Creating Your Story This New Year

As the year comes to an end, I often find myself returning to my journals from the year before to see where I’ve arrived at this year. In doing so, I found a particular entry, written exactly a year ago that I wanted to explore:

“I’ve been in a weird place all year. A place that isn’t fully me. A place where I feel like I have to figure things out. Figure things out. Make sense of things. Decide my future. And it’s left me, in this final month of December, quite melancholy and lost. The daily mirror reminders that I am getting closer to death, that in fact, each second that I am alive, I am, in fact, dying too. The pressure of time seems to serve as a reminder of something I have forgotten, or I never knew, or maybe part of me knows but hasn’t told the other part of me. Can you have secrets from yourself?”

I’ve been thinking about this for a few days–Can I have secrets from myself? Are there things I don’t dare to tell myself? For the decade of my twenties I could never admit that I didn’t feel good in the Temple. For that decade I could never admit that I didn’t like the way women were labeled and viewed in the church. For over a decade I made those labels fit. For a decade I went to the temple at least once a month with the faith that someday it was going to get better for me. For a decade I tried to fit, fit, fit. Like a multitude of rich goodies shoved into a generic Christmas stocking. But always, always a part of myself knew that I was never going to fit all the parts of me into that red and white stocking. But, I was trying to create a story for myself that I so desperately wanted to be true that I didn’t listen to MYSELF.

Life in this physical body is VERY short, even if we live to be 100. When I think about this, I have to conclude that I want to waste NO time creating conflict with people I love. I want to REALLY love people for who they are on a day to day basis. I want to enjoy them, and I have learned (in a VERY REAL way this year) that I do this by loving them for who they ARE….not what they BELIEVE. The stories that each of people create for their lives is not what is most important to me. PEOPLE are important to me.

Let me explain.

I don’t care if my mother’s story doesn’t agree with mine (which it doesn’t at all, we are VERY different, and she would like me to be her perfect little Mormon girl again, in a big way). I love my mother, I enjoy her. I have learned not to impose my story upon her (ie, I think she needs to do this and that and be liberated in this way and explore these thoughts). I don’t want to impose my story on anybody. I respect my mother. I respect her path. I listen to her story, and I don’t need to make it wrong.

I have also learned (IN A VERY BIG WAY) that if other people try to write your story, it means they don’t respect you. They don’t respect you because they don’t consider that you are in tune with yourself to know what your story should be, even if it goes against everything in their story. But listen up, I was born to write my own story, and so were you and you know what– WE ARE BOTH RIGHT.

I have learned this year to respect myself so much that I am NOT going to allow anybody else (or my desire to please them or feel accepted by them) to write my story. My story is my responsibility. It’s my creation. I am the artist. I respect my own art. I can compare my art with other people’s art, but I make my own choices, and I take responsibility for my creation.

It’s about respect. It’s about trusting people. It’s about love, really—unconditional love. Love is the most incredible gift in the world. It’s the spirit of Christmas and Buddha and Yemaya and Jesus and every God and Goddess who have ever graced the consciousness of humanity. It’s the most incredible talent to have…better than playing the violin or painting or running marathons. It’s the most powerful force on earth. It’s the most important thing to me.

And I’m sending it all your way. Real Love. Big Time Love. Merry Christmas from Switzerland Everyone! Write your story for 2010 and own it!

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16 Responses

  1. Toni says:

    Oh, D’Arcy, my friend. I’m often amazed at how you so eloquently manage to write what I am thinking. 🙂 I wrote a letter to my husband not too long ago explaining that I feel like I enjoy people more these days. I feel liberated and able to respect and love people for, just as you said, who they are, not what they believe. I love it. It has changed my world. It has made me happier. Thank you for writing what I feel. Merry Christmas!

  2. Jen G. says:

    Thank you for that!!!

  3. Naismith says:

    I’m sorry to be nitpicking, and I know I’m from a small town and could be wrong, but isn’t that photo the skating rink at Rockefeller Center, not Times Square?

  4. D'Arcy says:


    So good to hear from you here! I wish you all the best this year and would love to catch up soon!

    And yes, it is RC! Ah….let’s blame that faux pas on my jetlag (which I can still blame for three more days I think!) My goodness, I’ve lived and visited NYC forever…oh well.

  5. Lacy says:

    I loved this. Thank you.

  6. Two of Three says:

    You give me courage!

  7. D'Arcy says:

    Yay! Courage is one of THE most important things to have in life.

  8. Kiskilili says:

    Great post! One of the tricky things about the Church is that you’re taught, effectively, to suppress your own sense of what you feel is right and wrong. It took me a long time to untangle myself from that.

  9. orange says:

    D’Arcy, Thank you for this. This Christmas, I actually initiated a religious faith discussion with my parents that had been a long-time coming. I was so nervous that I printed your blog post and read some of the parts…. 4th paragraph especially… to initiate the discussion. I kept returning to simply “asking for love and respect for writing my own story” as my dad likes to quote scripture and debate ALOT…. but overall, it turned out much better than expected. And I wanted to thank you for your thoughts and for sharing them online. They really helped me in a unique way through a tough moment.

  10. D'Arcy says:


    This is so amazing. I’m so glad. I’ve had to have many discussions like this with my family and it has been getting easier over time. You sound like an amazing person and I wish you all the best. I hope you come back and share more of your story with us! Good things ahead!

  11. D'Arcy says:

    Kiskilili–it took me a long time too…luckily we are starting to get into our own and knowing what is best for us. I love following your journey. You teach me so much!

  12. Kelly Ann says:

    D’Arcy, you have a wonderful ability to summarize so many thoughts that I can really relate to. I am owning my story for 2010 as well. I am ok not knowing the end from the beginning. I am owning my story from the past too. It is truly an amazing feeling. I wish you the best in Europe.

  13. D'Arcy says:

    Kelly Ann,

    Thank you for your love and support! I offer it back to you big time my friend!!

  14. Jessawhy says:

    Great post, D’Arcy!
    I liked Kiskilili’s comment about listening to our own sense of right and wrong. I’ve started thinking about whether or not things ring true to me as a way of measuring my own belief.

    But, I do know that the premise of modern prophets and scripture is that as humans we are too easily decieved (or subject to our own culture) so that we ought to defer to those with authority from God to make choices, even if we don’t initially agree with them.

    I’m not sure I can resolve that on an intellectual level, but on a spiritual level, it’s quite easy for me have the real kind of integrity (not YW integrity which doubles as obedience).

  15. Brittany says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I really needed to hear this after a conflicted Christmas season with family.

  1. December 28, 2009

    […] best advice I’ve heard for dealing with family members of differing beliefs comes from a wise LDS woman who says, in essence:   We must love others for who they are, not for what they believe. Leave […]

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