Sunday, January 29, 2012

I See... Putting on Your Big Girl Panties

This Sunday's post is about facing fears. It's about conquering fears. Its about... panties.

I know that talking about panties can be a sensitive topic. I also know, however, that if you are a regular Mormon Third Eye reader, you're accustomed to running into sensitive topics being handled in innovative and creative ways. Rest assured that only at the Mormon Third Eye will you read about a panties post that will educate and perhaps even inspire you in symbolically uncommon ways to conquer challenges.

The first formidable challenge that any young man or woman knows they conquer in life is the exciting experience of graduating from diapers to big girl or big boy panties; the victory of man over bladder. Although my ankle-biters are now in their twenties and have long since mastered their bowels, I still remember as if it were yesterday the raucous celebration that rocked our little home when both of them proudly announced that they had peed or pooped in the potty. It was a seminal moment of unbridled joy for parents and children. I'm sure I'm not alone in this memory; it's not unusual to casually meander through the lobby of church before, during, or after meetings and accidentally tap into graphic conversations among young moms about the excremental exploits of their young loved ones. It's how we roll.

This first successful challenge in life is symbolically significant of the inspired process the spirit can teach us in dealing with our own seemingly endless worries and woes. Sometimes whining and venting about the unfairness of life and it's attendant problems can be cathartic, but more often than not the answer is not to solve them, or avoid them, but to wade through and endure them. I suspect that General Relief Society President Julie B. Beck subscribes to this holy philosophy. My wife, one of her biggest fans, often quotes her compassionately commiserating with those struggling with the demands of motherhood or sisterhood, then directly challenging the sisters to remember that they are women of God with strength to draw on to wade through their struggles.

One of my closest female friends, in fact my closest female friend for eternity, told me about a catchy, inspirational phrase she heard during unnamed Women's Conference presentation last year. She remembers one impressive sister teaching an attentive congregation that “sisters, I think its time just we suck it up and put our big girl panties on and march forward!” Or something like that.

Those of you familiar with my infantile sense of humor can only imagine how much I enjoyed this story. It was an excellent example of memorable Mormon slang. Oddly enough, I have also lately entertained more of the deep thoughts that this phraseology cleverly intended to transmit. A few days ago my car spun out of control on the freeway off-ramp just outside my office at work. No one was hurt and the car suffered minimal damage, but I was emotionally scarred. Those few moments of unrestricted panic, when you can't know when or where the car will stop spinning, etched seemingly permanent fear on my psyche.

The next morning, as I approached the same freeway off-ramp, everything inside of me began to shake with powerful, oppressive memories of what happened the day before. I had to pull over on the shoulder and attempt to emotionally regroup. Could I face the scene of my crime and survive? Or would I wipe out again with more disastrous results? I wrestled with my fears for many moments on side of the freeway until I was rescued by this sister's remarks. I almost verbally challenged myself with “Richard, it's going to be ok. It's time to put your big boy pants on and finish your drive into work.” I proceeded to slowly and safely drive down the same off-ramp I so tragically negotiated the day before.

So, now it's your turn. Are you facing a challenge in your life that can be conquered by sucking it up and putting on your big girl panties or your big boy pants? Only you know that. Go ahead. Put them on.

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