LDS singles often confront challenges of identity. Different cultural aspects have influenced us in adopting habitual ways of thinking. That includes how we identify ourselves.
We all respond to those habitual perspectives. And it can be very easy to get discouraged or depressed when your efforts to improve do not yield the results you want.
But you don’t need to feel that way. Let’s address some identity issues that LDS singles face.
You are not your job
Some singles filter their interactions with other singles based on their occupations. If you are unemployed, you might find some don’t want to befriend you. After all, what good are you if you can’t bring home the bacon?
Acting on this attitude sends a clear message to those who struggle financially that they must have a very successful occupation in order to be loved. Many of these people feel very unloved.
Of course, you should do what you can to improve your employment situation. But you should also improve the way you think. Yes, people typically prefer interactions with occupationally attractive people. But they are also hardwired to respond to generosity and cheerfulness.
My first job? Busboy in a Mexican restaurant. What does that say about who I really am? Not a whole lot.
How I approached that job, however, says a ton. Never being late, always doing what I was asked, and always being attentive speaks volumes about who I really am.
You are not your job (or your lack of one). You are the qualities you choose to exhibit through your actions.
You are not your body
How your body is shaped or groomed is not really who you are. Yet many singles filter their interactions based on physical appearance.
Acting on this attitude sends a clear message that you must be attractive in order to be loved. And many “less attractive” people feel very unloved.
Of course, you should do what you can to improve your appearance. But you should also improve the way you think. Yes, people typically prefer interactions with physically attractive people. But they're also hardwired to respond to people who project generosity and cheerfulness.
If all you know about me is the way I look, you won’t think very much of me. I’m okay with that. It puts me in good company (see Isaiah 53:2-3). But it doesn’t say a thing about who I really am.
Can you tell the sacrifices I have made to be true to the restored gospel by the way I look? Not really. The story of my sacrifice radiates my desire to be true and faithful regardless of how my life does (or doesn’t) work out. That speaks volumes about who I really am.
You are not your body. You are the energy that you choose to radiate to those around you.
You are not your marital status
Many Latter-day Saints (both single and married) unknowingly grant acceptance and validation to those who have experienced the subcultural rite of passage we call temple marriage. Everyone else is therefore less or deficient.
Acting on this attitude sends a clear message to LDS singles that they must be married in order to be loved. And many singles who buy into this belief feel very unloved.
Of course, you should do what you can to improve your situation. But you should also improve the way you think. Yes, even people in the Church will not always accept you. But they're also people, and like most people they're inclined to respond to generosity and cheerfulness.
You create meaningful life through contribution. The marriage ceremony doesn’t change who you are fundamentally. But whether you contribute positive attributes and energy into the lives of others will.
You are not your marital status. You are the contributions that you make to those around you.
Enjoy the richness of life
You will enjoy your life more when you reject the faulty idea you're your circumstances and truly embrace the correct idea that you're a child of God. Many of us don't know what that really means, due in part to the message our actions send.
Many times our actions portray apathy or exclusion rather than love and inclusion.
When you truly desire to follow the Master, you reject the herd mentality and seek to satisfy the needs of others. You create a rich life through meaningful contribution.
You are not your circumstances. If you think you are, you need to reformat and reboot yourself. You are a child of God with infinite worth and potential. Start seeing that in yourself, and then others will be able to see that more clearly in you as well.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show and podcast to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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