Monday, November 26, 2012


I think, for the most part, that I am a good person. At least I'm not a sociopath, that I know of. And all in all, I try to do the right thing. At my work, I seek to genuinely enjoy helping people--and it's not that hard, especially if they say thank you :)

But like everyone, I have inner demons, and sometimes something will happen that will release them. I am inevitably surprised by the virulence of these demons, and am left exhausted by the battling of them.  Those of my readership who are familiar with Mormon theology will know what i'm talking about when I refer to the Natural Man. The Natural Man refers to man (or woman) who defers to his or her instincts without trying to curb them or take the "high road" in fraught situations. It can mean bowing to the impulse to nurse anger when upset; the impulse to be pettish or sullen when disappointed; the impulse to be selfish with means or with time. Et cetera.

I could go on. The Natural Man is called "the enemy to God" in the Book of Mormon. And I take that to mean, that the Natural Man inside of us is the opposite of trying to become like Christ, turning the other cheek, and all that.

I had a really real, visceral encounter with my inner demons this Thanksgiving break. I don't want to turn this post into an exposé of my deepest flaws, but some of that will inevitably out.

The nearest and dearest to me know that I am selfish--selfish with my time, principally. I require a lot of alone time in order to maintain my mental sanity. That's not a selfish thing necessarily, but I probably need less than I think I do. I have been learning to be more generous with temporal things over the years, but my time is my own, and I guard it jealously.

And speaking of jealousy, that's another demon I battle. This is a new one for me. I've never considered myself a jealous person, but I can be. (Apparently.) I am still learning how to deal with this because it does not affect me very often at all. When it does, though, it prostrates me emotionally. The worst is, I don't feel like I can talk about it with anyone, because jealousy is a stupid thing to be afflicted by as an adult. So, add guilt on top of jealousy.

Last and by no means least: Anger. Ah, this is an old "friend" of mine. I have always had a bit of a temper. And worse, I have a tendency to assume the worst when something is not going my way or someone is not acting as expected. This tendency toward suspiciousness is perhaps my most damning demon. At least I recognize it and I try to put it in its place--which is nowhere near me--when I do. ("Charity thinketh no evil...") Anger is the little voice behind Jealousy and Selfishness that fuels them, goads them on. Anger is the root. Anger is Pride.

Anger is Enmity.

And, yes, anger leads to the Dark Side.

The reasons why I was battling all of these demons this past week are intensely personal. I won't say they don't matter anymore, because they do. But the important thing is that I know what sorts of things can bring out these demons and I can try to preempt them should similar situations arise.

The fact is...I have a lot of growing up to do. Maybe in reading about some of my most perennial failures as a human being, you have thought to yourselves, "Gosh! I'm a pretty great person."

If so, you're welcome. ;) Maybe I'll write about some of my strengths next time, in order to balance this out.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mind. Blown.

I know people throw that phrase around a lot, but I'm serious. My brain just leaked out my eyeballs. Watch this:

What kills me (besides the fact that he's FIVE) is that he has all the energy and goofiness of a little kid, but when dude launches into his song, he is GONE. I have never seen a child concentrate on anything that intently besides Nickelodeon.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's All Right to Cry

My Grandpa Thomas passed away yesterday morning after suffering a stroke a few days ago. It is hard when you are so far away from someone for their death to hit home, but I think the magnitude is beginning to settle in. My grandma, Betty, passed away three months ago, and we all knew that Grandpa wouldn't be long in following--though it didn't make sense. He was mostly hale, but he was becoming more frail.  At Grandma's funeral, though, he just looked so... lost. We knew he needed her.

I am glad they are back together now. But now that I have lost both my Thomas Grandparents, it is truly the end of an era. And that is heartbreaking. I know I will see them again. I know they are not gone forever. But now neither of them is here, holding down the fort on 1800 South in Orem, representing.

The lyrics from a Darius Rucker kids' song called "It's All Right to Cry" have been running through my head all evening as I've been struggling on and off with the waterworks, trying not let Travis see me cry  (because I am patently unattractive while doing so.) But I finally just let go, because--you know--it's all right to cry,

Crying gets the sad out of you
Raindrops from your eyes
They might make you feel better

That's mostly true. Crying actually just makes my head hurt. But what hurts worse than crying is trying NOT to cry. So, for now, it's all right to cry. It's all right to mourn what is past and gone. It's all right to feel. It's a form of honoring those who are gone.