Friday, June 8, 2018

Dee Eye Vee Oh Are See Ee

Have you ever met someone who raises their hand and says, “I’m so glad I went through a divorce!”
Me either...until now.
Let me be the first, but also let me rephrase it a bit.
I’m glad I went through a divorce, because of how much it taught me.

At the risk of sounding like a whack job, I can honesty say that I’m so happy for the experiences I went through. Granted, I highly caution against getting a divorce unless God commands you to.
In which case, you better listen...lest God smite you down for disobedience. Speaking for a friend...

The truth is, if I saw that man whom I was married to before, I would likely give him and his new someone a big hug. Starting with the new someone! I mean, what a blessing that trial was to my life, and so much gratitude fills my heart every day with how much I learned, how it shaped me, and who I am now because of it. It literally PURGED me of my worst qualities. I doubt there was another way for that to happen. I know God brought that man and I together for a reason, and I know He commanded us to be apart for a reason. He sees all, the Great Picture. He knew what we were to become but that we had to go through some fiery furnaces to get there.

“Divorce” is not a French delicacy.
No, it’s more like a rotten, fermented, pungent potatoe salad that’s been left out in the heat for weeks.
Yet, somehow for me, it was the most shape-shifting, soul-stretching, and Faith-building experience. It’s like the rhubarb pie, nobody wants to get it cause it sounds weird but it’s really the most delicious!
I can see how the Lord used that time in my life to fulfill His purpose, to guide me along to the place He would have me be, to who He wants me to be.
I’ve had so many instances happen where I was like, “Oh! That’s why He sent me on that rugged journey!” That’s how He taught me to listen to the spirit, to repent, to feel compassion, to not judge.
The Lord’s timing is perfect. I have full trust that the Lord has worked miracles in both of our lives, and that our families have also grown spiritually. I pray for them, and have no regrets other than I wish I could ask them to their faces to forgive me of my shortcomings. Life is so sweet and not long enough. 

In other news. Preparing for an ETERNAL marriage is something quite extraordinary.
It is the exact opposite of divorce, but virtually as shape-shifting.
Nothing has terrified me more.
Nothing has caused me to stay up late reading and reading and searching the scriptures.
I am so excited to be with my children forever.
There is no doubt in my mind this is what God wants me to do, but getting enough courage to stand without shaking in that room will take all of my energy.
Any tips!?!?

:)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Documenting Brittany: Coping With Substance Abuse




Coping with Substance Abuse Vlog
By Documenting Brittany

Preface: Everyone DOES feel pain differently. Some people do have “worse” lives. There are women who have given birth nine times naturally.
;)
Having prepared myself for all those arguments, I’m confident that God also gives us our own unique, personally prescribed, toughest battles. They come at different stages of life over a variety of time and at multiple ages.
My crippling problem might not be yours, and so on.
To the viewer who thought, “No, money doesn’t fix things, but God does. She should have prayed.”
Dude.
A girl who grew up LDS and never once thought to pray about her immense suffering? Why didn’t she think of that? Oh, she did. I thought that much was obvious.
It goes without saying (yet here I am saying it)
I exhausted ALL the avenues before out of the deepest and darkest desperation, turned to a numbing substance.
I’ll also argue that God doesn’t always take our afflictions from us. Prophets have stated such.
But Jesus Christ promises to always be there with us, to comfort us during them.
I testify that He did just that during my weakest moments.
Human as I am, I chose a method of coping many LDS people judge and condem, yet I never lost my testimony of or turned my back on Christ.
Lastly, to the viewer who is just so amazingly spiritual that they’ve never been tempted by substances, never been crippled, never felt so weak because of a trial that they abandoned their religious values, never had a prayer to relieve pain go unanswered....get ready.
Your time will come.
When you get there, reach out to someone who has already been through it.
You might be surprised to find out what you can learn.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Easter

It’s been a long time coming, but my smile lines are officially deeper than my frown lines :) 
There was a time in my life this was not so; and I was much too young to be having frown lines. 
These days I’m so very proud of my smile wrinkles and would never even consider covering or changing them.
I have so much to be grateful for.

Easter Sabbath was amazing.
General Conference was edifying and enlightening.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Is Your Path the same as God’s?

I’ve been pondering this question a lot today. Wondering, is my path the same as God’s? Am I walking the path He wants me to walk?

Sometimes I’ve been sitting in a house for days at a time and I speak only to children under three. Most of the time they’re screaming and crying at me, or fighting with each other. I get desperate for human interaction. Since most people aren’t available unless it’s through social media, I find myself binging social media in an effort to connect. What I encounter are failed connections or surface level friendships. I get depressed. I withdraw. And I’m back in my same circular path.
Which then poses the question: Am I on God’s path for ME?

I’m going to try and figure it out, one tiny set at a time.
I deactivated my social media accounts. Again. For the umpteenth time.
The break is much needed.
I’m going to evaluate my life circumstances.
I don’t have the relationships I want; that is the relationships I have currently, like with my husband, my parents, my siblings, and my friends, are not precisely where I wish them to be.
Do I have a hard life?
No.
Am I extremely blessed and fortunate?
Yes.
I’m going to celebrate those aspects and continue to improve my relationships while utilizing prayer and scripture study. My goal is to align my path with God’s, for if I’m encountering a hrdahip of some sort, I will be able to know what God’s purpose is in my going through it.

As it stands, I’ve felt painfully alone for a number of years. I do not have people to confide in about my deepest darkest pains and the struggles I’m having. Which, in relation to the world’s crises, are NOT that bad. However, I’m not human and I suffer pains and afflictions just like the next human. I do wish I had a confidant, I do wish I had stronger relationships in my life; but for now, I will focus solely on strengthening my relationship with God. I know He is always there and will be my everlasting friend.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Becoming a "Whole Woman" Review of Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

My review of Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife's podcast on becoming a "Whole Woman":

First of all, YAAAAS!!!!!!!
Second of all, BOOM.
Third of all, Please, please, for the sake of ALL LDS WOMEN, read, watch, listen, and LEARN!!!


This podcast was amazing. It just says it all and so plainly. It really opens your eyes to culturally fed sexual ideals and how Satan has been working in the world to both diminish the sexuality of women while at the same time exploiting them as sexual objects for men. It is so powerful to understand ourselves as women, who we are as intimate beings, and what we have to offer ourselves, our marriages, and our spouse's sexually.

We are such BEAUTIFUL creatures. And it is always important to remember GOD CREATED US!
If He didn't want us to be a certain way, He wouldn't have made us so...therefore, knowing how we work emotionally and sexually is part of understanding God's love for us and why we are the way we are.

I listened to this whole podcast and took some notes. Some of these are exact quotations and others are a little jumbled and combined because I was trying to write SOO fast.
For your own education, please listen to the podcast yourself!
And enjoy :)

Some people feel a perverse pleasure in feeling guilty. 
Some people grow up in families and learn to live in a "self-hate" position. It feels awkward to reach out and stretch and grow.
That is where you find self-respect.
(Insert extra BOOM BOOM!)

Push yourself to stretch and grow, for your sake and for your spouse's.

Giving and Receiving:
You can't be good at one without being good at the other.
Some people are TAKERS. It is not the same thing as receiving.
You have to be a good receiver and giver for healthy relationships.

Step out of entitlement and control.
If someone was to die, could you sustain yourself?
(Answer should be yes)
But you should also be letting the giving and receiving bless your life.

Let your man provide, protect, and support you. (These are man's natural instincts)
Some men do exploit sexuality and they are brutes. But others naturally want to GIVE and receive, and it can really bless. It can nurture. Sex and is part of intimacy for men. We shouldn't put down a woman because of this. It is also how God created THEM.

It should work together as forces of good how we are created. A woman should be able to receive in a healthy way. Her being able to receive, being worthy of it, being feminine, is also and act of "giving" because it is what the man needs.

We get married. It is not a PRISON CELL. We are not a slave. Some of us become slaves to our sex lives, and some of us actually ENSLAVE ourselves! Whether in healthy or unhealthy ways. It is not our "job" or our "duty". 

Being grateful is different than being entitled. Don't snub all the joy out of love and sex by acting entitled to someone's love. If you're thinking you're the "insecure" or "broken" or "weak" one, therefore you're entitled to your spouse's love, then you're not grateful at all. You're wrong.

Many of us "get and take", but fail to "give and receive". How do we increase gratitude?
Ask yourself, "What would I lose if this person wasn't here?"

Sexually, you have to see yourself as deserving. TO make your sex life "male centric" is CULTURAL! If you want a more satisfying sex life, you have to make it more "female centric". Women take longer to become aroused and to climax, but the process requires both parties to give and receive, which brings you closer together.

Sexuality is a threat to goodness in MORMON CULTURE.
Men are interested in women for sex, but women think its a bad thing and either become slaves, or enslave themselves, by diminishing their sexuality and exploiting themselves as a sex object for their husbands. THIS IS WRON.
You can do as much damage to a relationship by sexual exploitation as you can by sexual repression. Real strength begets strength.
Women think, "Well, men need to feel strong. Therefore I must be weak."
A real man needs to let his woman's sexuality be equal to or even ECLIPSE his own, and not be threatened.
Women are actually more sexual because their orgasms are deeper and can happen more than once.
Men have "ten minute sex" and are some how looked at as SEXUAL CHAMPIONS.
(WTF??)
The opposite is true. WOMEN are the sexual champions, their longevity and endurance and the end result all equate to their godly design. Biologically, women are more sexual with more sex organs and more sexual nerve endings.

Satan does BOTH exploit a woman's sexuality but represses her as the champion. If God didn't want you to have pleasure as a woman, He wouldn't have designed you that way. 
SATAN and CULTURE diminish the woman and her sexual capacity, while at the same time puffing up a man's "ten second sex" trophy and the woman as a sex OBJECT meant for man's pleasure.
(Sex slave)
SHE is more sexual. She is feminine and powerful.
You will RESENT and NEVER LOVE your husband if you think its your "JOB".

MORMON CULTURE FLUBS
There is NO integration before marriage about the woman and her sexuality.
There is this idea that "My sexuality exits to SERVE my husband."
This is not good sex.
This is not happiness.
Women feel ashamed, dirty, wrong, and repressed in their sex lives. The Mormon culture doesn't have proper sex education. No one is teaching these young women about their bodies and the powerful nature of their femininity. They aren't teaching the men how powerful and necessary a woman is, how wonderful her sexuality is, and what it can bring to their relationship. The intimacy can be so much stronger. It will grow and flourish. Both parties BENEFIT from the sexuality of a WOMAN!!!!!

This is "OUR" sex life. Not "HIS".
That is a culturally sanctioned FALSEHOOD!!!


And those are my notes!!
I hope you really like this podcast. I hope you learn something from it.


Now to go off on a few tangents:
Mormon Fed Repression
I personally understand how culture has fed the problem in society and especially for Mormons. I love how Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife hit the topics hard.
In the home I grew up in, sex was NOT talked about. IT was viewed as wrong and dirty. A "sin".
While sex before marriage is considered a sin, being a sexual being is NOT. For that is how GOD CREATED US. We are obviously cautioned to control our desires and save them for marriage, but having sexual desires is not wrong and when saved for marriage, it is very, very RIGHT.
Also, in my home, women were seen as sex objects. They were both exploited as a sexual object designed for man's pleasure, and repressed sexually. There was a lot of shame culture, both in my home, and in the Mormon religion.

Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife reminds us over and over that to become a whole woman, we have to be in tune with the sexual part of ourselves. It is not wrong or shameful.
(It's a man's sin if he can't control his urges, NOT the woman's)
We do not exist to "serve him" (our husband)
We both have desires and the WOMAN is clearly, biologically, the sexual champion.

I wish more young women in the Mormon religion were taught proper sex education. I wish women weren't repressed culturally. I wish men and society didn't EXPLOIT the woman as a sex object and sex slave, while then punishing her. Shaming her. Repressing her.

I wish Satan would get off his soap box and the "ten second sex" trophy would DIE a horrible death.
Remember that commercial where the plumber comes to the aid of a housewife? She says, "I only have fifteen minutes." While the plumber holds up the cleaning product and says, "I only need five."
It's supposed to make him look cool and very sexual.
(Sexual trophy award.)
Five minute sex???? Please.... that's pathetic is what it is.

50 Shades of He** Yeah!
I apologize in advance for the millions of people I'm about to offend, but...this is one of the reasons I genuinely liked the series 50 Shades of Grey. While most Mormons never read the books, and HATED them at the same time (go figure) a lot of other people, enough to make it a super best-seller and amass MILLIONS in book sales and went on to be made into movies, understand that part of the beauty of this very sexually explicit novel, was the JOY and INTIMACY that evolved between to open partners.
Honestly...do you think it was such a hit because it was an erotica?? Dude. There are a bazillion erotica novels.

Yes, Mormons point to 50 Shades as "domineering" and "supporting men beating women" and it's just "disgusting" to them. They also didn't read it, and are realistically probably deathly afraid of being sexual.
(They probably are sexually repressed. By their spouses and themselves)
In the novels, both partners are open sexually and NEVER do anything their uncomfortable with.
**SPOILER ALERT**
She never signs the contract. He never beats her. They communicate. They explore.
THEY DO NOT HAVE TEN SECOND SEX!
The man PLEASURES the woman. Wholly. And in this "giving" he finds it is immensely satisfying. (That's the receiving part for him)
They have a wonderful, consensual, sex life.
Now, they aren't married at the get-go, so for Mormons that is offensive. But it's sad to me that Mormons will also find the very nature of their sex life "offensive".
IT goes to prove how sexually repressed our culture is, and how "shame culture" acts in the Mormon world.
Thank you, Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife for confronting this.

RAPE CULTURE
(at the risk of offending LGBT I will continue with simply "man" and "woman"...you're all very loved and equal)

All of the confusion surrounding sexuality has increased our society's rape culture.
We teach our young children that sex and sexuality is disgusting.
At one minute, it's wrong and the next, it's .... right??
I don't get it.
Poor Mormons. These young men and women get married (usually as virgins) and then have no idea what to do with their bodies. Men resort to culturally fed brutality (not Christian Grey status) and women respond by acting in their cultural place: the sex slave.
Women are taught that they must "dress modestly" to help boys control their thoughts.
Are you kidding me?
That makes the woman the responsible party in sexual offense, you get that, right?
A woman may become the object in a man's fantasy, but she is NEVER the cause.
Mormon culture is teaching young women it is their fault if men act inappropriately. It increases shame. It increases repression. It's a nasty cycle.
Men are not taught to control their thoughts. They're given too much control and power of the situation, and high-fiving themselves for their ten second performances (even the fantastical ones)
When they're not held accountable, there is no responsibility or guilt in acting inappropriately. The woman is the problem. If she dresses in a way that will illicit a man's sexual desire, it's then her fault when inappropriate actions and thoughts take place.
Bull.
Modesty has changed throughout the millenniums of human existence. But righteousness never has. Both men and women are cautioned to control their thoughts. "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts always."
I hate HATE hate...did I mention HATE?? the blame placed on women. The blame. With also this expectation! To be a perfect sex object and slave! Be my fantasy, and if you're not: it's your fault if I seek pleasure elsewhere.
Men go into relationships with a false expectation of a woman and her purpose. They support rape culture without even knowing it. It ruins marriages left and right. Parents, mothers and fathers, there is nothing wrong with sex education. Teaching children about their bodies, and how God designed them, does not turn them into a sex freak or porn addict. Duh face.


ANYWAYS
Dear Women: SPEAK UP! For yourselves, and for your daughters. Femininity is beautiful. It is godly. It brings joy to a relationship. Intimacy is a GOOD thing. Both emotional and physical. I hope you teach your daughters (and sons) the truth about our sexuality and the wonderful blessing intimacy can bring our lives, our relationships, and our posterity.

By Brittany Shannon