Tag Archives: recovery

A Couch Potato…Is it you?

When are you going to actually start cleaning up your life?

Desires to change

Have you ever really wanted something?  Have you ever wanted to accomplish or achieve a certain goal or task?  How far do you get?  Do you tell mentally tell yourself that you are going to do something different with your life to become better?  Do you ever not get to the point of actually doing that thing you told yourself you were going to do?

A Wake-up Call

I believe that it is time for us each to wake up.  It is time for us to get up from the dust and away from the television, and actually start doing those things that we mentally tell ourselves we are going to do.  We do not get places by just sitting and waiting.  We can do things now to become better, to improve ourselves in the ways that we want to improve ourselves.

I am not trying to be harsh, I just think it is very important for us to realize that we get much further in life as we work towards our goals with diligence.  Nephi said this to himself in the Book of Mormon as he was taking inventory of his life.  Perhaps we too, should be telling ourselves the same thing.  The verses are found in 2 Nephi 4:28-29:

“Awake, my soul!  No longer droop in sin.  Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.  Do not anger again because of mine enemies.  Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.”

How to keep our strength strong

I realize that it is not an easy thing to not ‘slacken’ our strength while we are going through many afflictions.  I know that when we keep our strength as strong as before when we are going through hard times, it is what helps us through.  We can get through the depression and through the unemployment and through the heartbreak as we keep our faith strong and as we rely on our Savior.

In order to keep our strength present in our lives we must be diligent in doing the small things.  We must realize our potential by taking opportunities that come our way.  We are able to take opportunities that come our way when we are prepared for them.  We become prepared as we live our lives with exact obedience and diligence in working towards our goals.

When we tell ourselves to change

Let us be the ones to take the first step to change as we tell ourselves to.  The first step is indeed the desire to change, but we don’t get anywhere if we do not do anything about that desire.  If we do not do anything, the desire becomes a lost hope.  How many lost hopes have you allowed into your life?  How many desires are you still allowing to become lost hopes?

We must remember to do those things that we tell ourselves to do, even if it means putting post-it notes all over our house (this is how I often remind myself to do something).  I love how Dieter F. Uchtdorf describes it in his article, “Your Potential, Your Privilege.”  He says:

“Too often we attend meetings and nod our heads; we might even smile knowingly and agree. We jot down some action points, and we may say to ourselves, “That is something I will do.” But somewhere between the hearing, the writing of a reminder on our smartphone, and the actual doing, our “do it” switch gets rotated to the “later” position. Brethren, let’s make sure to set our “do it” switch always to the “now” position!”

Sometimes we may say that it is not possible to change all of the things that we wrote down or mentally told ourselves to do.  Instead of becoming overwhelmed, let us pick the one thing that we believe is the thing we need to improve upon at this time in our lives.  I understand that doing a little bit at a time is more effective to many people than biting off more than you can chew all at once.

We have help.  We don’t need to do it all on our own.

We have help in trying to become better individuals.  This help is found in the Savior, Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father.  Dieter F. Uchtdorf also says later in the article:

“As you read the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets with all your heart and mind, the Lord will tell you how to live up to your privileges.”

As we do our part, the Lord is more than happy to help us realize our potential.  Please don’t get down on yourself and beat yourself up for all of the things that you have not done.  Think of the things that you have done.  Even if they are small, they are accomplishments.  Christ will help you to do more as you continue to work hard and do the best you can.  Do not worry if your best does not measure up to someone else’s best.

Heavenly Father knows you.  He knows how much you can do.  He knows your limitations; He also knows your potential.  Please get off the couch and try to do something more.  Try to act instead of allowing yourself to be acted upon.  God loves you.  Please let Him help you and follow His guidance.

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Safety for the Soul

Following the Lord: not knowing beforehand what you should do

Listening

As we listen to and obey all of the commandments and words of the Lord, we are able to overcome the world and all of our trials and tribulations.  As we obey, the Lord is with us to bear us up and strengthen us.  He helps us to choose the right and to come unto Him.  He protects us from the evil influences of the world.  There is a scripture in 1 Nephi 15:24 in the Book of Mormon, which states:

“And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God; and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.”

It is vital that we cleave unto the word of the Lord.  As we do so we will be blessed beyond imagination.  I had an instance in my life where I decided not to listen to the Lord’s prompting voice because of my own desires.

Stitched Toes

I was about ten years old and had a really good friend who came to my mom’s daycare.  One day, while my mom was out shopping and someone else was watching the daycare, my good friend left with her mother who came to pick her children up.  I was disappointed that my mom wasn’t back, because I wanted to ask if my friend could stay the night.

A couple minutes after they left, my mom came home.  I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself.  I wanted my friend to stay over.  I was downstairs and started running up what we called the ‘long flight of stairs’ in my family.  I stopped when I got about three steps up.  I thought I had heard someone tell me to use the other stairs.

I turned around to look and see who was there, but there was nobody.  I stood there and thought about it for a bit, then decided to keep running up the stairs.  This was the fastest way to get to my mom anyway and I wanted my friend to come back over.

As I ran, I put my foot a little to close to the edge where the eight foot tables were stored, and my toes caught the metal edge underneath one of them.  I was going so fast that as my toes caught on the edge, they started sliding down.  Before I knew it, I was down five or six steps crying very loudly.  My toes hurt, and they were bleeding.

I couldn’t move.  Luckily my mom heard me and came running down to see what was wrong.  She quickly got a cold cloth to wrap my toes in and brought me to the car.  We went to the hospital, and I got stitches.

I learned a great lesson that day, and have since had it reaffirmed to me many times after.  That lesson is that when the Lord commands or prompts you to do something, you do it, even when you don’t see the logic behind it.

Not Knowing Beforehand

Nephi, in the Book of Mormon had this lesson brought to his attention as well as he was going back to Jerusalem to obtain the plates.  He says in 1 Nephi 4:6:

“And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things that I should do.”

Sometimes we do not know and do not understand the things that the Lord wants us to do.  We just need to move forward in faith and know that the Lord will always provide a way for us to do His will.  We can see the great faith that Nephi had of this principle as he states in 1 Nephi 3:7:

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father:  I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth them.”

The Lord’s Help

The Lord helps us to do His will, and as we obey and follow His commandments, He trusts us with more.  This is seen in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 of the New Testament as the Lord gives the ones who increased their talents even more.  As we are given and obey more commandments and promptings of the Lord, He is able to trust us more.  In return, He blesses us greatly.

As we choose to follow the Lord, He allows us to fly higher and higher, to become better and better people.  I have seen in my life that rules and commandments and promptings of the Lord to live a certain way, do not restrict us.  They allow us to be free and safe.  By having safety for our souls by doing the Lord’s will, we are able to accomplish great things we never thought we could accomplish.

Creative Success

To create as God creates

Recreation

One of the therapy groups I would always attend while in hospitalization programs and partial hospitalization programs for depression was recreational therapy.  This was a group where we did various activities to help us realize that there are things we can do to keep ourselves busy and relaxed at the same time.

Sometimes for this therapy group we would go on outings in the community, play games, or learn new crafts.  This was where I picked up origami again and started making paper birds, cranes, frogs, flowers, etc.  Finding time to wind down and do something that we enjoy, that does not have a deadline, is important in our lives.

Recreation is a good way to keep our lives in balance.  As we spend time with our friends and with our children or family, we are able to build and strengthen relationships.

Have you ever noticed that recreation has the root word of creation?  What new insight does this bring into our recreational activities?  In essence,  we are re-creating.  Our lives have more meaning as we learn how we can live better by how we are better able to create.

Creation

I have absolutely loved creating new things ever since I was a child.  It is and was an inherent desire.  I would color pictures and build towers and make up songs.  It made me have a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment.  I felt good.  As a child, we do not let other people’s opinions stop us from our creative intuition.

One does not have to work in the Arts to be creative.  People who come up with business plans and who find new, more efficient ways to accomplish goals, who re-arrange furniture, etc. are creative as well.  I am sure there are aspects in each day of your life where you are creative.  What has it been today?

Heightened Creation

God created the world and each one of us.  We are each one of His masterpieces.  How do we treat His creations?  We come unto Him as we recognize the creations we participate in throughout our lives.

There are ways beyond skills, talents, abilities, and hard work that allow us to better create.  Let me tell you a story to illustrate my point.

Acting

It was the afternoon in my Acting II class, and we were each to choose partners and scenes for our duo acting assignment.  I was a little concerned because I knew that the play we were choosing scenes from had inappropriate language in it that I was not comfortable saying.  I ended up with a scene where there was only one word in my part that I was uncomfortable with.

As my partner and I rehearsed multiple times, I would just skip over the word.  I hadn’t really decided what I was going to do.  It was really hard for me because I wanted to excel in the class.  I battled with myself as to whether I should use the word or not.  I counseled with my mother and some close leaders, but I still was not settled on what to do.

I even ended up going to the professor and explaining my feelings about using that type of language.  He told me that it was ultimately up to me what I would end up doing, but that he would encourage me to use the word.  He told me that by using the word, I would step onto another plateau in a sense.  I would be opening a new door that would lead to more possibilities and greater ability in my acting career.

As I left, I felt disheartened.  I didn’t know what to do.  I went to the Lord again in prayer and told him of my feelings and how I wanted to be obedient to His laws and His standards.  As I knelt and pondered, a peace came over me as I decided to not use the word.  It felt good to know that I was staying true to myself and what I believed.  I did not let the desire for success in the class, override my desire to be an obedient daughter of God.

The day that we were to perform our scenes came.  My partner and I did well.  In fact, my professor said that the scene was the best acting he had ever seen me do, and had little else to comment on.  I felt like it was my best acting as well.  It was an amazing feeling.  I know that the Lord was helping me and blessing me for my decision to stay true to Him.

The Spirit and Creation

I will stand as a witness of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places.  I know that as I do this He helps and strengthens me to be more than I am.  By staying close to His spirit, I have greater ability to create.  I love this quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

“The more you trust and rely upon the Holy Spirit, the greater your capacity to create.”

As you have relied on God for help and done the little things, like reading scriptures and praying, consistently in your life, how have you seen this promise come true?  What can you do to increase your creative capacity?  I know that Heavenly Father is waiting to help us with our righteous desires, and that as we rely on Him and His Spirit, we will be better able to succeed.

 

Even greater blessings..

How quickly do you satisfy your hunger?

Saving

When I was little, I remember saving whatever change I could find so that I could buy something special.  I remember that sometimes it would take a long time before I had enough to buy a new toy.  I also remember putting my change in a piggy bank for when we went on vacation.

One year we actually had a large jar that we used for our vacation fund as a family.  We had to put aside immediate wants for this greater desire or want to go on a vacation to see a different part of the United States.

Many times what we may want or think we need in the present is something far less than what we may need or want in the future.  We have to be willing to wait and move onward without satisfying present appetites.

Enduring

During this period of saving, we may not have as many things immediately as we would like to have.  We in essence live below a comfort level at times.  Some, in different circumstances, may look at this period of saving as a hard trial in their life that does not seem to go away.

In my life now, I have daily had to be patient with myself in my limited capabilities.  I recognize the things that I have to not rush into all of the time in order to stay mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthy.

What helps us to endure through this period is keeping our focus on what we ultimately want.  It may be extremely hard at times to not give in to carnal appetites and satisfy our wants.  As we remember our purpose and ask for help when help is needed, we can make it to our desired goal.

While we endure, we are not just sitting.  We are moving forward towards our goal, by not giving in to appetites and by making steps forward towards our goal as we put money into our savings, or as we gain new skills or new qualities.

The Ultimate Blessing

The greatest blessing that we can each receive is to be able to live with Heavenly Father again.  We are able to do this as we obey His commandments and endure to the end.  As we follow the example of Christ, we become more fit for the kingdom of God.

This principle of waiting patiently and enduring is evident in many aspects of our lives, but the overarching reason for this is so that we can return to our home in heaven again.

What helps you to not lose your eternal perspective?  What helps you to remember to be diligent in enduring to the end?  Are you just sitting and waiting for something to happen?  Are you just not satisfying carnal desires?  Or are you saving and denying yourself of immediate gratifications?  Is what you are doing working?  How can you make it more effective?

I know that Heavenly Father helps us to achieve our righteous desires.  He helps us to realize that patience is indeed a virtue.  We are blessed so much greater when we are patient and endure well.  I have seen this in my life as I was able to live through depression with the help of many others.  Now, I can say that my joy is much deeper.  I appreciate life so much more.  By living with the contrast and exact opposite of that, I have been able to be filled with greater joy and happiness in my life.  My life is a gift from my Heavenly Father.

He waits to bless me and you with the ultimate blessing of eternal life.  Let us live worthy of receiving this great gift.

Looking for Rainbows

Is your life as clean as clean as earth right after rain?

Cleanliness

Today on a business trip for one of my business classes we went and visited a semiconductor company in Pocatello, ID.  It was amazing to me how absolutely clean the rooms and employees had to be while working with and making the semiconductors.  In fact most of the labor was done by machines similar to robots to prevent contamination.

It was important for them to be clean, because even the smallest particle of dust could destroy a semiconductor.  This would result in waste for the company, not only in time wasted but also in material wasted.  The semiconductor would not work if it had been contaminated even in the smallest degree.  In order to avoid these wastes the company had extremely high standards of cleanliness.  The tour guide even gave the comment that the clean rooms were 1000 times cleaner than an operating room.

The cleanliness was to the point that there were pedestrian hallways along with  ‘clean zone’ hallways where semiconductors could be transported.  All employees who were within the clean rooms wore bunny suits, which covered their clothing  and pretty much their whole body.  The air in the clean rooms was circulated by having suspended floors in which air would circle through.  The air being pushed into the clean rooms went through a series of filters to ensure purity.

Basically, the clean rooms were clean, without spot or pollution so that the semiconductors (before they were protected from contamination) would function.

How about you?

Are you able to function in a dirty world?  In a place where you are surrounded by filth?  How are you protected from the filth that is around you?  Is that protection sure and solid or does it have holes in it?  Do you allow your protection to have holes?  Are you the one doing some of the damage to your protection?

You ultimately determine the amount of protection and/or the amount of cleanliness you want to have in your life.  The Savior has set the example for us to be ‘holy, without spot’ though.  We can aspire to this example as we truly repent of those things we have done that have ‘dirtied’ ourselves.  Perhaps, our spirits are unable to function properly or to their full potential, like the semiconductors, when they have the tiniest bit of contamination on them.

One way in which we can clean the air and the environment surrounding us is in our homes.  In Doctrine and Covenants 88: 119 it says:

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.”

As you can see from this verse, establishing a house of God helps to build our protection as well as keep our environment clean.  There are many particles of pollution that try very hard to get within our homes.  Some have found very simple ways to get into the home with the click of a button.

While there is much good media in the world, there is also a lot that is degrading and family-destroying.  What is the pollution that is getting into your homes and how can you help yourself and your family or those you live with to have a cleaner environment?

Purpose of cleanliness

The whole purpose of cleanliness is to become more like Christ.  A huge benefit of cleanliness is that it allows our spirits to function at a higher level.  As our spirits function at a higher level, we are ultimately closer to our Heavenly Father and His divine inspiration.  We have a clearer direction and purpose in our lives.  We are better able to recognize other people’s needs and help them.

Ever since I have been a child, I have loved the lyrics to this song that I sang at church about cleanliness:

“I like to look for rainbows, whenever there is rain.  And ponder on the beauty of the earth made clean again.  I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.  I want to be the best I can, and live with God again.”

Being clean both inside and out, and maintaining that cleanliness through protection is truly a blessing.  We keep ourselves protected as we do the little daily things that Heavenly Father would want us and has commanded us to do.  Where can we make our protection stronger?  Are we studying God’s word every day?  Are we spending time conversing with Him?  Are we helping His children?

We are a happier people as we turn to the Lord and show Him our love for Him through our cleanliness.  He will bless us, and refine us to become more beautiful individuals.  So beautiful that His light radiates through us.  Let us become His people and be worthy of His name.

There are many ways and areas in which we can ‘clean up’ our lives.  This could include everything from moral cleanliness to verbal cleanliness and more.  Let us begin today.

What are you afraid of?

Are you looking into the mirror of fear?

Fear consumes us…

There have been quite a few points in my life where fear has seemed to take the driver’s seat.  This particularly happened as I was in and out of hospitals during my recovery from depression.  I never thought I was going to get past some things because of the fear of rejection, failing, etc.

This is one of my journal entries when I was starting to come back to my senses after going through an extreme low in my depression:

My arms are going to be scarred up the rest of my life…. I am never going to want to go swimming again at least not with other people… I am going to be wearing long sleeves in the summer time… I’m going to be dealing with depression for the rest of my life now it seems and then depression is hereditary as well so that makes me feel like I shouldn’t have kids to pass it on to them…. I don’t want or wish this to anyone… Then who wants a wife or a mother who is depressed?  Who wants a friend who is depressed?  I feel worthless… I feel worthless a lot of the time… A lot of times I honestly wish I could just die… “

During this time I was allowing fear to control my thoughts and actions, instead of faith.  I think this is a very easy thing to allow to happen.  Are we focusing on the good that could possibly come from things?  Or are we stunting our growth by allowing ourselves to fear?

A Conscious Choice

One must make a conscious choice to not look into the mirror of fear.  When I was at a meeting with the President of Brigham Young University-Idaho, he answered a question about how we can overcome fear in our lives.  He gave the example of how we must consciously choose to look into the mirror of Christ instead of the mirror of fear.  The mirror of fear is dark and gloomy, and Satan is looking you in the face telling you that you can’t do it, while the mirror of Christ may still be a difficult journey, but He tells you that you can do it and that He will help you through.  President Clark continued to say:

“You will always have fears, but you don’t have to take counsel from them.”

Sometimes fear can be a good thing, leading us to choose the right.  But other times fear can be a detriment to our growth.  I think a lot of times we allow ourselves to be caught up in fear.

Christ is in the boat with us

There is the story in the New Testament about the disciples being in a boat when a storm was raging and Christ was sleeping.  The disciples became afraid and turned to Jesus.  It is in Mark 4: 37-40.  It reads as follows:

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow; and they awake Him, and say unto Him; Master, carest thou not that we perish?

And He arose, and rebuked  the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful?  How is it that ye have no faith?”

We must remember in our lives that the Savior is in the boat with us.  He is there to help us through our storms in life.  As we have faith in Him, we can overcome.  Let us not forget and fear and let doubts stir our minds as the disciples may have at the time of the storm.  Let us remember that the Lord is able to do ALL things.  He well help us to overcome.

I invite you to please watch this video in its entirety.  You can overcome ALL things with Christ.

 

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.