Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Let's Talk About Breast Obsession

I've been thinking about breasts lately.

Now before your eyeballs bug out, my thoughts are not in the context you might think, considering my addiction and my recent disclosure on my struggle with same sex attraction.

No, my thoughts surround my concern with the insane level of obsession the world has reached over the female breast.

God created breasts so that we, as women, can fulfill the sacred institution of breast feeding.  Yes, some women are not able to breast feed, but regardless of whether or not we are physically able, feeding babies is what our breasts were created for.

What happened to that?  Where did that purpose go?

Isn't it a device of Satan to twist our beautiful God given gifts into something ugly?  Has he not already defiled the sacred institution of sex?  Is he not also working to pollute the sacred institution of breast feeding?

Somewhere along the way, whether by God's design or nurtured by the natural man, female breasts have become part of our sexuality, for men and women.  And as with any aspect of our God ordained sexuality, when our desires go unbridled, obsession steps in, and we begin to feed and nurture unhealthy behaviors that, if left to their own devices, lead to addiction.

It seems that the world's sexualization of breasts has reached a whole new level of obsession and is possibly even stepping into the realm of worship.

Somehow the world has labeled bigger breasts as better.

Who decided that a bigger breast is better anyway?  Why is it better?  Can any reason be listed that doesn't feed and satiate sexual desire?  Or isn't linked to self worth?  Or isn't derived from comparison to others?  I haven't found one.  Oh, and there is no correlation between breast size and milk production.

It seems to me that the world's definition of a perfect female body mirrors what the natural man feels is the perfect female body.  Whatever the natural man desires, that is what the natural woman strives to look like.

Why?

Why can't we all just be desired for the bodies we have and the beautiful spirit's that house them?
Where did this idea of a perfect body looking like a voluptuous size six come from?
...and
Where did the belief come from that our bodies will be perfected to a voluptuous size six state after we die?

My understanding is that perfection means 'perfectly free from sin.'  In essence, we will be perfectly free from judging ourselves and others.  Freedom from such judgement will allow a space for us to see ourselves, and others, as the perfect beings we are.

To have a perfect body is to be restored to a perfectly healthy state, free from scars, imperfections, disease or marring.
...and
Perfection is to be happy, truly happy with the bodies we have been given, and to be comfortable in our own skin.

Having a perfect body doesn't translate to having a perfect shape or perfect facial features, at least, not according to the worlds standards now.  
...no
Perfection lies in accepting ourselves for who we are in the bodies we have. What a glorious day that will be!  To truly come to unite with our bodies and love them, wholly.

Seriously.

Would our desire not be better spent on striving to love our Father in Heaven?  
Wouldn't it be better for us to seek pleasure and find joy in the beautiful gifts He has given us?  
Things that nurture and sustain our gratitude for His plan?

He loves us and wants us to be happy.  He has gifted bodies to us in order to experience mortality.  Any obsession with our bodies (whether by enhancement or self deprecation) dulls our understanding of the true purpose for which it was given.

My dear sisters... please, remember your worth.  Remember we are all beautiful and elect daughters of a King.  He cherishes us.  We are special to Him.  We are Celestial Royalty.  Our value and worth is not tied up in how symmetrically perfect our bodies are.  Our value is innate. We arrived with it.  It is not something that is earned here.  We already have it.

My dear brothers... please, remember your worth as well.  Remember that you are princes in His kingdom and valued on high right along side us, your beautiful sisters.

Let us cherish our virtue.  And as we strive to do so together, we will remain clean.

Let us grow to love God
...and in turn
Love ourselves
Let us focus more on becoming emotionally and spiritually healthier
...rather than
Becoming physically sexier
Let us reach for comfort and peace
...in our own skin
Right here
...and
Right now

Friday, June 21, 2013

50,000 Touches

Today marks a huge milestone in my recovery journey.  360 days ago I posted my very first blog post.  Five days short of a year later (today), I hit 50,000 views.

What does this mean?

That the Lord has kept up His end of the bargain.  

When I first felt prompted to create this blog I thought:
"But who will read it?"
The Lord answered:
"Just write, I will send them."
Like my own personal 'if you build it, they will come' moment.

And they have... He has sent them, and they have come... you, have come.

What a sacred mission it has been to spread hope to others who are struggling in the shadows.
To spread the Lord's message of rescue and healing.
To share and connect with some of the most noble, brave and valiant people on earth.
To be a part of a powerful movement of shame awareness and excavation.

I have never questioned that this was my mission.
I have never felt an ounce of regret.

I am forever grateful to my Lord...
...for sustaining me
and
...for protecting me
and
...for healing me
and
...for loving me

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Same Sex Attraction: It Just Is

There is a common branch among women who struggle with sexual addiction.  It's a branch that most of us would rather have sawed off and burnt to a crisp - or at least I would.  It's a shameful branch... one that I would rather have the world never see or know about.  I remember first reading about it from Jessica, here, and being absolutely blown away at her courage to be so open and honest about it.

Yet, still I hid, in the safety of isolated shadows.

But no more.  I'm shedding shame... faster and faster it seems.  I have concluded that all the energy in the world spent trying to figure out the why/how/what of this specific struggle only produces the same result... which is the knowledge that my struggle just is.


It's just a fact.  I struggle with same sex attraction.

My struggle does not mean I am a lesbian.  I'm not a lesbian, nor am I bi-sexual.  I have no desire to date or have a relationship with another woman.

My struggle simply stems from viewing massive amounts of pornography.  My brain has been overloaded with sexual images... of men and women.  It stems to reason that the human body, whether male or female, would trigger me.  It just does.

It just is.

It's just a result of choices I have made in the past.  With each passing moment that I nurtured my addiction tree and strengthened its roots, new branches were forming and growing above.

Attraction to women is simply one of those branches.

I treat this struggle the exact same as all the other branches of my addiction.  I turn it over to the Lord, I don't focus on it, or feed it, and I don't shame myself into a cesspool of worthlessness because of it.

No...

I just love myself.  And I don't love myself in-spite of it, I love myself with it.  It is a part of me.  I accept it.

It just is.

I just am.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Laying Hold on Christ and His Atonement

One woman's journey through steps 4 & 5....
Contributed by Tara

~~~~~~~~~~

Alma 36 and 37 always resonates with me. He's always been the perfect example of being overwhelmed with sin and then being free from that pain. Though I like to relate scriptural stories to myself, I never felt that I would have such an experience; a visitation from an angel and the immediate relief from calling upon the Savior. 

But I did. When I finished Steps 4/5.

Step 4 was a mountain that took months for me to climb. I had tried to be better for so long with little success and I had lost all hope. I didn't think I could do it. I didn't know how. Simply striving to live gospel principles didn't seem like the answer because I'd always done that. But I found that working the steps was helping. When I finally felt complete and satisfied with my list, I went to my sponsor. 

I was unprepared for the miracle that meeting would bring... 

As I sat down with my sponsor, she had me read through my list. She would discuss different areas with me, point out patterns she saw, and seek to understand me better. As Alma says, "Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities," I literally had all the sins and iniquities I could think of laid out before me.

As I discussed each area, rather than feel shame or embarrassment, I felt relief. Her faith that Christ could change me; her testimony that He had done it for her and for many others, gave me hope. It wasn't until I spoke about my weaknesses out loud, and then heard her words of encouragement, that I truly began to believe.

I truly began to see how God could and would remove my weaknesses. It was at that time that I finally laid hold of Christ and his atonement. I started to believe and hope. The very next day I was brimming over with happiness and love, and I desired to be a more faithful servant of God. I finally saw how Alma could go from such torment to such joy. It's faith and hope that brings joy, not perfection.

Since that experience, I'm excited when I discover a weakness, because I know it can become a strength. That one night has changed my life drastically. I didn't need to see an angel to provide the same outcome that Alma received. I simply needed a sponsor (who is an angel to me) who could remind me of and strengthen my faith in my Savior. I am happier, friendlier and more loving. And I want only to share it with everyone.

Though these steps are hard work and take time, they are worth every effort and minute.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hold the Line!

I believe this earth life to be a literal battle
...and this
is how I fight.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Letter to My Friends' Mother

There are some things I’d like to point out to you, that you seem to be incredibly blind to.

YOUR DAUGHTER IS A FREAKING ROCKSTAR!

She is one of the most... 
Vulnerable
Brave
Diligent
Compassionate
Empathetic
Supportive 
and 
Authentic 
...people I have had the privilege of knowing.

Do you not see it?  
Do you not see how much she has sacrificed so that she can return, fresh and clean, to dwell again with her Savior?  
Do you not see how much shame she has shed and the lengths she has gone through to give up that which has kept her bound?
Do you not see the Light of Christ within her?

Maybe you would see it if you asked her about her journey instead of giving unsolicited advice detailing your perceptions of righteousness.

She does not need you to give advice
...or to fix her 
She needs her mom  
She deserves unconditional love

Your daughter is a warrior princess
She is a fighter
She will not lay down and be consumed 
She is unabashedly doing all that the Lord is asking of her
...and 
Following in His footsteps

I AM SO PROUD OF HER!!

I hope you can be too...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Road Trip!

I drove my two oldest kids up to Garrison Montana yesterday.  Garrison is directly North of me from Orem/Provo.  They are spending a few weeks in Eastern Montana with my parents.  My favorite aunt and uncle live in Garrison which is a convenient half way point to Lindsay, where my parents live.  I dropped my boys off with my aunt and uncle yesterday and my sister picked them up later that day and is currently driving them back to Lindsay.

I left my house at 5:08 yesterday morning and pulled back into my driveway at 10:25 last night; a 17.5 hour round-trip road trip.  My butt is flat and my brain is mush.

BUT...

It was also one of the awesomest road-trips I've ever taken!

Annette from Standing in Holier Places met me in Blackfoot Idaho and we spent a good 8-9 hours together as she drove with me to Garrison.  We spent our time together laughing, screaming, almost running out of gas (twice), telling jokes and stories and having a genuinely awesome time.

So happy to know her!  She is amazing!

Sidreis and Annette
June 2, 2013
Walmart Parking-lot
Blackfoot Idaho
(Forgive the disheveled hair - this was after driving for 13 hours haha)

Ezekiel 34:11-12,16

"For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick"