Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Emotional Brain

Sunday May 24, 2015
On this stressful Sunday, I'm trying to find the words to navigate around how highly emotionally charged I am. When we become overly emotional, we are operating from the Limbic system of our brain (aka the "emotional brain"). 

It's probably best to not rely on just that area of our human CPU. Sure, it has its purpose. But have you ever reacted to something in an highly emotional way and then later regretted it? Yeah, that's because decisions were made from our emotional brain (the "feeling" and "reacting") rather than the cerebral cortex - aka the "rational brain".

We all have our "hot button" issues that get us going. They're basically the things you don't want to bring up with family members at the Thanksgiving table. "Hey, Uncle Al, are you going to take that bumper sticker off your car now? He lost the election earlier this month..." 

One of my hot buttons as an LDS woman is when politics are wrapped up into the doctrine and presented as one of the same. There is a culture that comes with the church that sure, has its good points, but it is often a huge crutch when it is misconstrued and treated like the very doctrine in which the gospel of Jesus Christ is defined. One of these crutches has to do with politics. Here in the Mormon Corridor (Utah being the center and Idaho and Arizona being the suburbs), it is often assumed that to be a good Mormon you have to be a Republican.  But if you go to an LDS congregation in a different part of the country, you won't find as much rigidity in that political mindset. Sure, you'll find Republicans, but you won't find a bubble of LDS Republicans that believe GOP stands for "God's Only Party" with their talons in that belief like a bald eagle grabbing a salmon out of the water. 

By the way, once an eagle grabs the fish, it cannot release its talons from the grip - if that really helps with this metaphor.  If the fish is too big, eagles have been known to "swim" the catch to shore. I saw this first hand in Alaska. It was pretty incredible. 

And if the fish is still too big? Eagles have been known to drown. The fish of course is dead too.

It's good to be tenacious and really sink our grip into something, but it could also lead to our undoing if it's too much and drags us down.

It is often difficult to realize the depth of our grip on things when we are in the midst of our own culture. However, the Mormon culture is fluid - depending on where you are in the world. Mormon culture in Brazil, for example, is going to be different from the Mormon culture of a stake in Ohio, and that will be different from the Mormon culture of a stake in Utah.

With this much variation, it should be obvious that culture is definitely not doctrine. Even the policies change sometimes in different parts of the world, because the needs of the members of the Church are different. That is precisely why I get so nutted up when cultural/political "opinions" are stated from the pulpit as if they are fact.

Regarding today's speaker (and I will keep names to myself in respect for the individual), if you're going to blame the Women's movement for destruction of the family, you better include all the advancements that Satan takes advantage of. That's a long list: The printing press, the mail system, the telephone, etc. etc. Don't pick and choose like a buffet to make your slanted political points and state speculations as if they're fact riddled in fear mongering.

Satan takes advantage of every good thing.  Just look at the internet. I can bring up important and inspiring images and articles and even scripture in a heartbeat. But we know what we can also bring to the screen in same amount of time.  Due to the advancements of the internet and other communication systems (that are all connected) we can connect and talk to friends and family far away. But we can also expose ourselves to negative communications we otherwise never would have seen or heard before these advancements. If you don't believe me, read YouTube comments.

Regarding the Women's movement, I will always be forever grateful that it was in full swing by the time I arrived on this earth, because I always knew I'd have a career and a family. 

Does my family come first? Damn straight. And for me, being able to work when Christian and Mikelle were small worked out for our family. When Alexander came along, it was time to stay home for awhile. That was a decision we made as a family. And now, I'm going back to work. It is what is needed for the family. The money is only a small part of it. We're building this new home and my income, though small, will help sustain that. However, my reasons for returning to the classroom are more than financial. It has been clear that I operate better when I have something going on outside the home as well.  Some people are just wired that way.

However, of course it can be understood how women working can be negative if she is away from the home too much. It's one thing if the money is desperately needed to make ends meet. But when the career takes priority over her family, of course her children will suffer. But that is not just the case with the women! 

Look at the men who become workaholics and spend too time away from their family when their priorities are messed up. Satan works on the men too. There was no "Men's Movement" needed for that. Funny, that wasn't mentioned on Sunday.

And if you have a problem with gay marriage, fair enough, that's your right. But yet, what about straight people that abuse and molest their family and others? Of course that wasn't mentioned. I have news for you - you can freak out about gay marriage all the live long day. But let's look at how we treat others in our own families and how that contributes to the "destruction of the family". 

Let's expel energy on that. 

Tuesday May 26, 2015
I have had some time to move to the more "rational" part of my brain, though I am still emotional from the events on Sunday. And the frustration and tears that resulted from the slanted words from the pulpit are only a small part of the emotions and trepidation that I've been experiencing. There is more, but I cannot share them here.

Luckily there have been distractions. Art demands from clients. That's a good thing, despite the stress that comes with it. But if I could choose the type of stress to be under, this would be one of them. 

I'm overnighting this artwork to Florida today. It was a rush order from Juanita, a repeat customer. I am forever grateful for her loyalty to me as an artist. 

I am also honored to be a part of paying tribute to a teacher that has meant so much to her and her daughter's life. That teacher is whom this artwork is for. 

Meanwhile, interior painting at the new house continues. Ever feel like you work so hard at something and yet feel as if nothing was accomplished? That's how I've been feeling with the painting. Oh, plenty is being accomplished. It just seems as if will never get done. But it will. I'm told.

And my loofah has been working just as hard in scrubbing 4 or five different colors from my skin and nail beds on an almost daily basis.

 Until next time. 

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