WARNING: this post is long, but worth your time.
As many of you know conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was on this past weekend. There were so many good talks full of words and thoughts that I needed to hear. Some of the talks I have listened to 3 or 4 times already. Conference always causes me to take a step back and evaluate my life and helps me realize what is important and what is not. However I think this time was a little different. This time, for the first time I was searching for something. Something, anything to make me happy and full of joy. Something to fill the big gap that I couldn't help but feel was in my life.
Here is what I have found:
1. Live a consecrated life. Elder Christofferson spoke on this. "To consecrate something is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes. True success in this life, comes in consecrating our lives, that is our time and choices to God's purposes. In so doing we permit him to raise us to our highest destiny. I would like to consider five of the elements of a consecrated life: Purity, work, respect for ones physical body, service and integrity."
I need to spend less time reading blogs, and checking facebook and more time outdoors, reading good books, and studying the scriptures. More often than not when I read blogs or check facebook I end up comparing myself with others and in the end feel down on myself or sorry for myself, thinking that my life isn't good enough. So no more. I want to be raised to my highest destiny.
2. Be more grateful. President Monson talked on this. "In the book of Matthew in the Bible we have another account of gratitude. This time an expression from the Savior. As he traveled in the wilderness for three days, more than 4,000 people followed him and traveled with him. He took compassion on them, for they had not eaten for 3 days. His disciples however questioned, "when should we have so much bread in the wilderness as to fill so great a multitude?" Like many of us, the disciples saw only what was lacking." President Monson went on to talk about how the Savior stopped and gave thanks for what little they had, and how a miracle followed. This talk hit me hard. I realized how ungrateful I am at times, and focus so much on what is lacking in my life. (again made worse when I look at blogs or compare myself to others). I know I am so blessed and even though I may not have a nice house, furniture, clothing etc. I have so much in my life to be grateful for.
3. Slow down and strengthen my relationships. This one was big. I honestly believe that Elder Uchtdorf wrote this talk for me. At the beginning of his talk he spoke about turbulence in planes or speed bumps on the road. To some it may seem like a good idea to speed up, but in reality the best choice is to slow down. We need to slow down and take time to focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions. Now I know that my situation is not adverse, but there are times when the money is tight, the days are long and I miss my family so bad it hurts that I consider it adverse. This past week when my parents were here they gave me the same advice. They encouraged me to slow down, and appreciate this time that I have hear.
His talk gets better and hits even more at home for me. "In the complexity, confusion and rush of modern living this is (looking to Christ) the more excellent way. So what are the basics? As we turn to our Heavenly Father and seek His wisdom regarding the things that matter most, we learn over and over again the importance of four key relationships: with our God, with our family, with our fellow men, and with ourselves." He goes on to talk about each of these relationships, all of which I want to strengthen, but the last one is one I especially need to work on. He continues "the fourth key relationship is with ourselves. It may seem odd to think of having a relationship with ourselves, but we do. Some people can't get along with themselves. They criticize and belittle themselves all day long until they begin to hate themselves. May I suggest that you reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know yourself better. Walk in nature, watch the sunrise, enjoy God's creations. Ponder the truths of the restored Gospel and find out what they mean for you personally. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you, as His precious daughter or son with divine potential."
This is such a basic principal that I have heard since primary. Never once has it struck me like it did this time. I must stop comparing and yearning to be like other people, but to do like he said get to know myself. I need to not care what others think, be my self and love it.
In part of all this I have decided to change my blog a little. Being far away from home and family, I will still post pictures of recent activities in order to keep in touch with loved ones. However, a change of pace will come about. Like I said I have become quite caught up in other peoples lives through their blogs, wishing my life was like theirs, thinking my self worth was less than theirs because of things they had and I didn't, leaving my life to dwindle. I would never want anyone to feel this way. Looking at blogs and facebook can be time wasting and mind numbing. From now on my blog will only enrich and uplift the lives of anyone who reads it.
If you haven't listened to conference I highly suggest you do. click here.
that is all, over and out.