I had an interesting discussion with Girlfriend fairly recently. We were talking about how rare it seems to be for two people to really connect, to get past the superficiality of acquaintanceship and move to the type of bonding that allows for close friendship. Perhaps it isn’t as rare for everybody else as it seems to be for me and her, but we commented that we had a very limited number of people we each would consider to be true friends.
We spent a large part of the conversation trying to identify what quality, attribute, or event enables the transition from acquaintance to friend. In doing so, we talked about why she and I felt that we were friends with each other. The conclusion we came to was that we felt that we could be open with each other. We trusted each other enough to disclose our deeper thoughts and feelings, and instead of judgment or shock from the other person, we received in return understanding and acceptance. She made the observation: “To love is to be vulnerable; and being vulnerable is the start of being loved”
I’ve often wondered what my life would have been like if I hadn’t been raised by religious parents.
I no longer believe in God, but I still believe in Saints. I believe in Saints because I’ve met one. (Note to God: hint, hint.) Last night this Saint hung out at my house and fell asleep on my couch. Yeah, Saints do that sort of thing, I guess. You can’t begrudge a Saint a little rest every now and again. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Saint came over to my house not to sleep on my couch but to join us for Family Home Evening.
Family Home Evening is, by prophetic decree, a mandatory weekly activity for Mormons. Every Monday night is set aside as Family Home Evening. It’s a time for the family to block out the influences of the outside world and spend some time bonding together as a family. Gospel instruction, wholesome entertainment, games and other activities, songs, and ideally a really yummy dessert generally constitute the bulk of the practical application of Family Home Evening. Different families will institute this differently, but our family usually follows a fairly standard sequence of events for most Family Home Evening nights.
I’ve been depressed lately. I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but it’s not typical of me to be depressed. I’ve had no energy, and no desire even to get out of bed. It makes sense, given the things that I’ve been going through recently, that I would be depressed, but for some reason up to this point I have only had to deal with a constant sense of sadness and loss. I don’t think I’ve been depressed since the years after my mission.
And I’ve wondered about it. If the depression is from the things that I’ve been going through, well, I’ve been going through them for quite a while now. Why has it taken so long for depression to hit? And if it’s something new, what is it? What new worry is suddenly making my life’s problems seem insurmountable? Continue reading