Changing Surroundings

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Alfie
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 Feb 2010, 10:28

Changing Surroundings

Post by Alfie » 20 Mar 2010, 11:25

This probably applies more to the women here, but are any of you changing the things that have decorated your homes? This is probably a trivial thing compared to some of the real difficulties I'm discovering as I go through these changes in my life. But I'm finding the need to change things in my house. I've removed pictures from the walls, temple pictures and the like, as well as church related figurines, and many books - especially the set of Work & Glory books which I couldn't stand to see sitting in the bookcase any longer. I've stored some of the items, given some to family members and donated some of it to D.I. I suppose this is a sign that I'm still not out of the anger phase of the grieving process, but these visual things are just not who I am anymore.

ldsmaverick7
Posts: 39
Joined: 20 Dec 2009, 13:12

Re: Changing Surroundings

Post by ldsmaverick7 » 20 Mar 2010, 12:03

These things you are putting away are no longer things you value. They don't reflect who you are or your beliefs anymore. It's perfectly normal to get rid of things just as you would get rid of a Teletubbies poster when you reach the 3rd grade. You aren't into the Mormon Culture anymore, so it changes. I still want to get a picture of Christ in my house that paraphrases Matthew 13: "I never said it would be worth it, I only said it would be easy." Mostly as a slap in the face to the other fabricated picture we've all seen so very often on TBM walls.
You will notice that the way a person decorates is very revealing about the way they see themselves and the way they believe. We've all been into a standard TBM household. There is going to be church-approved artwork, lots of right angles, and pictures of the Mormon Jesus as well as family pictures. In my Mom's house she has reflexive quotes all over the walls. Sayings like, "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care", or "Sometimes the Lord calms the storm and sometimes He calms the sailor." I've grown to loathe such statements. But I digress.
The point is that anyone who no longer views the Work and the Glory as valuable or valid reading will strike it from their shelves. On my shelves I still have the Storm Testament series because it was the first books that ever turned me on to reading. I still have a copy of The Singles Ward movie, though I can't stand it. Why do I keep these things? Because they are a part of how I came to be who I am today. I have one picture on the living room wall in my house, and it isn't the temple. It is the last page of the children's book "You Are Special" where Punchinello is walking out the door and a dot sticker falls to the ground. I had it blown up and framed about a year ago to remind me that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of me.
I have a few pictures of my family throughout the house, but as I've stripped away so many things from my testimony, I no longer decorate those beliefs on my walls. I have a few mirrors in my house, but no pictures of God or men. I do believe in God, but I don't believe in a European God with red hair and blue eyes. In fact, I no longer like to picture what God looks like. I prefer to wonder what possibilities He could assume the form of. As I said, I have pictures of my family and myself. I believe in those things. But I don't have pictures exalting the first presidency of the LDS church and I certainly don't have them posted beneath a picture of Jesus illustrating the chain of command. This weekend I'll be decorating for spring, so there will be changes in my home, but the mirrors will stay and my Punchinello picture will stay, and my family will stay. All else is just to make it fun for the season because I value holidays and celebrating. Hopefully we all have a little celebration in our homes all the time. Without celebrations, what makes life enjoyable?

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Changing Surroundings

Post by Curt Sunshine » 20 Mar 2010, 13:16

All of us decorate with things that have meaning for us. For me, that's temples and pictures; for my wife, it's inspirational quotes that help her see the blessings in her life; for my daughters, it's stuff about the Twilight and Harry Potter books.

My only caution is to not throw stuff away while you are working through your issues. There are some things that you might wish you had kept once you've found your own place of peace. (That's a bit ironic, since I am the "do you really need to keep that" spouse to my wife's packrat.) I would suggest you store things rather than throwing or giving them away, at least at first.

Finally, I simply refuse to purchase religious or Mormon kitch. Book of Mormon actions figures? Gag. If my wife or children want to buy that stuff, however, it will be in our home - since it is OUR home, not mine.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Tom Haws
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Re: Changing Surroundings

Post by Tom Haws » 21 Mar 2010, 23:24

I have simplified and diversified. My current decorations include immediate and extended family photos, a couple of articles of faith, a Buddhist list of Ten Precepts, a pretty poster of Hebrews 11:1 (Faith is...), inspirational phrases and essays, and Spanish vocabulary words. I hope to keep posting diverse inspirational passages.

I am a strong believer in simplifying. So I gave away The Work and The Glory. I hope to give away Rough Stone Rolling. My scriptures are only on my Palm. I rely on the library. I will keep my hymnal. I still have my Joseph Smith manual with the modified cover photo :geek: .
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

Alfie
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 Feb 2010, 10:28

Re: Changing Surroundings

Post by Alfie » 23 Mar 2010, 15:59

Thanks everyone for your comments! Actually, I can see a whole new world of possibilities for this and all other areas of my life that I would have never considered before. I feel so liberated and it's wonderful!

LaLaLove
Posts: 230
Joined: 26 Apr 2009, 19:50

Re: Changing Surroundings

Post by LaLaLove » 23 Mar 2010, 21:55

I kind of know what you mean except that most of my "religous" stuff has mostly been only Jesus related. I have an empty journal with the statue (LDS kind) of Jesus on it. I won't get rid of it. We have an amazing picture, DH and I, of our sealing at the temple. I love that picture .. I love all of them from that day. Our photographer was great. I don't care if the temple is in it-even though I don't have exactly the best memories in regards to the activites that went on in it. It doesn't really speak obedience or anything like that to me, just love. I know it means the world to people .. but currently to me it is a building - doesn't bother me at all.
My husband has said he always wanted a smiling picture of Jesus in the living room. :? I must admit I've never been a fan of most of the LDS artwork, at least for decorative purposes. I like antiques and zen, tibetan stuff .... So I'm not sure if Jesus will ever make it. The presidency will never make it into my living room either. Especially if Jesus isn't even there.
I still have the Miracle of Forgivness among other books. At the time I read it it really helped me through a difficult time. I've kind of wanted to read it again, with eyes wide open .. but I'm sure nothing amazing will come out of it. I will probably donate it someday.

This reminds me of a picture in one of our TBM friends house .. they are a married couple same age as us .. early 20's. They have a picture of a man and a woman holding hands, standing on a planet looking down at Earth. It toally CREEPS me out. I was sure to let my husband know of my anxiety from it right away.
He is TBM and I don't think he liked it very much either. Now that I think of it LDS artwork, quotes, temple pictures were everywhere. I'm happy for people that love religion and make it their whole life .. It's just not me, kind of never has been .. Hey redecorating is fun! Think of it as a new exciting challenge!

LaLaLove
Posts: 230
Joined: 26 Apr 2009, 19:50

Re: Changing Surroundings

Post by LaLaLove » 23 Mar 2010, 21:59

Oh the evil in me has also been sure to keep copies of manuals and stuff like that .. mainly to look back on in the future and see how much as changed (or been whitewashed). :twisted: That sounds pretty rotten of me.

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