Jeremy suggested I post about this topic.
The night after we met, Jer and I were at a karaoke bar in Cedar City. I was attracted to Jeremy. Hugely. If I'd had a penis, it woulda been chubby.
Karaoke had become a part of my modus operandi a few years prior (in case you haven't divined this fact from my blog already, I AM THE QUEEN REGENT OF KARAOKE). So when my turn to sing came, I changed Jeremy's world forever. That girlish, giddy attraction didn't stop me from being exactly who I was in front of a new crush.
I asked him later, "So what'd you think of my song?"
He replied, "I saw a woman who has been liberated."
My mental reaction was like, Yeah, duh!
He's mentioned this spirit of liberation he's seen in me a few times since then. Interesting how he could identify 'liberation' specifically when he didn't know me before I was liberated. The reason he knew without having to know me prior is because he understands Mormonism.
Now don't get your copy of Proclamation on the Family in a wad...
What I'm really saying here today is:
I, Ashley, am no longer afraid of eternal damnation.
I, me, Ash, am no longer afraid of how my kids look compared to other people's kids.
I, Ashley Wilkinson, am not afraid of whether or not I am doing enough crafts or scrapbooking as a daughter of God.
I, Ashley Wilkinson of Winterfell, do not live in fear of how my blog posts might be received.
I, Pamela Ashley Wilkinson, the Beloved, am no longer living in fear of how it 'looks' that my older daughters don't go to church.
I, P. Ashley Wilkinson Neves, am longer afraid of how the quantity of my scripture reading affects my happiness or abundance.
I, Ash, me, my own self-same self, do not live in fear of being a 'bad person'.
I, Ashley Wilkinson, who is not dead, no longer fear that I may not be worthy of God's love.
And here is why:
1) As I am exploring and re-exploring, defining and redefining my spiritual path, the one steadfast idea to which I hold is that Love is the ultimate Force, Energy, Purpose, Gift, Creator. And that being the case, I will never live in fear of whether or not I am 'good' or 'righteous' or 'perfect' again.
2) I read a book a couple of years ago called Real Love. The crux of the message is that real love is not conditional, it doesn't not need to be earned, and real love is complete acceptance without exception.
So why would anyone ever need to live in fear of who they are?
This blog has given me an opportunity to be who I am without fear. To be Naked, Candid, & Authentic. When I am all of these things, I am embracing and loving myself. I am celebrating who I am, right now, today.