Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Who am I?

I use to identify myself by those who surrounded me.  I was my parent’s daughter, my brother’s sister, so and so’s friend.  Soon, I became a wife and mother.  There is nothing wrong with being these things, but for me they were a crutch.  

I believe that sometimes we jam our spirits into a box and lock them up tight for safe keeping.  In my case, it was a well meaning protective attitude.  It was also, very unintentional.  I was not allowing myself the freedom of growing and blossoming, because I was afraid of, well I don’t know what I was afraid of.

It took a major jolt to my comfortable world to force me to dust off that box, find the key, and unlock that beautiful spirit within.  There was so much time wasted wondering why it took such a painful trial for me to see what I was doing.  The truth of the matter is, we all become complacent.  It is the refiners fire that helps us to become who we were always meant to be.

One of my favorite quotes is from the beloved LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley, he said, “Without work, the only thing that grows is weeds.”  The same can be said of life.  We need to constantly struggle and learn and fight.

If we look at all the great leaders of the world,  they didn’t get where they are because life was easy for them.  They struggled, and overcame many adversities, and critics.  They felt something deep inside that there was the need to explore the world, or create, or lead.  Without the ability to learn from failures, Columbus would be just some guy that lived in the 1400’s.  Without trying over and over again, Thomas Edison would just be a man who loved to tinker with little tools.  Without adversity none of us become that noble person that we are meant to be.

Not to say that all adversity has to be severe.  I’m talking about any kind of situation that makes it hard to just float gingerly through life.  That can be anything from a flat tire, to a life changing accident.  As long as we allow for it, we can use these experiences as critical character building exercises.  I was recently told, “If we could see just how much these adversities teach us, we would ask for many more.”

We each came here to this earth to learn something specific to ourselves.  Only I can learn what I came here to learn.  I can’t expect to learn what Jamie came to learn, or Micaela, or John, or Ethan.  It puts unfair pressure on me to try to live a life that wasn’t meant for me to live.  Heavenly Father knows exactly where I am now, and where I should be every step of the way.  He has placed his trust in me to make the right decisions, and He even has contingencies for when I make the wrong ones.  I may think that I know which way to go, but only He can see the end of the story.  It takes trust on my part, and lots of it.

 When the direction of life takes a turn that is not expected, it can be hard not to dig in our heals, and even push back.  It may take some time to realize that we are just kicking against the pricks.  Eventually though, we face the precipice and take that leap of faith.  After all, look at what the Lord has trusted us with so far.  The least we can do is to return that trust.

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