalls.  We all have our little quirks that keep us from perfection.  Mine happens to be my mouth.  Big, Loud. Crass and Cursing.  At least in some groups of people, I can  sorta keep it down a notch enough to not get publicly skewered.  But then, does that mean I am a two-face?  Does that mean I am a chameleon that knows when to behave and when to let loose and just adapts herself to the situation and to who happens to be around her?

I don't think so.  I think I remain pretty true to myself (much to the chagrin of Splenda) more times than not.  I think sometimes I just get extra help from heaven during those times that it is PERTINENT that I behave.  And then there are times when I just need to blow steam.  I have learned when those times are safe and when it's not.  I don't think that makes me a fraud. A fake. A show.

I did go to the temple last night.  My sweet niece has been faithfully working on our family lines and getting names temple ready.  For those whoare not LDS - let me explain.  As in Jesus' time, we have temples where sacred ordinances are done, covenants are made and families are sealed for all eternity.  It is a goal that every active, LDS saint sets.  To receive their own endowments in the temple, be sealed to their families and then we go back often to worhip, and to do the ordinances for loved ones who have passed on and didn't get the opportunity to have theirs done.  Why do I believe in this?  Little side explanation:  Jesus established his gospel while on the earth.  He gave the priesthood authority to his disciples.  They were one by one killed.  Thus his gospel and his priesthood were lost.  Though there were many with good intent, the ones who had the actual authority had been killed and so it no longer existed.
Enter the restoration of Christ's gospel through Joseph Smith.  Slowly more and more gospel doctrines were revealed and restored.  One of those being the ordinances performed in the temple.  However, for all those MILLIONS of people who lived while there were no operating temples and no restoration of the gospel, well, is it fair to them to not get those?  Not in my book.  So, we do them for them in their behalf.  They still have the choice whether to accept them or not.  No one forces it on them, but at least, the work has been done and then they get to choose.  That makes sense to me.  That is what I believe.

So, I went to the temple last night to start getting some of the work done on these family names my niece has been working so hard on.  At one point in the endowment ceremony, a person was not in their place to do their job.  Everything came to a stop.  A worker had to hunt down this person and explain that we were all waiting on him.  It took several minutes. 
That's when it hit me.  We all make mistakes.  Sometimes they are BIG mistakes, that cause others to also suffer the consequences, and some of our mistakes only seem to hurt our own progress, BUT we make them.  And while mistakes cause delays in our progress, we still can get right back on track and keep going.  Exercising Christ's redeeming atonement also means we can keep going as if nothing ever happened.  Which is what ended up happening last night in the temple.

I am pretty sure I am the last person on the face of the earth to figure this out.  I'm slow that way.  But as I have been thinking over the question who am I really?  I keep coming back to the same thoughts:   Am I just a big fat potty mouth who is crass and abrasive or am I a deeply spiritual being who loves her Lord, who tries to become better despite her shortcomings.  And if I know who I am, do I accurately portray that to everyone around me or does everyone around me have the wrong idea about me?  These are the things that have been weighing on my mind.

After last night, I realized that I am actually both.  I am a deeply spiritual person, who loves the gospel, her Savior, her family and her church.  Who also happens to have a big, fat, loud, crass potty mouth.  And I am okay with that.  Sure, I need to work on the potty mouth, crass part, BUT this I know:  just because I can be two polar opposites does not mean I am not true to myself.  Internal battle with myself sure.  But at least I'm true.  Not  fake.  Not a hypocrite.  Not a 'show".
And just like that temple worker, sometimes I am not exactly "where" I should be, but I can hustle up and get there and then keep going.  Sometimes, I have to hustle a lot.  Every day.

So as you may or may not ever visit this blog again, just know that what you see is what you get.  I may have a very spiritual post one day, and then something completely crass and inappropriate the next.  That's how I roll.  And maybe, as I grow up, there might be a little less crass.  Maybe.  I wouldn't hold your breath, just remember that I know - "I am a daughter of God who loves me and I love him."


tiburon said...

And all of these things are reasons why I love you. More than the sea.

It is like we were made to be friends - because we really are the same in so many ways.

Way to be all soft and squishy today.

Scrappy Girl said...

We are not meant to be perfect. We must work every day on our shortcomings.

DeNae said...

Well said, my friend. We're all there, with our "in case you forgot I'm human" foibles. Some days I'm better than others, and I hope that overall I'm a better person this year than I was last.

Heart you!

tammy said...

And that's what I love about you too. One minute you're making us laugh, and then next you're all spiritual and making us cry. I never doubt what kind of person you are. Everytime you write something spiritual it has such testimony behind it. I so admire that, along with the way that you accept everyone in your life no matter what they're struggling with. To me, you are the perfect example of how I want to be.

(and that blog had me thinking similiar thoughts as well.)

MommyJ said...

I think when we expect ourselves to be perfect, and we beat ourselves up when we aren't, in a way, we are nullifying the atonement... acting as if we don't need it. Because it's through the atonement that we can continue onward, regardless of our many imperfections.

Lovely, lovely post. ;)

J.J. said...

I think every one of us has a thing or two or three that don't naturally co-exist with the spiritual side. The problem lies in being self-aware enough to recognize that "thing" and to work on it versus simply living with it...
Big fan of the M-Cat right here...

Mrs. Organic said...

And knowing is half the battle. I admire this kind of strength and 'real-ness' - thanks for sharing.

Cherie said...

I love ya just the way you are! How could I not - You are awesome!
Now, anyone who would ever judge you, especially on your blog or to your face, has some deep things to work on themselves because judging is not right either :D
Point being, none of us is perfect, and we are not going to be as long as we live on this earth.
We all learn, every single day and do things better all the time too.
We are asked to be obedient, to keep the commandments, to follow Christ but not once have we ever been told to do it perfectly.
Everyone has to figure out their own salvation because in the end - We come into this life alone and we leave it alone too BUT with the glorious hope that we will be with our families if we are worthy.
It's big but it is our own to work out!
You are great - Keep on Truckin'!!


Fabulous post! We are all in different places in our progression. I never once thought fake or hypocrite. I thought honest and funny.

Loralee and the gang... said...

I love this post. But, I'm pretty sure I had already figured all of this stuff out about you already. And of course I love you, anyway! (Regardless of the fact that we've never met. Minor detail. One that I hope someday will be worked out!)

Braden said...

Sue, I'm behind on my blogging, so I haven't been here for a few days, but this post was really great. The frank honesty and searching was beautiful. It's a good reminder that all of us are trying--and falling short--whatever our weaknesses are.

Merri Ann said...

Great post again. I think these things about you are what come out in your writing. It's the one with the other and that we can be both ... like you said ... some may think we are not as committed if we are both ... but I disagree. I've never left my religion ... never had to be "born again" because I've always believed and had faith that He knows my heart and my smart mouth and loves me for both.

Ahhh ... I just love your posts.

Erin said...

I like people who are themselves and not trying to put on an act. Thank you for sharing how you are true to yourself in every way.

Pedaling said...

i get who you are... have from the start.
i will admit - i've been to some lds member blogs and put off by some of their bad mouth, crass nature- and that's okay. to each his own - then there are others who are, maybe, the same, and i have no problem with their site, at all- now if that's not confusing, i don't know what is.
it's my time and i've got to spend it where i find what is good, interesting, or in common with myself. we all do.

am i rambling?

never found you 2-faced;
just real.
i respect you- who you are- the good- non-perfect saint-
this blogging thing opens ourselves up in so many ways to others- as well as to ourselves.

k- one more thing- i'm working on a more spiritual post myself- and i don't like them to be long-A.D.D. & stuff (long, like this comment)so, i may link back to this post of yours, which covers a few things, i didn't.
i'm making no sense whatsoever, am i.
i'll go now.

keep it real- do better each day- don't be a molly- but improve, progress and i'll try to do the same!

Suzie said...

I haven't met you in real life but this post makes me realize how alike we are.
I love real people.
I love the fact that we can move forward, improve & be introspective-finding that we can chip away at the worldliness & refine our spirits-all the while being imperfect & human.
I am a spiritual minded individual that has sass, pride & good intentions.

The world needs women that are strong, faithful, willing, obedient, reverent & teachable.
I believe you are one of those women!

Nancy said...

I'm glad you are who you are. That is me as well. One minute I am all goofy, next I'm a bit naughteye and then I'm spiritual. I think I just like to keep people guessing. Either that or there are three of me in here. Who said that? Wasn't me! It was Julie! (Do u know the movie Rocketman?)

Never change babe. I heart you and your wild wonder woman ways.

Mae Rae said...

I sat and sat and tried to think of the right thing to post, that to a stranger would not sound weird. I couldn't do it. So I am laying it on you.

The parallel that is our lives amazes me more and more as the days go by. The fact that you roll the way you roll is the one thing that has made you "human" and "special" to me. I love the fact that you suffer from the motherly things in life and at the same time suffer from the religous side too. I often wonder to myself "how does the world perceive I walking the path that HE has set for me, yes I am and hence it does not matter how the world perceives me, I am who I am and I am living the life that HE has given me.

I hope you have a lover-ly weekend.

Jenny said...

I am glad to know that your not perfect either. Like you have had a swearing problem. My children have come to me at different times to let me know how uncomfortable it makes them. So, I worked extra hard to keep the potty mouth under control.

I know the Gospel to be true, but struggle to get to church each Sunday.

Omgirl said...

I don't think having quirks, faults, flaws, ideosyncracies or any of that stuff makes you a fraud or a fake. It's completely normal to be multi-faceted, to be able to adapt yourself to your surroundings. If you can't, you're autistic or something. It's human nature to be able to let it all hang out around some people/in some places and to hold it in with others. I'm glad you're comfortable with who you are. And in the end, I think letting a potty word slip now and then is the least of our worries here on Earth. :)

kado! said...

Who's Sue?

Umm...this sums up why I like you so much, you are not phony. I may not believe all the same things you do, but because you are real about your beliefs it adds to your total package. Believe me, I've lived with some phonies. Those are the kind of people that make me want to bang my head into a wall.

i will totally visit your blog again, sorry you can't shake me that easily...hope you still want to stop by mine!?

CountessLaurie said...

Since the only "person" who can actually see inside us is our only Judge, I think the rest of us should remember that when looking at other people and "deciding" their holiness / worthiness /spiritualness / phoniness.

Great thought-provoking post. Thanks for sharing.

P.S. I only know you through your written word and so far I have never thought you were phony... just in case you were wondering and waiting for my affirmation so you could go on with your life :-)

Sue said...

All of us have more than one side to our personalities. The ying and the yang.
The sweet and the sour.

Just for the record..I know that you know.

We are just all trying to be the best we can be.

I like you just the way you are.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

I'm SO far from perfect... so very, very far.

I think you're great!!