Sunday, February 15, 2015
Happily Ever After vs. Shades of Gray
A lot has been said and written about the 50 Shades of Gray book and movie*, both of which I haven't read or watched, and never will. It is about, as far as I can tell, dysfunctional sexual relationships and abuse.
I've ignored the hype, and wish it would end. I certainly wasn't going to blog about it.
My daughter has been planning her first date this week, a girls' choice formal. Her planning prompted a dream for me last night, in a curiously familiar dream setting--High School. I don't know why, but often my dream setting is as I am back in High School, sort of as an adult in a kid body. Analyze me later, pay attention.
So I dreamed that instead of merely chauffeuring the upcoming dance, I decided to go with a date. All the old feelings of being incomplete, of missing someone and not really knowing who it was came flooding back in a very real way. I thought of boys I had dated, and boys in our current neighborhood. No one even remotely interested me. I felt terribly lonely and unhappy.
Suddenly, I remembered that I was married. To Paul. My Choice. The only one I could ever want to be with. I felt such a rush of love, happiness and gratitude. Memories of our life together for the last 22+ years flooded my mind; almost unbearable joy! All the blessings I'd yearned for as an adolescent, all the hopes and dreams I'd had for my life at that time have happened, in ways that I never would have imagined. I'd lived happily ever after! (mostly)
I concede that there's probably no "One and Only." I might have been happy with a different choice. There are many good men out there. But I will be eternally grateful that I was smart/lucky enough to choose the one I did. He's gentle and strong and selfless and good. He's funny and smart and passionate. He does dishes and sings silly songs and makes up silly words to Dr. Seuss. He is warm and patient. The longer I know him, the more awed and honored I am to be his wife.
I'm thankful that at a time when many others were experimenting with their bodies I chose to listen to those who loved me and counselled me to keep my virtue. I'm grateful that there were many who loved me enough to teach me the truth; that some things are worth waiting for and other things will bring unhappiness. I'm thankful that I used my time preparing to be a wife and mother; learning all I could and trying to follow the Savior.
I'm thankful that I didn't need to spend a lot of time healing from heartbreaking mistakes, or suffering the consequences of errors. I'm also grateful that I was never the victim of abuse. I know that if I had experience either of these the Atonement of Jesus Christ would bring healing and peace, but I'm glad I avoided the pain.
Marriage is hard. It's hard every single day for me to be selfless and humble. I feel a desperate need to NOT mess up the lives God has entrusted to my care. It's heartbreaking and exhausting to have a family. But the corresponding joy is immeasurable.
I believe in black and white.
is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation
I believe that the powers of procreation are given to us by a loving Heavenly Father to bring us joy (and passion and really great times!) And when we use those powers in any other way, we will only find sorrow.
*Two sources I love: http://contentmom.blogspot.com/ "Sometimes it'sGrey";