This morning I found several new bright yellow roses had opened in my garden. It was my intention to share them with you via a few pictures, but when I turned on my camera I learned that my battery pack was dead. Oops! So here’s a photo of an orange rose from a few weeks ago for you to enjoy.
Today I’m thinking about open-ness. It’s a topic that I’ve discussed fairly often on my blog. For example, one of my primary aims in blogging was to discuss my disability in an open and honest way. There’s a strong taboo in our culture about addressing physical differences, and it seemed that a blog was a great way to initiate the discourse.
Of course there are risks to being open. When I talk about my experience as an amputee, I’m vulnerable to cyber-stalking by folks who have acrotomophilia (a sexual fetish for amputee women). So at some point I had to decide that the benefits of blogging about my disability outweigh the risks of attracting the wrong crowd of visitors to my blog.
Similarly, my discussions about my spiritual journey have often touched on the taboo. I’ve been open about my frustrations with the LDS church and my experiences as a marginal member. My attraction to Quakerism has also been an significant thread in this journey and it’s been important for me to share that with you, even though my Mormon readers might find it disconcerting. I know that some of my extended family members follow my blog and are saddened to hear that I’m not currently active in the LDS church. But the reality of that is that many of our family members have left activity–it’s not just me. And I appreciate open dialogue with family members from both extremes of the faith spectrum. I love hearing about how your spiritual experiences have impacted your life choices. Truly. Now I am not going to tell anyone how to live their lives, but I would encourage those who have something to say to me about the church or any other aspect of my life to feel free to initiate that dialog. I will listen to and respect your thoughts, even if my beliefs are different than yours.
In this process of navigating my journey it’s been my aim to be as sincere and honest as possible. I learned long ago that speaking my truth makes me vulnerable to hurt*, but it also helps me to live authentically. I am not one person in a church setting and another person at home. I am not different online than I am in person. I am not ashamed of anything I believe nor of any of my actions.
*and yes, it does pain me sometimes when anonymous folks leave rude comments. I am not made of steel (although approximately 1/4 of my body is a carbon-fiber composite that’s pretty rugged stuff).