So, today, in a ultimate act of LDS defiance, I went swimming on Sunday. I know, WOW! But, I am happy to report, I have lived to tell the tale.
In all seriousness though, this is one of the things that as I was growing up was always taboo. Before I was born, my Mom had a scary experience involving my oldest brother and Sunday swimming. As I understand it, they were boating on a Sunday and my brother wanted to try water skiing (or something to that effect). My Mom had a bad feeling about it (call it mother's intuition, the Spirit or whichever label you would like) but finally relented and let him do it anyway. Something bad happened and my brother nearly drowned, saved only by my Mom's watchful eye. My Mom felt that her feeling that day was a testament to the fact that we, as a family, should not swim on Sundays. She would always tell us "The Devil's in the water on Sundays" and I never questioned it. Being prone to worry as a kid, I accepted this statement as absolute truth and was always afraid that if I even stepped foot into a swimming pool on Sunday, the Devil would certainly drag me under and it would be all over for me. If we ever did end up in the water on Sunday, I can assure you that her words were never far from my mind and I was always extra cautious. Looking at the situation now, I'm sure the entire experience with my brother could have just as easily occurred on a Tuesday or a Friday or any other day. I do not question the validity of my Mom's experience. I hear of mothers having this same kind of intuition regarding their children's safety all the time, both LDS and otherwise. But at this point in my life, I am forced to question her conclusion.
As a member of the LDS church there were so many things I did out of fear of what would happen if I didn't. I went to church, paid my tithing, attended the temple, wore the temple garment (even though I never felt comfortable in them and always felt unattractive wearing them) and didn't swim (or do much of anything else) on Sundays.
Going swimming today was proof once again that the consequences I feared by not doing those things were and are completely unfounded. By swimming today I was able to get exercise and feel better about myself. By not paying my tithing I have been able to support other causes that I truly feel passionate about and be happy that I can make a difference in someone else's life. By taking off the temple garment I am able to feel attractive and sexy again and actually be comfortable in the summer! By taking back my Sundays I have been able to read more, write more and get a few more things done so that I can be more relaxed going into the week.
As each fear slowly disappears, I find myself enjoying life more as I do the things that are important to me. I am continually surprised, though, at how often one of these kinds of thoughts will come to mind. The, "If I do this, then what bad thing will happen to me?" thought. I suppose it will take awhile to deprogram 30 years of LDS upbringing. In the meantime, I am enjoying the process of discovering who I really am and what I truly value.
I am deeply interested in religion, politics, current events, history, musical theater and books! I left the LDS church a couple years ago and have spent a lot of time since then thinking and considering various religious influences in my life and in the lives of those around me. For more information on why I left the LDS church, look here. I also love to sing, act, dance (tap preferably) and perform on stage whenever possible.