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Saturday, March 05, 2005 

Liberate Thyselves from the Chains of Self-Consciousness!

Self-conscious adj. unduly conscious of oneself as an object of notice; awkward or embarrassed in the presence of others; ill at ease

Insecure adj. not secure; a) not safe from danger b) not confident; filled with anxieties; apprehensive c) not firm or dependable; unreliable

Wow…seeing it all written out like that…it’s all kind of gross and exhausting. Personally, I AM self-conscious about certain things, but I have a lot of confidence, so that helps to balance things out a little.

I am POSITIVE that I rub people the wrong way sometimes, that I come across as obnoxious, vain, too colorful (as in, literally, I wear too many colors all at once…). That’s cool.

Sometimes I relish in the fact that I get stared at for overdressing to go to the discount grocers. This week I got an “Oh, boy…” from a girl who probably thought the high-heels and Chanel shades were a bit too much for the produce section. Maybe I am a closet attention seeker. That’s OK.

I seriously feel like I am just balancing out the universe for all those people (male and female) who go grocery shopping in pajamas. Sending out a little good fashion karma… I PRAY that I have a husband, sisters, brothers, parents, and friends who will HONESTLY tell me when I’ve gone too far.

I used to be way/so/terribly/humiliatingly/cripplingly/obnoxiously insecure. I still cringe when I see home videos of myself. My behavior reeks of obnoxious, begging-for-acceptance, attention-seeking youth. Yes, I tend to be hard on the 12 year old Carrie Ann, but I hope that by being hard on myself I have made changes to those things I didn’t like.

I had a life changing moment when I heard a quote by Joseph Smith. I can’t remember how it goes, or where I heard it, nor can I find anyone else who recognizes it at all (so I probably just made it up, but, hey…if it helps…). He said something to the effect that in every harsh criticism, every rumor, or every bald-faced lie there is an ounce of truth. That somehow, he couldn’t blame his detractors from denouncing him. He had to own up to his faults.

You cannot imagine the weight this lifted from my shoulders. “If someone thinks I’m a snob….I just might be a little snobby! If someone thinks I’m fat…I might be just a little fat! If someone thinks I think too much of myself…I just might think too much of myself!”

This quote helps me because:

A) I can own up to my behavior
B) I am forced to be honest with myself (delusional behavior, while fun, can be very damaging…)
C) Either it’s true or it’s not
D) If it’s true, own it, change it, or move on
E) If it’s not true, you don’t have to worry about it…God will set them straight someday….thank goodness for Judgment Day!
F) If it IS true…I don’t have to spend SO much time and energy trying to HIDE it! HA!

The thing about self-consciousness and insecurity is that try as we might to HIDE how we feel about things, it is usually obvious to EVERYone else. So if everyone already knows that I am self-conscious of my big butt…I should just OWN my big butt and carry on…What, like I can’t TELL I have a big butt? Oh, I feel so relieved just putting all of this on the screen! I feel liberated…

But WHY am I self-conscious? Who knows… I don’t really blame the media…maybe I should, but I’m not planning on looking like Giselle any time soon. It’s just not in the cards for me. I can’t throw mad parties like P. Diddy. My nacho parties will have to suffice. I don’t have gobs of money to put into my house like Martha Stewart, I’ll have to rely on D.I. for my “antiques.”

Like JP alluded to and Cameron spelled out, I really think self-consciousness is self-imposed. Heaven knows I impose my own “baggage”. I’m not talking serious stuff here. A lot of people are damaged beyond their own doing. That is something TOTALLY different. That’s why God made costume jewelry, drugs, therapists, shopping, and chocolate-mocha drinks; to help us with the LUGGAGE.

Where does our esteem come from? Mine used to come from everywhere unwholesome, until I decided that the only people I had to please were Heavenly Father, myself, and occasionally my parents, out of love and consideration. This was also a big relief to me. Because I KNOW how to please HF, and the rewards for doing so feel GOOD even when it’s hard. Bring on the blessings!

(Todd made me remove the paragraph about pleasing myself…thank goodness for proof readers…)

And the reward for pleasing my parents, I get unconditional love, awesome dinners at good steak houses, and the occasional knock-off purse… and who doesn’t love that?

Carrie, I think you are the perfect Saturday, round-up-all-the-loose-ends-and-and-give-it-all-a-good-balance-and-perspective writer for this site. (That was not easy to write...) You are a gem and very well grounded. Oh wait, I'm your mo and I guess I'm just a little prejudiced, but it's true.

Your mom is right, this weeks topic wasn’t really the most easy to write about, but you did a great job Carrie Ann. When you talk about the 12 year old Carrie Ann it makes me think back to the 12 year old Rebecca and I must say I love all what growing up has taught me and I love seeing, measuring how I have changed. Great job.

I love what you have become, Carrie Ann! I've probably had the best "seat" to watch your transformation throughout life (except now that I am 1000 miles away...) and it is remarkable. I love this post.

I would never tell you if I thought your clothes were "over the top". They are YOU and they are FUN. Besides, what do I know about fashion? I just take mental notes when I am with you.

And I think Mo and Dad would still give you steak dinners and knock-off purses, even if you didn't "please" them. They love you that much!

I'm so glad made drugs, therapists and YOU. :)

I watched a movie last night where the charcters were talking about changing, and how if you thought about it, we were the same person we were when we were 12, just in bigger shoes and different circumstances. When I go back and read my 12 and 13 year old self write down her feelings, those feelings are alarmingly similar to the ones my 26 year old self is so prone to write down. What is it that makes us capable of accepting our own flaws, our own shortcomings? What do we need to learn to be able to love ourselves as much as we love others?

by the way... I meant to say I'm so glad GOD made drugs, therapists and YOU. I am having a time trying to type today... forgive me.

Carrie Ann...my favorite moment with you this week was when you came with me to the mall and you had baby Hannah strapped to your front in the Snuggli and I looked over and you were holding the baby, talking on your cell phone, and buying high heel gold shoes to go with your "easter outfit"! Hurray for Carrie! You are my one of a kind Sunshine girl!

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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