Friday, July 25, 2014

Choice & Accountability

We've all made choices today. What to wear, hitting the snooze button too many times, choosing to go (or not go) to work, when to take breaks from whatever you're doing and how late you're going to stay at work. Even the simple things we choose -- what to say, what to think, who to talk to, what we're having for lunch. Some choices are not that easy, who to marry, when to have kids, when to buy a house, when to say enough is enough in a bad relationship, these are the tough choices.

Every second we are making choices.

Some choices are big enough that immediately affect our future. Some choices build upon other choices that affect our future. Either way, each choice you make every second, every minute, every day, affects your future. So with that being said, it should be easy to always make the "right" choice right?

WRONG. It is not always that easy.
(especially when you're craving chocolate and you're supposed to be on a diet :) )

All choices are not plain black and white. The majority of the "hard" choices are grey. It's a matter of choosing between what's good, better, or best. So how do you decide how to make the "grey" choices? It's something that you should take some time on. Don't rush those decisions. Take sometime on your knees, or meditation and contemplate what each outcome could be. I like to do a lot of journaling during this time.

How do you decide on the choices that I call "best vs. best"? Meaning, both choices will get you a similar but different outcome, typically positive choices? (example: choosing between 2 great companies to work for) Same as above, sometime in prayer never killed anyone, neither did time in meditation, or the temple for that matter. We are given the ability to choose for a reason. We have to learn and grow.

If we have someone to make the decisions for us, how will we ever learn from our mistakes? As you know from previous blog posts, I've made some mistakes. However, I have learned a lot from them. It's been hard. The learning and growing process never stops here. It's a never ending process. While it's important, at times it can be a huge pain. Just when you think you've made the best choice, something happens and you think you haven't.

However, if you made the choice, own up to it and love it. "Yes I chose to wear these heels today, and I fell flat on my face while doing so. But aren't they cute?" Kind of a superficial example, but you catch what I'm getting at.

This puts me at my next point:

Living with the consequences of your choices.

Consequences aren't always bad. Sometimes if you make a great, sound decision, you're left with peace of mind. That consequence is great (unless you don't like peace of mind). If you make a sound decision with your head in the right spot, it is something that you should stick with and don't doubt that decision.

Sometimes consequences suck. Emma was playing outside and decided to act silly while jumping and running around. A consequence of that action was she fell and skinned her knee up pretty good. That consequence, as a parent and as Emma, sucked. Sometimes consequences are bigger. The consequences from those big choices, can stick with you for a while.

Here's the good news though:
You can choose to learn your lesson from that mistake and move on. Don't dwell on it. Yeah it may feel like this huge big mistake you made, but really, it's just a jumping off point for you to do better and grow more.

With all of this being said, what's the next choice you're going to make right now? Keep surfing the internet after reading this, is that really the best choice for your time? It could be. Or could maybe getting off of here and spending time with friends or family be a better use of your time?

The choice is yours, as it always is.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Forgiveness and Letting It Go

I have had some amazingly beautiful things happen to me, as a child, as a teenager, and as an adult. I have also had a lot of terrible things happen to me, as a child, as a teenager, and as an adult. Things that I don't really like to talk about, things that I only bring up if I feel that it is important to help someone else. The beautiful and the terrible things are just apart of life right?

So why, why do we hold onto to just the terrible?

The terrible is only going to weigh you down. The terrible will fester, and you will forget about what was so terrible in the first place. You allow yourself to sit in this terrible hell, which is so much harder to get out of after even days of festering (imagine how hard it will be after years). If you let things go and become quick to forgive, instead of sitting in this hell, you allow yourself to be surrounded by this amazing heaven. This heaven is full of no one to be mad at, or hold grudges towards. Sounds heavenly and not exhausting right?

Now, am I saying to just let people walk all over you, and let them off the hook? No. Not all the time. Be the judge and pick your battles. However, make sure that you address the problem with that person. By addressing it with that person directly, you avoid rumors, gossip, back biting, and other forms of hateful speech. I pray that everyone in their life has someone to act as their confidant and clear their head, get a second opinion. To be able to go back to the person who has offended you, state your peace and forgive each other. (For me that person is my husband)

Stop holding on to that grudge, and let it go. Whether you've had this grudge for a week, a month, a year, 6 years, or 20 years, let. it. go.

One of my favorite songs by Michael McLean is called "Let It Go" (yes this came out years before Frozen). See the lyrics below:

"There’s so much of life that can’t be lived
If you’re holding on to hate and anger deep inside
Let it go

Letting go
It opens up the heart
There is a new day that’s hungry to start

Well you can’t change
What has hurt you so
But you will heal if you’ll just let it go

All that’s wrong in your life
Let it go
All that is worth saving
Is love

Love will hold you tight
Love lifts the burden
And love shines the light

Only love
Nourishes our soul
If it’s not love
Simply let it go"

 know all of this is easier said than done.

However, by allowing yourself to let it go, you're allowing yourself to be free. Free from the shackles of grudges and anger. You're freeing yourself to have more room for happiness, and love, and things that are so much more healthy for you.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jealousy, envy, and counting your blessings

The green eyed monster. 

We all have it at some point or another. At least when we're little kids phrases like "Sally has the better toy than me" are pretty common. As we get older, this mentality only makes things worse and you start focusing on the negative. It becomes like a slow cancer like negative tumor that eats away at the positive vibes you might have in your life.

Feelings like:
"They have a nicer home than I do." "Look at their family, they are all so perfect, they all get along, and don't fight at all!" "They had a better wedding than I did." "Look at their relationship with their spouse, it's so perfect and mine isn't."

So, what if they had a better wedding than you? Or a nicer home? Or a better relationship?

Sometimes I find myself complaining about things that I know that other people would love to have. Like an amazing husband who is supportive of me and pushes me to be and do better. A darling daughter who yells "Mommy" every time she sees me. A car to drive and a nice home to sleep in. Some pretty great friends and family. This list could go on.

Yes I may not have been born into a family that can have their parents pay for mine and my spouses college, home, or even a luxurious wedding. However I do have a wonderful marriage that is more beautiful than my wedding was (which my wedding was pretty beautiful). I have a husband who will someday build me (and our kiddos) a wonderful home. I have the gospel and the peace of mind that it brings counts for so much.

On top of all this, you aren't with them in their day to day life. You don't know the nitty-gritty. You may not know the pressure that might have come from family members to have that expensive wedding. You may not know that secretly that "perfect couple" fights for hours every night. You may not know that nice home is breaking their bank account. It's sad to even mention this, however no ones life is perfect. You can certainly strive for perfection, and I'm sure one day we will all achieve it. However, we all are still learning and growing and failing and succeeding.

If you look at your blessings over someone else's, you will realize how much you truly do have. I challenge you, the next time you start to get jealous or start to envy someone else's life, choose to count 5 things in your life that are blessings. You will feel so much better, I guarantee it.

Just a thought too: if you're envious or jealous of someone else's life, how can you love them?


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fitting In

**Warning: This post is full of awkward/funny photos of me and a lot of my friends from high school**

I've moved 15 times in my lifetime. I have lived in 4 different states, 15 different homes, and 15 different wards. The biggest thing I hated was feeling like I was losing friends I had. I had a lot of really great friends in elementary school, some I'm still in touch with today. Then, I was home schooled all through middle school. Talk about cutting off your friend supply. It was both a good and a bad thing. I really got to know people in the ward, and did some self discovery that is normally associated with a lot of peer pressure and feeling out of place for girls that age.

Then just as I started to feel like I was fitting in with people in our ward, we would move. This continued until I was the one to move out to Utah after I graduated high school. I realized that a friendship is only as good as much as both sides are willing to work on. I have so many friends great friends from high school that I stay in touch with, not nearly as often as I'd like, but we talk at least once a quarter, and we seem to pick up right where we left off.

It was the hardest thing for me to leave that safe place, and move out to Utah. Knowing I had all those people to back me up and would be there for me at a moment's notice in Florida was almost like a security blanket. Well I moved, and since then (6 years now) it's been extremely hard for me to make and keep friends. I still keep in touch with a lot of my friends from high school, especially since so many of them live out here now. I have a few really great friends I've made since I've lived out here in Utah, but I feel like I just don't fit the mold of what people expect me to be.

I grew up in an interesting home, the youngest of 6 siblings, but really treated like the middle child of 3 to an older set of parents. I have witnessed and lived through a lot, people passing, weddings, different cultural events (Indian weddings, etc.) watching people gain a testimony of the gospel, witnessing people lose their testimonies, a divorce, financial struggles, etc. this list could go on. I went from being the only LDS girl in high school to it being normal and okay for me to talk about temple marriages, and what my calling is with my co workers and at school. I'm not used to it, still. It's not my normal, nor what I was raised with, and it's weird for me. This is why I find comfort in those who aren't members of the church, because I feel at home with them. Not because I'm a "jack Mormon" or anything, but because I'm so used to setting an example and to try and baby step them into the gospel.

I'm still not used to the fact that an entire ward can be made up of a distance of a small block, and you can drive 5 minutes in any direction and you will probably be in a different stake, or temple zone.

What I'm getting at is that I'm used to always feeling like I have a role or a place to fit in, however recently the only place I feel that I fit in is when I'm with Emma or Tyler. Outside of that I just feel like this huge awkward mass walking around.

Then I found this quote:

And then I realized, that I'm not meant to fit in right now. To fit in would be so nice, and so easy. But life is not meant to be easy. If it was, we wouldn't be here. It's meant to test us. So, currently while I'm trying to find my footing, still, even 6 years later, and adjusting to life in Utah, I will learn to fit in by standing out.

To all you girls desperately trying to fit in, or thinking you need friends to survive but have found that you're not succeeding:

it's okay to not fit in.

Find your band of misfits and run with them. You will look back on your "band of misfits" as your best friends. If you can't find a band of misfits: do some self evaluation and work on yourself. Working on yourself and discovering your talents and how amazing you are is something that is priceless.

I am so grateful for all of my friends, older, younger, friends for years, friends for a few months, and friends that are really family. How blessed am I to call so many my friends?