3/07/2006

Cleaning my Pearls

Maybe it's because I'm getting older. Or maybe it's because I can't see my feet, I'm about as uncomfortable as an elephant in toe-shoes and my brain is sopping in mama hormones. But I've been thinking. As I cruise around the blogernacle while my youngest naps, and I read some of the things out there- and as I contemplate my own spirituality and how what I read effects how I feel, I have come to this conclusion: If you're lookin' for it, you'll find it. There are some great sites out there, and I for one am glad to have a place where we can go read ideas and thoughts from folks we can generally assume are at least in the same ballpark as we are. There are blogs and sites that are carefully constructed, well thought out, and gospel-centered; those are the places that have helped me greatly be able to answer questions and accusations from my non-member family, and have eased tension in my relationships. There are sites that are just plain fun, that poke at our human foibles and hold up a mirror for us to see how silly we are sometimes. There are sites that require you to have a 16 pound dictionary next to you as you read them, sites devoted to the LDS sub-cultures, and the arts, sites for free-thinkers, traditionalists, and the rest of us in betweeners. It hasn't taken me long to find the places I feel most comfortable, and most of them are the mommy-centered blogs. Who can alleviate or understand the isolation (and satisfaction) of being with toddlers all day, changing diapers, caring for a family and trying to occasionally tend my spirit, better than another mom? We choose this road, but that doesn't make it an easy one to walk. Early on, when I first found this network of people, I made the mistake of thinking that everyone knew better than me, and I tried to read to too much into too many ideas. After reading and contemplating a few too many posts on sites that sent doubts and disquiet into my heart, I had to check out for a while. The written word is powerful, even if it is just a little blog. The written word allows us to re-read, to think critically, to infer more, and to contemplate. When someone presents an especially articulate argument, it is seductive. But just because an idea is wrapped in nice words, does not mean I have to unwrap it and add it to my own cannon. There are posters and sites I avoid now, because I have found my spirit wavers when I read too many posts that are critical of the Church and things I care deeply about. There is certainly a place for discourse, and I fault no one for expressing a view contrary to what mine may be, but I am happier and healthier if I don't wallow too long in other people's mud pools. That does not make me feeble, weak, or judgmental. Nor does it make me intolerant or any other derogatory label that can be slapped on- it just makes me responsible for my own spirit. I'm not going looking for answers to questions that weren't mine. I've got more than enough issues on my own, without seeking out new ones from other's imaginations- Because in the LDS blogernacle, and life in general, if you're lookin, you'll find it.

12 Comments:

Blogger Mrs. M said...

Tracy, thanks for articulating these thoughts. MMW is one of my favorite "places" and I enjoy the safe feeling I have here.

3/07/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Thank you for articulating so well what I've been thinking for the last 2 months.

I'm very new to the whole bloggernacle --blogging in general-- but I've already had to stop reading for up to a week or so for the same reasons you have listed.

Some of the problem arises when I'm afraid to make my opinions known based on the fact that I may not be as "intelligent" as those blogging, or, at the same time, that others may judge me by a passing comment I might have made on a bad day.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one feeling this way...

(I also agree that blogging with all the LDS mothers out there is great. Reduces my stress and reminds me that I'm not alone...)

3/07/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth-W said...

Thanks for a nice post--I was having a conversation with my best friend a couple days ago about this very thing. The things that strengthen my testimony may be the things that chink away at hers, and vice versa. MMW is a great place to find some common ground on some of the most important things. Thanks!

3/07/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

Tracy, great post and I love your title. Thanks to you and your crew for all the great insights.

3/07/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Tracy, you just plain rock.
(How's that for articulate?)
Thanks for acknowledging that blogging is just like so many mediums out there, it has the same potential for ill as for good, and should be used responsibly be people who are aware of the effect it can have on themselves and others.
Again, you rock!

3/07/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Tracy,

Again, thanks. It's good to point out that just because it sounds articulate, it may not be spiritually edifying, and my spirit has wavered sometimes too when I read stuff, as you put it, that are answers to questions that weren't mine.

But also like you said, discourse is important, and just because it wasn't our question doesn't mean it shouldn't be addressed. It has amazed me how many people I've seen in the bloggernacle who are hurting, and I know that some of the hurt comes largely from their issues being ignored in the church. I'm glad that the bloggernacle offers some place to find some peace, or at the very least, some common ground. But I do try to avoid posts that are just venting. It's good to vent, but I'm not always up for catching that particular wave.

And I'm glad people are comfortable here at MMW. I like it here, too. Times and Seasons sometimes takes the spotlight when it comes to Mormon blogs, and my family asks me a lot, "Hey, how come when people talk about Nate blogging, they don't mention you?"

I tell them it's because Nate blogs about the universe at large, Newtonian cosmology and how it all can be described with an analogy to law and, of course, chess, as long as you have some good home grown tomatoes to eat while you're thinking about it.

Me, I blog about barfing in the bathtub.

And I'm totally ok with that.

3/07/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie J said...

It is so great that there is so much diversity on the Bloggernacle, but you're right Tracy, not all of it is uplifting. I have to say, that was such a well writen post. I read some of it to my husband and he wanted me to repeat it he loved it so much. I too have found sites that leave me uncomfortable and doubting. I believe to doubt is not inherintly (sp?) bad, but doing nothing to find answers to questions is. That said, much of what is portrayed as doubt and questions are usually just vents and I can't handle too much of those. Thanks for the wonderful post.

3/07/2006 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger Island Queen said...

Tracy, thank you so much for saying so beautiful what I lack the vocabulary to express.

3/08/2006 01:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! Thank you for this post, I was just catching up after having stopped reading some blogs that as you said started trying to answer questions that weren't mine. I'm happy to say that MMW is safe place for me along with so many others.

I too, have enough to deal with on my own without sifting through other people's doubt and concerns.

3/08/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

I know exactly how you feel. There are a lot of sites out there that make me feel dark inside. I took that as a big clue that I didn't need to visit those sites anymore. Same feeling as with certain TV shows, movies, etc.

We try to make MMW a safe place that people will like. Thanks for all the nice comments, everyone.

3/08/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous wendy said...

Basically I'm an non-believer. Why am I here? Because from birth the church has been my life and my culture. I married in the temple. I live in Utah and my friends, neighbors and family are LDS. The Bloggernacle allows me the chance to keep in touch with the religion of my birth (without having to attend meetings) and find diversity in the LDS culture.

You're right about "if you're lookin' for it, you'll find it". That's what's so great about the Bloggernacle--something for everyone. And yay for "Mommy Blogs"!

3/08/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Naiah said...

Wow, thank-you. I feel the same way...(somethign I keep finding myself thinking post after post on here---how did I not find you guys sooner?!?!?)

I recently took a stand in my own way--I overhauled my blogroll links on my site, breaking them into layers, the top one being the ones I'll actually read. I posted a page called "on my blogroll" saying basically what you're saying here. I just can't handle too much of that stuff. It turns my stomach and wrenches my heart for the people involved.

So, yeah, thanks for making such a straightforward post about it.

3/16/2006 09:30:00 PM  

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