Tag Archives: addiction

It Takes an Act of Faith

 

There have been times in my life when I have felt encompassed in darkness.  I have also reached the point where I have wanted and even tried to end my life… but somehow, I am still here.  I am still needed, as are you.  You are needed.  The Lord needs YOU on HIS side.

 

Video

Because He Lives!!!

THE STORY

Once upon a time there was a girl or you could say a young woman, or perhaps even a woman named Amy…oh, wait that’s me. Yes this is a true experience about me.

I met an amazing man and we began dating in a way… He lived in France and I live in the United States. We would Skype or make video calls to each other whenever we could and we would send long emails every day. It was wonderful. I began to really love him, or at least I considered it love. He was so very nice and caring. I told him about my struggles with depression and how my arms were full of scars, and he looked past those struggles I had and looked forward with hope for the future.

We began talking more about actually meeting each other. We expressed our feelings for each other and loved talking of our possible future together.

At this point, I wanted to be completely honest, not that I wasn’t before…I just wanted to share everything about myself with him. So, I told him about an addiction that I struggled with and how deeply I feared rejection from others.

When I told him of this addiction, he said he would like to help but followed it up with if I knew anyone other woman where I lived that would like him…basically asking me to set him up with one of my friends.

I responded by saying that I was sorry he felt that way and apologized for my shortcomings, but that I would not just pass him on to another one of my friends here in the U.S. He was simply just not the man for me.

I was heartbroken and depression seemed to start seeping in again. I reverted back to my addiction, which I had been clean of for close to eight weeks. This ended up making me feel even worse. After a few weeks, I even went to send him another email telling him how much I missed him, but after reading his final email to me, decided against it. I really hope that he is doing well.

THE LESSON I LEARNED/ THE POINT

Over time, a couple of months, I learned to lean more heavily on my Savior for help and support. I have been learning to be more humble and pure. I have been attending addiction recovery meetings to help with my addiction.

Basically I have learned that ALL is possible through the Savior. I have been trying to trust in Him and His plan for me more and more…which is definitely not always easy.

I know that my Savior lives and that because He lives I can live again, I can live now. Because He lives, I can truly be happy even amidst hard and challenging times in my life. Oh how I do miss the love that comes from being in a relationship with someone you believe truly cares about you, who you believe you could spend forever with.

But I know that the Lord has felt those same feelings that I have felt and that because He lives I can have hope in my life for a better future, for a clean life from addiction, for the strength to keep going in hard times, for so, so much more.

I hope you enjoy the song/video by Sally Deford. It is one of my favorites. What can you do or believe or feel in your life because the Savior lives?

What Desirest Thou?

What are you reaching for in your life?

Desires

Our desires are a huge part of who we become.  If we truly desire eternal life and to live with our Heavenly Father again, we will take the steps necessary to reach that desire.  On the other hand, if we desire the pleasures of the world to satisfy our carnal appetites, we will follow down the path that leads to misery and endless wo.

Dallin H. Oaks recently gave a talk titled “Desire.”  In it, he says:

“I have chosen to talk about the importance of desire. I hope each of us will search our hearts to determine what we really desire and how we rank our most important desires.

Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.”

He continues to talk about how we are ultimately judged according to our desires:

“The prophet Alma had a great desire to cry repentance to all people, but he came to understand that he should not desire the compelling power this would require because, he concluded, “a just God … granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life” (Alma 29:4). Similarly, in modern revelation the Lord declares that He “will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:9).

Are we truly prepared to have our Eternal Judge attach this enormous significance to what we really desire?

Many scriptures speak of what we desire in terms of what we seek. “He that seeketh me early shall find me, and shall not be forsaken” (D&C 88:83). “Seek ye earnestly the best gifts” (D&C 46:8). “He that diligently seeketh shall find” (1 Nephi 10:19). “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (D&C 88:63).

Readjusting our desires to give highest priority to the things of eternity is not easy. We are all tempted to desire that worldly quartet of property, prominence, pride, and power. We might desire these, but we should not fix them as our highest priorities.

Those whose highest desire is to acquire possessions fall into the trap of materialism. They fail to heed the warning “Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world” (Alma 39:14; see also Jacob 2:18).

Those who desire prominence or power should follow the example of the valiant Captain Moroni, whose service was not “for power” or for the “honor of the world” (Alma 60:36).”

Later in his talk, he speaks on righteous desires as he says:

“We should remember that righteous desires cannot be superficial, impulsive, or temporary. They must be heartfelt, unwavering, and permanent. So motivated, we will seek for that condition described by the Prophet Joseph Smith, where we have “overcome the evils of [our lives] and lost every desire for sin.”5 That is a very personal decision. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell said:

“When people are described as ‘having lost their desire for sin,’ it is they, and they only, who deliberately decided to lose those wrong desires by being willing to ‘give away all [their] sins’ in order to know God.”

“Therefore, what we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity.”6

Truly, desires dictate who we ultimately become.  What are your desires?  Have you ever thought of praying for more righteous desires?  As I have done this in my life, my life has been transformed to be directed more towards my Father in Heaven.

 

 

Looking back… Don’t do it.

Don't look back

Detriments

Looking back can be a detriment to our progress.  Sometimes it can even trigger us back into a habit.  Where we were before is not where we are now.  We become different people every moment of our lives, because we have more moments and more experience behind us.

It is really hard at times to live in the present, but that is what we can control.  Right now.  We cannot control our past.  What has happened, has happened and we must move forward, hopefully to become a better person.

It is easy to beat ourselves up for things that we have done in the past, or for things that have happened to us in the past.  Satan likes us to dwell on our imperfections and mistakes.  He likes us to think that we have no worth at all.

Worth

But we do have individual worth.  In Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 it reads:

“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”

You have worth.  No matter the past mistakes you have done, you have worth.  You are not a sum of your mistakes.  You are more than your flaws.  You are a precious son or daughter of God.  He loves you.  He helps us to move forward in life.

Moving Forward

To be able to move forward in our lives, we must overcome our difficulties and mistakes by turning to the Savior.  We must repent and not turn back to them.  Sometimes this takes a huge mental, emotional, and physical effort.

Another way we must move forward is by not living in the past.  Perhaps we miss the good times when life was so happy.  Perhaps we miss times in our lives where we were full of joy.  We need to remember that we cannot go back to that point.  We must live now.  This is the time that we have.

Similarly to looking back, we must not wait to act by saying that in the future I will do something.  Or by saying that when I graduate, get a job, get married, have a family, go to college, finish this project, I will be able to do something to improve my life.

A Waiting Period

There should not be a waiting period to living life or to becoming better people.  We can do this now as we turn to the Lord for help and change little things in our lives.  We must not wait to become better individuals.  In Alma 34:32-34 in the Book of Mormon, it reads:

“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

And now, as I said unto you before, as yea have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity; behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God.  Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.”

Our Heavenly Father helps us to get past our mistakes.  He sent His Son so that we can repent of our sins and have them not harrow us up anymore.  We can be freed from our past mistakes.  I love this quote by Gordon B. Hinckley:

“We can improve today without waiting for tomorrow.”

Our lives can be better every moment that we live them.  It may not be an easy thing to do, but it is definitely worth it.  You are not chained down by living in your past.  You are free to move forward.

Quality Life

Quality life is found as we live in the present with knowledge of where we want to end up in our future.  We can make changes now to become better than we are.  This quote by Marvin J. Ashton really summarizes this concept:

“A quality life is God’s greatest wish for us.  Life is to be lived well in whatsoever circumstances we find ourselves.  There should not be a waiting period…”

Is there a waiting period in your life?  What is causing you not to live now?  Even when we are experiencing hard times in our lives we can strive to do what is right and live a quality life.  Henry B. Eyring said this of the tests in life:

“The greatest test of life is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage.  We are spirit children of a Heavenly Father.”

It takes faith to move on from the past and to choose the right while we experience hard times.  Our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ are there to help us.  Let us improve each moment by living in the present with a knowledge of how our living will help get us to the point that we ultimately want to get to.

Love Watch

Where are you going?

How we Show Love

Our love towards others is portrayed in every step we take in this life.  Our simple choices help lead us to where we end up and who we become.  This has a huge affect on those we love or those we end up loving.

Small choices can end up being extremely detrimental to the strength of love that we have for another.  Choosing to not spend time with another is a huge detriment.  Love is really shown in the time that we spend with those we love.  Dieter F. Uchtdorf said this about love:

“In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time. Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home. We talk with, rather than about, each other.”

Family is the place where we should learn to truly love.  Sometimes our families are not exactly conducive to this atmosphere and yet we try our best.  This is when we must turn to our heavenly family.

Our Relationship with God

The love that we show to our God is very similar to the way that our love is demonstrated to others.  Through serving His children, we show our Father in Heaven that we love and care for Him.  We also show Him this as we follow the example of His Son Jesus Christ.  As we always remember the Savior, we can be assured that we are showing our love for Heavenly Father.  Dieter F. Uchtdorf also said this in his article “Of Things that Matter Most:

“We improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father by learning of Him, by communing with Him, by repenting of our sins, and by actively following Jesus Christ, for ‘no man cometh unto the Father, but by [Christ].’ To strengthen our relationship with God, we need some meaningful time alone with Him. Quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study, always aiming to be worthy of a current temple recommend—these will be some wise investments of our time and efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father. Let us heed the invitation in Psalms: ‘Be still, and know that I am God.'”

Are we taking the steps that will lead us to our Heavenly Father and our Savior?  Are we truly showing our love for them?  What can we do to improve?

Taking Steps Towards Love

Many of our every day actions have an effect on those people we love.  As I began self-destructive habits of cutting and other things, I never really thought about how it would have an effect on those who loved me.  When I started, I thought only of myself and how I thought that it would make me feel better.

I gave into the addiction that cutting became for me.  I rarely thought about how the addiction would make those who loved me feel.  It was not until a dear friend found out and expressed concern that I thought about it.  I leaned on her a lot when I had cravings to be self-destructive.

The steps she chose to take helped me break free from the self-destructive behaviors I had.  It is ultimately through the Savior that we are able to break free from addictions or habits that need changing.

Ultimately, we must decide what we want out of life.  If we want to live a life of true love and happiness spent with those we love and those who love us, we must think and reach beyond ourselves and our own appetites.  The Savior is the one who helps us to become the type of person who loves sincerely.  He shows us how to love perfectly.  He loves you personally and perfectly.

White Lies and Addiction

Do you feel stuck like mosaic tile in mortar?

Trapped

Do you feel trapped in your habits?  Do you find yourself telling white lies in order to keep other people happy and to keep others’ perceptions of you high?  Do you ever feel like you are not able to get out?  That you are stuck like mosaic tiles in mortar?  How do you chip yourself free?

Honesty

Honesty means to be truthful.  Complete honesty is being truthful and sincere always.  Honesty may not be an easy thing to do, especially when it comes to the little things.  Howard W. Hunter said this about honesty:

“Is there really any difference between dishonesty involving a thousand dollars or that which involves only a dime?…Are there really degrees of dishonesty, depending upon whether or not the subject is great or small?…If we would have the companionship of the Master and the Spirit of the Holy Ghost, we must be honest with ourselves, honest with God, and with our fellowmen.  This results in true joy.”

You are still being dishonest, even if it is a small matter.  Being honest at all times takes courage and faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Being honest helps us to be true to ourselves, others, and our God.

Being True

Why is it important to be true to yourself, others, and your God?  Perhaps it is because trust is based on being true.  When we are true to ourselves we are better able to trust ourselves to do those things that are right.  When we are true to others, they are able to trust and rely on us.  They gain confidence in us because of our integrity.  When we are true to our God, He can trust us.  As He does He blesses us with added knowledge and with greater capacity to serve others.

In Ann M. Dibb’s talk entitled “I Believe in Being Honest and True,” she talks about Jane Eyre and how sure she was in staying true to her standards.  This is what Jane Eyre says to herself when faced with temptations:

“Who in the world cares for you?  Or who will be injured by what you do?… I care for myself.  The more solitary the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.  I will keep the law given by God…Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation; they are for such moments as this…If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?  They have a worth—so I have always believed…Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by:  there I plant my foot.”

Even when Jane was initially tempted into choosing a wrong choice her conscience helped her to do that which was right and that which allowed her to be true to herself and to her God.

Addictions take us away from the ability we have to recognize our conscience when it is trying to help us figure out the right thing to do.  But there is a way to break free from addiction.  There is hope, even the hope that comes from the Savior and His atoning sacrifice.

Freeing yourself from the trap of addiction and white lies

There are many programs available to help people overcome addictions, but ultimately a person must decide for oneself and stick with the decision to overcome an addiction and begin a new life of hope.  Begin today.  It is amazing how free you can feel when you allow the atonement of Jesus Christ to work in your life.  I love this quote by Ann M. Dibb.  She says:

“Being true to our beliefs—even when doing so isn’t popular, easy, or fun—keeps us safely on the path that leads to eternal life with our Heavenly Father.”

You can overcome your trials and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there to help you.  I have felt their great love and help in my life.  Their power to heal is real.  They lift us higher and help us to choose that path of freedom and eternal life.