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When I started questioning certain aspects of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I knew one person I could safely talk about it with — my best friend who I already knew I could talk to about anything.

As I began sorting through my thoughts and could more readily define how I was feeling, that circle expanded to a couple more close friends — some active in the church, and some not.

I’m still here. Here are my thoughts on how we can create a safer space for people to experience uncertainties and ask questions.

I used to…

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In a recent conversation with a close friend, she shared about a surprising revelation she recently received. While the revelation itself left her bewildered, she fully intended to act on it. “I just really think that God is having us rely on Him so much more,” she said. I agree completely.

Last year I decided to dissect my testimony, and to really examine the commandments and cultural practices I was a part of, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). That could be a whole post on its own, if I ever find the…

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A good friend of mine recently became angry with me because of differing views on a matter. It had been several weeks since we had even discussed that matter. His reaction was sudden and surprising. In retrospect, I doubt his anger could have stemmed solely from that one matter. I’m guessing that, as the weeks unfolded, he increasingly decided that I didn’t fit his vision of a good, righteous member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In contrast, there’s my neighbor who, after reading my recently published memoir, stopped by just to tell me how grateful she…

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Sometimes you need to walk away from a situation to overcome a certain hardship, but sometimes you can’t. Or you can’t walk away exactly when you’d like to.

And that’s where resilience is built.

In January of this year, I moved to a small town where I knew no one. My nearest friends and family members were 3+ hours away. I was having a hard time finding “my people” in this new town. It was also the dead of winter, and that brought its own emotional hardships.

I fought through several weeks of the deepest depression I had ever known…

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It feels counter-intuitive to stop when you are in chaos. When there is stress on your shoulders that you can’t shake away. When it starts to get real.

For me, it’s the struggle of finding a job in the middle of a pandemic, when I don’t qualify for unemployment benefits and when my student loans are running out.

It’s getting real.

In the middle of watching YouTube videos about freelance opportunities, looking up jobs in different states, and trying to finish an assignment for class that is due soon, I had the thought to stop.

To honestly follow my own…

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Last week I published an article entitled “Get Over It: Why you should work through your trauma and stop self sabotaging.” In it, I share the experiences of two different people — a guy I briefly dated a few years back, and one of my best friends — and how they worked to overcome past relationship trauma. Earlier this year I published an article about my own trauma recovery and what that looked like.

I want to tell you where I am right now.

Today, recovery looks like taking care of myself first — filling my own cup. It means…

Why you should work through your trauma and stop self sabotaging

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Years ago I went on a handful of dates with a very charming, fun guy. He had been married before, and that relationship ended badly — a fact he was very open about with me. Part of that story was his ex using his money to get breast enhancement surgery, then leaving him shortly after. While I enjoyed getting to know this guy, I was bewildered when he would anxiously say things like, “please don’t ever get a boob job,” or “I’d leave you immediately if you got a boob job” — a surgery I have never even considered getting…

Letting go and enjoying the journey

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I recently caught up with a long-time acquaintance of mine. Almost immediately he asked how my dating life was going. I replied that I had dated quite a bit over the last few years and nothing seemed to stick, but that I was okay with that. “Things will work out,” I said, then started sharing my career goals.

“It’s good to have a ‘Plan B,’” he kindly replied, referring to my career goals — but I was quick to respond, “No, this is my Plan A now.”

It felt like the perfect way to define the shift I had made…

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I wrote this on June 1, 2018 when I was trying to decide whether or not to drop out of a half marathon I had been training for and had my heart set on for the last 6 months. I felt like I needed it today, so I pulled it out, dusted if off, and am sharing it here. Fun fact: I can’t even remember what breakup I was alluding to toward the end of the essay. It just goes to show that the best place we can be is in the present and that most things don’t really matter…

photo of author by Gary Barnes

On March 30, 2019, I lined up on the deck of a pool with hundreds of other people, swim cap on head, borrowed goggles ready to put on, nose plug discreetly tucked in the pocket of my spandex shorts, ready to put on. I began to shiver with nerves as the first swimmers jumped in the pool and began the 300m swim. Was I too far forward in the line? Should I be further back with the slower swimmers? Should I be AT THE VERY BACK, because I was probably the slowest swimmer here (or so I felt)?

I got…

Allie Barnes

Author, people person, aiming to do good. Christian/LDS. Find me on Instagram @lookslikewandering.

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