Tuesday, September 29, 2015

how to wear leggings and still be a good mormon

Before I start, I'd like to note that what I'm about to tell you also applies to drinking coke (or any caffeinated soda), wearing a bikini, or even getting a tattoo.

I'm really excited to let you know that you can wear leggings and be a good Mormon. Even if you want to wear them in public, you're not going to jeopardize your Mormon status. Do you want to know how to do this? Just do it.

What I really want you to know is that what you wear, drink, etc. etc. etc. has nothing to do with whether or not you're a "good Mormon". What even makes someone a "good Mormon" anyway?

A couple of years ago, I came to a realization that somewhere along the lines I'd started believing that I had to meet someone's checklist of all the 'shoulds' and 'shouldn'ts' that good Mormons do and do not do. And that's what I thought gave me value in life. When I finally recognized that I was living by that arbitrary checklist, I started to wonder why.

Why was I dressing 'modestly'? (And where did I get my definition of modest?)
Why was I bragging about having sworn less times than I could count on my two hands?
Why was I going to church on Sunday?

Because I was "supposed to". Because those things made me a good Mormon and a good Mormon was what I had aspired to be.

As I thought about this, I realized that I wasn't only doing these things because I was "supposed" to. Somewhere along the lines of living my generic "choosing the right" life, I did gain some convictions and beliefs about who I wanted to be. So, I'm actually not saying there's something wrong with doing what you think is "supposed" to make you a good person.

I think the most important point of this all is that at some point, we all have to move on from what we're "supposed" to do and make our own choices. Agency is one of the most incredible gifts that we have been given. Do you want to know how to wear leggings and still be a "good Mormon"? Make your own personal choice about whether or not you want to wear leggings and then realize that you're still the same person you were before, you either happen to wear leggings or you don't. It's actually pretty simple.

It's important to remember that our choices do have an effect on us. (None of that YOLO business, you know?) For me, carbonation (caffeinated or not) gives me a stomach ache. So, I choose not to drink soda most of the time for that reason. I also think that what you wear can definitely have an effect on how you feel and act. So, I've made personal choices about how I want to dress based on how I know those things effect me and those around me. I'm not going to tell you the specifics of my choices because the whole point of the article is that you don't need someone to tell you how to choose.

I don't think life was ever about meeting a checklist to be a "good Mormon" or a "good Christian" or even a "good human". I think life is a lot more about recognizing that we have our own desires AND the ability to receive our own personal spiritual guidance to help us actively use our agency. Trust yourself and those abilities enough to guide your own life - not meet a checklist.

Oh, and YOLO. (You only leggings once. Or never. You decide, remember?)
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