Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Problem

Do you want to know what the problem is?  I want to please everyone.  I want to only do things that bring light and joy to ALL around me.

But almost everything I do is good and bad depending on who you talk to.

I could be running on the treadmill for sanity (could we start a cause named THAT?)  And my children could feel neglected for the moment.  Or they could watch too much TV and we ALL know the current trend is that your kids should be either playing outside or reading a book if you want to post a picture on Instagram.  Or eating something organic and homemade.  And you should be either out there with them or reading the book.  (That was snarky.  I can be snarky, it's true)

I could be cleaning up the house for sanity (Another cause ya'll) and enlisting my children for help when all my oldest wants to do is have a friend over because school is so much harder on the brain than it was when I was in sixth grade.  While my youngest is just happy to be spending time with me and you know what?  My middle child goes back and forth between loving the attention and hating me for making him clean.  MAKING HIM CLEAN.  But TIME TOGETHER YAY!

 I could be on a weekend away for sanity (I sense a trend in my causes) and my child could break his arm while I am away.  But I am so much more sane when I get home to take care of him because of the weekend away, the treadmill, and the cleanliness.

I could be resting for sanity....

You get it.

The point is Sanity.  Mom's sanity.  That is the end goal.  But actually it isn't the end goal.  The end goal actually is me being a good mom and wife and friend. But actually that isn't the end goal either.  The end goal is doing whatever weird thing my God has for me to do.  I feel like I can't do that when I don't do all my causes for Sanity.  (It's true though, God wants me to do life even insane sometimes.  That God.  He sure has a sense of humor.)

It bugs me that everything I do brings good and bad consequences depending on who we are speaking to because I just want everyone to love me and applaud me and give me squishy hugs when they see me.

And that my friends, is impossible.  Everyone is not going to think I am great.  But I super want them to.

So I read my philosophy books and I study religion to figure out the real purpose to life because my default purpose of pleasing everyone sort of makes me feel bad all the time.  So those are the thoughts that I go through every day.

Default thought,


Next thought,

"Remember the philosophy books."

Next thought.. I can't help it...

"But will that make everyone happy?"

Next thought,

"Gah, no no no...  "

Meditate, yoga, treadmill, clean, weekend away,

Zen with the way everything I do has consequences and some people will like it and some won't...

and then I am doing what I do and the thought comes,


Rinse and repeat people.  Rinse and Repeat.

Anyone else feel that way ever?

Who are you going to believe?

My Son, my youngest, is seven.  When he was five and a half, not even in Kindergarten yet, he decided he wanted to play the piano like his older brothers.  My older sons' piano instructor likes to wait until kids have at least begun Kindergarten so I took my little boy aside and let him know he was still a bit too young to play piano.

My baby boy asked his older brother to help him learn and within weeks he was playing tunes.

I got him in lessons by the next month.

The summer before that, he wanted to learn to ride a bike without training wheels.  His dad and I had some commitments and we were unable to take him out and teach him the day he decided he wanted to learn.  He gave us two days.  I was making dinner when I went to check on the boys playing outside and I saw my tiny 4 year old doggedly trying to learn to ride a bike on his own.  He was doing really well, too.  I looked at his dad and said, "If we want to be a part of this memory we should drop what we are doing and get out there too, I guess."  (But it was more like-- Holy crap we had better GET OUT THERE!-- because me and zen aren't often very good friends.)

Then there was reading.  Oh my goodness.  I bought a book of lessons for teaching a pre-schooler to read and we worked through some of the lessons over the summer before Kindergarten.  Then we went to the Library.  He wanted to check out a "chapter book."  I said to my little one,

"Oh let's get a book that doesn't have chapters yet so that you can practice your reading."

He gave me this blankish stare.  Then informed me he was checking out the chapter book.  I said to him,

"This book could get frustrating.  I don't know that you are ready for a chapter book.  Let's go find those Batman easy reader books you like so you can practice your reading."

Again the look that didn't understand a word I was saying.  He checked out the chapter book.

That night as I went to give kisses before turning off the light for bed, lo and behold there is my little boy, sitting shirtless in his bed ("Why would I wear a shirt to bed, mom?") and he is reading every single word in that chapter book like a boss.  He continued to do this every night until he was as fluent as his older brothers.  All this before Kindergarten.  Okay.

Do you have a voice in your head telling you that you can do it?  Do you have one that says you can't?  (My voice generally says I can't lately).  Do people you love and trust have advice for you?  Good, sound advice?

Do you know how in a river there are generally rocks in the water.  When I was a girl I would love to reach into the water and pull up smooth pebbles to keep.  I love a cool, clear stream that has pretty rocks in it.

My son reminds me of the calm water in a stream.   Rocks are all over the place "in his way." The bed where his stream is running is rocky.  Life is so rocky.  He just calmly finds another way.  He flows past the rocks.

Who are you going to believe?

My youngest son really loves me and I have told him a few times that life is a certain way.  Something inside of him told him that he could probably find a way like water around a rock in a stream to still forge ahead.  And he was peacefully right.  No one could tell him he couldn't do it.  He doesn't just believe me telling him.  He finds out for himself first.

I like that.  That is a hard lesson in this life.  Who am I going to believe?  Who am I going to look to?

Life can look all sorts of ways.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I see you


I was walking through the Deseret Bookstore at a Time Out for Women event this weekend.  If I ever want to feel super out of place I should definitely go for a walk in a Deseret Bookstore.  The book titles all seemed to have these rays of light attached to them that projected out like little sun rays up and out.  So positive.  So bright.  They seemed to be attracting my event goers like little butterflies finding the flower that fit them just right.

"See the good," These rays of light seemed to say.

"Here it is!"  They also seemed to say.

I think I needed some shades.

Did you know that I last posted on this blog over a year ago?  Can you believe that?  My heart says, "No. Way."  It just can't imagine me not writing for that long.

For the past year the road I have walked has been pretty shady.  Like, maybe it was actually night time shady.   And my eyes have adjusted to that night time and they were fine with that.  So put me in that book store with the sunlit titles and my eyes were a-hurtin.  Bad.  It hurt pretty bad.

I know what you are thinking.  "Why would you choose to walk such a path?  Seek out the sunlight UtterGirl!  Goodness.  The end.  You're depresssing."

Yeah me too.

Can we set that question aside for a moment?  Thanks.

So anyways, back to me needing shades.

I was walking and wincing (as you do when you need cute, hopefully designer sunglasses...) among the books because I needed air from the the also sun-shiny musical performer and there was literally no where else to walk and get air where I didn't look really suspicious with my little notebook and Time Out for Women tote.  (Why is that Time Out for Women go-er walking alone with a scowl on her face like she needs sunglasses?  Is she sick?  Is she depressed?  We should help her and lift her with sunshiney thoughts!  Oh dear.)

And you will roll your eyes maybe or laugh at me but all I could think about was this,

"We need a book about someone who is super good at seeing the dark.  Someone who says- I have a talent for seeing the dark.  Do you, too?  That's okay.  Some of us aren't good at seeing the darn good all the time.  Some of us are good at seeing what is wrong.  Very, very well.  And we are still functioning too."

Isn't that a weird thought?  I mean, here I was getting a weekend away (Hallelujah) and having actually a wonderful wonderful time and that was the thought I had.

I could not get that thought out of my head all the wonderful and glorious weekend.

"Someone needs to stand up and say this!"  Thought me.  "Someone needs to say-- Seeking out the light is so so hard and actually it hurts my eyes right now thankyouverymuch."

And I even took my awesome little notebook and I wrote this,

"To say I have SEEN.
To say I SEE.
I see BOTH.

I walked on a dark road at midnight this year.  I have seen this dark abyss.  I have journeyed down down where I didn't know a road existed.  But there actually is a road.  It travels deeper into the dark where I haven't gone yet, too.  It also travels back up.  I am confident in saying I have no idea if I am journeying up or down at the moment.  Sometimes I am convinced I am going up and it turns  out-- Oh no honey. And sometimes it really feels like I am going down, but what do you know- light. So you know.  Confident in my lack of confidence. Anyways.

Life is a journey.  I am on a journey.  And if you are better at seeking out the dark-  yeah me too.  But I have spent some time with both now.  And I can see the difference.  If I travel to lighter parts of life the road up is thankfully gradual.  My eyes will have the time they need to adjust.  There is no skipping the road.  I am also confident in that.  You don't get to skip to the light parts of your journey.

I see you there.  Standing in your shady corner in a room full of light.  It hurts your eyes too right now.  That's okay.  That is you right now.  There are good things about you and I shall list them for you to remember when it feels like book titles are a little glaring and well meaning friends bring you light filled statements and all you can think is,

"This. Really. Hurts. My. EYES."

Here is your awesome list.

You have no illusions about the dark not being real.  You don't surround yourself with light hoping the dark isn't real.  Oh, you know it is real and you know it has power.

The next time you find yourself in a light place, you therefore won't kid yourself about the dark being a childs nighmarish fairy tail.  And you will value that light place.  You will see it's parameters clearly and that will be a super power of yours.  Trust me.

The next time you are on a dark path you will be like- Oh I have lived here before.  It seems there was a road out.  I shall find it.  And you will have no fun illusions about it being a quick journey out.

You will clearly and be able to see BOTH.  There is both light and dark and you will see both.

Some people are better at hanging in the sunlight and they can see both because of it.  You may be their opposite.  Same results.  There could be good in both people, yo.  Your journey is still awesome.

So the point to this list seems to really be that knowing misery really well will give you better parameters to know your bliss, your joy.  Just like knowing joy really well gives you parameters to know your misery.  There are both for a reason.

Love you guys.  This was a rambling post but I think I like it.  80% of rambling crap for 20% clarity. That seems to be my style.

And for more proof that I see the negative a bit too clearly click on these links to past posts about me talking about this topic just with other words...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Am Here

This is a painting of Christ at the pool of Bethesda by  Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890)

I was holding a friend's baby out in the hall of my church as I listened to a church broadcast last night.  I stared at this painting hanging on a wall for a while.  Observe the followers behind Christ and where they are looking.  Observe everyone else in the painting and what they are looking at.  Observe Christ and his gesture and where he is looking.  His hand outstretched as though in invitation to everyone nearby to see that this man is here.

It is so hard to look straight on at things I don't understand.  It is so hard when there are so many different needs competing for my attention.  But here I have an example of a man who was helplessly waiting for his turn in this pool under a tent, and Christ illuminating him, gesturing as though inviting others to look and see.  He is here.  This man with this illness exists.  Observe him.  Look at him.  And eventually even, watch me make him complete/perfect because if you are with me I will do the same for you.

I am also here.  I am being diagnosed lately with possible Bipolar Disorder.  Maybe Borderline Personality Disorder.  Both things not just run of the supposed mill depression.  Am I hard to look at?  I am here.

I am reminded of the year and a half I studied quotes such as these;

"To deny the seriousness of our condition

and to avoid detection and the consequences of

our choices, we tried to minimize or hide our behaviors.

We did not realize that by deceiving others and
ourselves, we slipped deeper into our addictions."

"When we, as addicts, resorted to lies and secrecy,

hoping to excuse ourselves or blame others, we weakened

spiritually. With each act of dishonesty, we bound

ourselves with “flaxen cords” that soon became as strong

as chains (see 2 Nephi 26:22). Then a time came when

we were brought face to face with reality. We could no

longer hide our addictions by telling one more lie or by
saying, 'It’s not that bad!'"

These are quotes from the first step in the LDS Addiction Recovery Manual.  I put myself in this program for a year and a half and I did this step three times before it sunk in and I felt I could really move on to the next step or two (again).  That was when I really started talking.  To anyone.  To everyone.  I would tell them I was in the program and what for and what step I was on.  And now here I am on my blog and saying I Am Here.  I know I'm not alone.  I just wanted you to know that if you are having ideas in your head that perhaps you are also alone, I Am Here.

Christ would love to illuminate you because you are still good.  You are still as capable as when you didn't have a label.  You have more compassion and empathy.  It is not shaming to admit you have something others may or may not have.  Take it from me.  Christ wants everyone to know they are not alone and that they exist in all their imperfect glory.  You are here.  Observe.  I am here.  Observe.  Awareness will save us all.  My husband read to me this quote yesterday morning.

"The Apostle Peter wrote that disciples of Jesus Christ are to have “compassion one of another.” 1 In that spirit I wish to speak to those who suffer from some form of mental illness or emotional disorder, whether those afflictions be slight or severe, of brief duration or persistent over a lifetime. We sense the complexity of such matters when we hear professionals speak of neuroses and psychoses, of genetic predispositions and chromosome defects, of bipolarity, paranoia, and schizophrenia. However bewildering this all may be, these afflictions are some of the realities of mortal life, and there should be no more shame in acknowledging them than in acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor."

Shame in acknowledging, secrecy, minimizing, hiding can = binding myself with cords.  Honesty, openness, bravery, courage, acknowledgement, admitting can = freedom.  

One more thing.  I read books on psychology that are written by the foremost leaders on the subject too.  Some people will ridicule or feel fear of this because it is not "doctrine".  I am confident in my ability to discern by the spirit what the best books are. Until I get members of my church who are the foremost leaders on the subject of psychology- I will continue to read the best books I can find.  

"118 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith."

My husband points out this quote as well,

"If things continue to be debilitating, seek the advice of reputable people with certified training, professional skills, and good values. Be honest with them about your history and your struggles. Prayerfully and responsibly consider the counsel they give and the solutions they prescribe. If you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available. So too with emotional disorders. Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided in this glorious dispensation."

That is all.  I bear testimony that God loves you as you are.  He will show you the way to be who you are and be awesome at the same time.  He will show you the ways you already are doing it every day.  He will show you that you are and you are perfect with Him.  You have nothing to be ashamed of.  If I don't, trust me, neither do you.  I am beginning to be proud of all of my parts and pieces.  I can do more good when I am manic and I can take a nap to recover when I am depressive.  I can take the middle road when I am "normal."  All of this can be done with God.  He makes me a shining beacon no matter what is going on with my body.  He makes sure that if I am connected to him, I do good as I am.  I am here and I am good. I have nothing to feel shame for, no matter what others may feel about what I am. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I figured out something and I am excited about it.  I am also a little sad.  So many years wasted not having a firm grip on this one thing.  Anyways.   Can't go back.

So.  Where to begin?  I was thinking about my own identity and what I anchor my identity in.  I think we all do it.  Like- "I am super clean person.  People know I am super clean and that makes me feel good."  Or, "I am service super woman.  I can spot a need a mile away and I can always find a way to fill that need."  Or, "I am patient-know-my-kids-always-have-enough-energy-to-play-an-educational-game-mom.  Everyone knows this about my identity and I connect to others who have this same super power." or, "I am holistic mom.  I cook all of our food, we shall never touch our lips with processed anything and we have no need to see a doctor because of my endless knowledge of herbs and essential oils.  I connect and have friendships with other moms like me."  Or, "I am skinny mom.  I not only work out and eat healthy, I teach others how to do so three times a day during my ballet-pilates class!  I am so so fit and I connect with people who are like me."  Or my personal favorite, "I am spiritual mom!  I wake an hour before my hour workout which is an hour before my kids wake up (did you follow that? did I?) and I read my scriptures.  Then I meditate and write in a journal.  I am always ready with spiritual wells of spirituality because of this.  People who know this about me and if they still want to be my friend are probably this way too.  How joyful and spiritual"

Over the past few years, the reason I think my world was so rocked by getting sick was because I was anchoring my identity in all of these things.  These things were who I was trying to project and be.  I thought that the reason my friends were friends with me and thought I was a valuable person was because of these things.  I thought they were what made me a good person.  I thought they were what made me a respectable person. I thought it was why people would hang out with me.  I thought it was why my kids loved me.  I thought it was what made my husband value me.  It was what brought me inner peace.  All of these things were where I anchored my identity.

Well shoot people.  I got sick and didn't do any of those things well for like three years.

 Oh I would try.  But I would sort of half-way suck half of the time. Oh the shame I would feel.  Oh the way I couldn't look into peoples eyes any more because I yelled, (yelled!) at my kids instead of calmly explaining with an educational game and possibly a primary song based family home evening. Oh how I cringed to be seen (SEEN!) after gaining around 30-ish pounds and not teaching a single pilates-ballet class attended by 30 people.  And I remember lots and lots of frozen pizza.  (Holistic mom shudder).  I would see a need and just sort of sleep all day.  I had nary a spiritual thought provoking study time.  How could I go out and let people see me like this?  I was a bad, bad, person and sometimes I even swore.  I didn't want anyone to see me like this.  No one would love me anymore for certain.  My anchor ropes were all cut and I didn't know who I was and I certainly didn't think anyone else would care for who I was.

Is that a dramatic enough explanation?

Yes?  Let's move on then.

I have posted many posts and if you have read them perhaps you can see that I have slowly been moving beyond these stupid as hell anchors and I am finding wells of personal identity in things more stable.  Yay me.  I was seriously hanging on to a few cut ropes very lovingly with my chapped and sore hands though. 

So I called a friend and had a frank discussion about what I felt I was anchoring my identity in and how dumb it was that I didn't want anyone to see me anymore because I couldn't stop feeling ashamed that I wasn't all of the things named above.

And then I had the thought of all thoughts people.  And it has brought me so much darn peace.  My gorgeous friend said,

"You know what?  It comes down to this.  We all know inside ourselves what is best for us."

And then I said,

"Yes.  It comes down to integrity, really.  If we have integrity, we are going to do what is right for us, no matter how it looks to other people, no matter if we are judged harshly for it, no matter if we lose friends.  And the friends we will have will stay because they are attracted to our strength of integrity.  They respect that we will always to what is right for us no matter what it may look like to other people.  They will respect that what is right for us is subject to change.  On a daily basis. We must take care of ourselves."

And that, my friends, is what I figured out.  We each do what we feel is right for us, and what is right for us is so damn fluid.  If I anchor myself on what is right at the time, I will feel so bad when what is right changes.  But if I anchor myself on the fact that I am proud that I am doing what is right for me today, I will always be able to look you straight in the eye.  No matter that we have different things that are right for us.  No matter.  I won't judge you for knowing and doing what is right for you.  And we will only be friends if you know the same thing about me. 

The world is a beautiful place my friends.  Have peace that deep down you know what you need for you.  Strive to do that and have peace.

I love all those "moms" I described up there.  I also love what I can be day today.  I am proud.  I have peace.  For now.  Until the next post and I tell you about another tumultuous time in my life and what thought I had that brought me peace:).

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever."

For years I was so good at reading my scriptures and studying what my LDS religion believes about God on a daily basis.  Because I had done this from a fairly young teenager I don't think I really knew how much that daily study gave me.  Or what it gave me either.  A few years ago my health declined and with that my energy and my state of mind that told me how to study.  I stopped daily journaling, I stopped studying daily.  I mostly slept.  So... there were a lot of other things I stopped doing as well.  Playing physically with my kids being at the top of my list of most notable changes.  I endured great pain on an almost daily basis. 

Anyways, point is, something I had done for years stopped.  Recently, I picked up the habit again.  I highly recommend it.  I study, and then I meditate about what I studied.  My mind is quiet except for giving my questions to God and trying to listen to what he has to say.  Through listening to the words of the LDS prophets and reading scriptures, I find answers to pressing questions.  Pressing is such a good way to describe my questions.  Call me a fixator.  But when I have a question it almost hurts.  I can't sleep.  It keeps me up at night.  It presses on my life until I find an answer. 

I got an answer to a question today. I found myself backpedaling lately.  Like, I would think about important decisions I had made with God when I was younger, and then I would think-  what if I hadn't taken the hard road?  I was thinking that some decisions I had made had truly been a trial in my life.   I kept wondering in the back part of my mind( that won't let me sleep already at 1 or 2 in the morning) if my life decisions had truly been inspired.  What if my life had been easier?  What if God had just removed obstacles in my life instead? 

I began to make a list in my journal of what if's.  What if this had come easily?   What if that trial hadn't been there?  Who would I be today?  I will write a portion of my thoughts,

"Well, I never would have buried myself and then clawed my slow way back to the surface piece by piece with the Lord's help.  He has pulled up all of my traits and then illuminated them and told me he thinks they are good.  Where would I be if I hadn't had the trials that caused me to bury myself in the first place?  If an easy life had provided me self worth and given me all I "needed"?  I don't know.  But I am who I am because of my struggles.  My relationship with God is what it is because I remember him pulling me out and up from my dark personal struggles and illuminating me.  He is the one who told me I am good.  So now I can stand alone.  With no one else propping me up because God has given me strength.  He worked my own muscles.  He was my partner."

And you know what that is cool.  And maybe God really does have a hand in our lives.  Even when it seems like it doesn't make much sense.  I really think that God has a completely different idea of what he wants me to be at the end of my life than I ever anticipated.  I really think that my expectations for how I would grow were just not true.  Yes there were many different directions my life path could have taken so far.  And also, yes I truly followed what I felt God told me to do.  It is easy to go back to young Chelsie and scold her for not standing up for herself more.  For not asking more questions.  But I also think she was pretty brave to do what she felt deep in her heart were the right things at the time.  I wouldn't be who I am.  Someone who can stand alone.  If I hadn't been someone buried for years first.  All the ground I have gained as a woman I have earned.  That is something.  And I couldn't have done it without God, because there wasn't anyone else around to give it to me.  And I wouldn't have the confidence I have in God without it.  We read over and over again in the scriptures how we can't rely on the arm of man.  That God alone will never leave us disappointed.  My life has been one big lesson about turning to him and no other. 

So I just thought I would write about that today.  What do you think about it?  Have you learned hard lessons about relying only on God too? 

And I am really going to try to keep up my daily study and meditation.  It is so worth it for these moments of illumination and the peace that comes with them.  Have a great day.  Remember how God feels about ya.


Reference for the title

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Who I am

At one point in my life I had a boyfriend who was poisoning my mind.  He told me over and over how I was unworthy, worthless, and less than. I believed him until I began a serious study of how God felt about me.  I thought I was just studying the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I thought I was just studying the scriptures to learn more about religion.  I couldn't learn about those things without learning what God feels about me.  They went hand in hand.  My religion taught me how valuable I am personally to God.  It was surprising.  It gave me power to take my life into my own hands and this boy's words one day didn't have any more power over me because of it.

Later in my life I was poisoning my own mind.  I told myself I was disgustingly fat, unworthy of love, and therefore worthless on this earth.  (I had children during this time.  Stupid girl.)  Because of what I looked like, I punished myself on a daily basis.  This continued until I began a serious study of again, my religion and how God felt about me.  My church believes there is always hope in the atonement because God finds me infinitely valuable.

I still remember both times how powerfully I felt the Holy Ghost affirm how God felt about me.  It was overwhelming.  It was shocking.  I wasn't in a place either time that I would have believed it otherwise.

What pulled me out of these places of lies each time was finding out who I was.  And I was God's.  It was finding out who God thought I was.  And he thought I was wonderful and full of potential and value.

I am of worth to God.  So are you.

Truth trumps untruth.  Every time. 

How powerful of a person would I be if I didn't forget how He feels about my worth. 

Lately I have forgotten those experiences.  Well, obviously I didn't forget them because here I am writing about them.  I just didn't have them on the forefront of my mind.  I haven't thought in a long while about how powerful a witness I have already had that I am of worth to God.  When I remember this, no one can tell me any different and have it affect me.  When I remember this, I don't panic when I have pressing questions or concerns, I just wait patiently on the Lord to tell me the truth.  He loves me, so He will tell me when it is right. 

I am His.  So I am of value. 

The end.