Fractal “Kinds”

CLICK HERE to see some amazing pictures of fractals!  These are fractals found in nature.  I love them!  Natalie sent the link to me.  Also, CLICK HERE to see some more made by math formulas.  It is amazing!

One of the reasons I love these, of course, are because they are so beautiful.

But I also love it because it shows a simple principle, that each kind of everything makes more of itself.  Each “kind” looks like others of its “kind”.  There is “mankind” and “womankind” and “dogkind” and “flowerkind” and “vegetablekind”, and then within each group the variety and diversity that make that up are amazing, yet still it follows the pattern of what it is.

Check out these amazing pictures!  It’s incredible!

It challenges the question of what “kind” do I want to become?  Who do I want to be like?

What pattern do I want repeated in my life?

I think about patterns all the time because of my work.  With my patients, it is my job to notice their patterns, to help change their patterns into new patterns, and to help them realize they become a product of the patterns (habits) they create.

Our patterns are the snapshot of our lives.

In dance, I think about patterns and actually get to move within them.  Each step teaches me about the one before it and the one after it.  How I take each step affects not only my own balance, but the balance of my partner in the dance-relationship.  It is the same in real life.

Last night I had a really hard day at work, and a last minute crisis made me late to dance, so that I missed more than half of the dance.  I was upset because the crisis was intense, leaving me emotionally spent, and another issue with another patient left me feeling hopeless because you cannot help those who refuse it.

So I was triggered and tense, upset and exhausted.  I wanted to go home and cry, but I also know that in the moments I want to collapse – that is when I most need to dance.

So I went.

My friend, my dance teacher, my spiritual father, said to me:  “Tension is contagious”, for because I was pulling on him, not being responsible for my own balance, and leaning on him for support instead of moving forward and upward with poise.  This was knocking him off balance, making our dance difficult instead of fun, and causing his muscles to tense because they were doing all the work.

Patterns are the overall snapshots that show how we got from one place to another, and how that process affects others in our lives (for the better, or not).

Going to dance instead of going home to cry was the right choice.

I was proud of me for learning that, and acting on it.

For me, it was progress.

A new kind of grown-up-ness.

But the next step would be to let all that “tension” go instead of stuffing it inside myself until I am so burdened that I learn on others instead of doing my part.   Showing up to go through the motions was not enough; I needed to dance WELL, as I know how to do, no matter what is happening around me or to me.

I know better, and I am grateful for a dance teacher that holds me accountable.

It reminds me of home teachers and visiting teachers and Institute teachers and good friends that do the same thing for me.

I am grateful, and I do love them.

Because progress is good.  Absolutely.

But there is always more.

And this is what has been set before me:  to not be afraid, and to move forward.

I learn it again and again, over and over, in deeper and deeper layers.

I learn the lesson repeatedly until fear is purged out of every pore, and until every ounce of my being is filled with faith… and when I am, then I act on it.

Because the plan of salvation is a plan of action.

That’s what I learned today in D&C 88, which was so amazing it nearly blew my brains right out of my head.

And the fascinating thing is that the chapter opens with talking about gathering to hear the Lord’s will, and that is exactly when we learn to “act”, when we learn to dance with poise, and to move forward without fear.

We “gather” ourselves to hear the Lord’s will for us specifically in 12 ways:  General Conference, Sunday Meetings, Institute (or Seminary or Scripture Study), Singles (or Married Couples Meetings/Seminars/Classes), Friendship, Temple, Personal Prayer and Study, Family Home Evening, Home Teaching, Visiting Teaching, and Personal Revelation.


But what is amazing is that it is through these “programs” that really are “acts of faith”, that we learn how to progress, and do so through obedience – which requires the actual practice of it (not just agreeing with it) – and it is in that way that we are prepared for eternity to live in the place which we NOW – this lifetime – now decide we are willing and comfortable with living.

It’s amazing!

We are governed and preserved by law, and so also perfected and sanctified by law (by obedience to the law).  This is our agency: not just that we can choose for ourselves, but that we participate in the choosing our consequences that go with those choices.  We declare our own judgment by our actions.

In Institute last week, we talked about how “kind” means “family” in every language.  We say “kin” for family, or “kindred spirits” for people who feel like family.  We say “mankind” for those who are our family because they are part of being human.

Excepting, of course, it is deeper than that.

Our Heavenly Father is the “Man of Holiness”.

That is why in the New Testament, Jesus is called “the Son of Man”.

It means “The Son of the Man of Holiness”.

We are “mankind”.

We should be “the people of the Man of Holiness”.

We can even take it further.

The Temple says “The House of the Lord” and “Holy is the House of the Lord”

House = Kind

And on earth, only the “people of the Man of Holiness” can enter.

It’s crazy amazing.

And so this is what I was thinking about when my friend Natalie send me pictures of fractals, and we talked of being made after a kind, and how together we demonstrate the pattern by being of a “like” “kind”.

And so again, it challenges the question of what “kind” do I want to become?  Who do I want to be like?

What pattern do I want repeated in my life, so that little bits of me become amazing patterns that create beautiful fractal images that prompt people to know I am a Daughter of the Man of Holiness?

And if I give the Sunday-School-but-honest answer of “wanting” to be like Christ, then what am I going to *DO* about it?!  How am I going to make it real?  Who do I need to forgive?  To whom do I owe restitution?  Who do I need to love, and how am I going to show it?  What can I do to help or serve or give in some way?

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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