Monday, February 25, 2013


My very wise sister pointed out that each of us has a level of tolerance (of many things: messes, how people treat us, etc) beyond which we cannot feel the Spirit. For some (who I would consider handicapped, but they consider me handicapped, so we're even), having ONE single thing out of place is so upsetting to their souls that they truly can't feel the Spirit until it's fixed. Some can tolerate tons of contention and confrontation, and some of us (me!) can't handle any without losing the Spirit.  Some people have a high chaos tolerance, some have a high being-bossed-around tolerance, some have a high mess tolerance, some have a high noise tolerance, some have a high watching-violence-on-TV tolerance, some have a high ignoring-swearing tolerance. And some DON'T.

The glory of it all is that God has set us guidelines and then lets us self-regulate, with the expectation (and hope) that we will quickly learn to identify what causes us to lose the Spirit and then modify our environments as much as possible to keep the Spirit.

What bothers me is not that we're all different and some people have a low mess tolerance. (I do feel sorry for those people, though. But they feel sorry for me even though I don't.)

What bothers me is that someone else was imposing their standards on my children in church, teaching my kids that their home cannot possibly have the Spirit in it and their mom can't possibly have the Spirit because my chaos, mess, and noise tolerance are higher than hers (of necessity, thanks to many factors including fibro and Benji).

But my sister's point is valid. Now I know that many people in my ward can't feel the Spirit in my house, due to their makeup (not due to my house. It is MY house, after all). I just wish they would understand that it is THEIR issue, not my floor, that's the problem. And it's certainly not a matter of gospel doctrine.  Just like it's my issue that even a hint of violence or a suggestion that someone might disapprove of me or be angry at me throws me into fits.

We all have our handicaps that make it so we stop paying attention to the Spirit because of external things--messes, other people, noise, whatever.  And we are all responsible to do what we need to, short of trying to control other people, to keep the Spirit in our hearts. Sometimes that means cleaning up. Sometimes it means getting enough charity in our hearts to let other people not clean up. Or to let them clean up. Whichever you need.

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