Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Of course, I am not sure if I can actually write one million things, but if I were to break down each element of gratitude, find all the levels and nuances, and describe the specific hue of each experience, I just might be able to state countless general and specific items. This is purely an exercise for me because of the General Conference talk by President Thomas S. Monson concerning becoming more grateful and returning to Father in Heaven in prayer and listing our reasons for gratitude. I have recorded only 100 things, but I feel I could write a 10,000 word essay on each item, so 100 x 10,000 = 1,000,000.
1. Father in Heaven and Mother in Heaven
2. Jesus Christ
3. The Holy Ghost
4. Unembodied and disembodied spirits and Angels, who work on my behalf continually.
6. My Testimony
7. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
8. The Atonement of Jesus Christ
9. My reliance on Jesus Christ for everything
15. Love & Peace
16. Hope in Christ
17. Grace & Ease
18. Compassion and Empathy
19. The four standard works (The Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon—The Second Witness of Jesus Christ, The Doctrine & Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price)
20. The words and counsels of modern day Prophets
21. Joseph Smith
22. Thomas S. Monson
23. All other Modern Day Prophets
24. Ancient Prophets, but particularly Nephi, Isaiah, Moses, Alma the Elder & Younger, Lehi & Nephi the 2nd, John the Beloved, Matthew, and many others
25. Clear direction
28. Genealogical Research Work
29. Family Sealings
30. Church Materials
31. Insights from other LDS scholars
32. General Conference
35. Church Meetings
36. LDS Non-Fiction Religious Written Works
37. Teachings received by my heart
38. A Mighty Change of Heart
40. Gratitude (a thankfulness for all He does)
41. Praise (a thankfulness for who He is)
42. Service (giving and receiving)
44. Church sanctioned videos
45. Other uplifting, religious, LDS videos
47. Having a eye single to the glory of God
48. Many, Mighty Miracles
49. Seminary & Institute classes and teachers
50. All church leaders
51. Specific examples of church leaders counseling and guiding me
54. My loving and selfless husband
55. Our children (I have four, two biological and two in love)
56. Our grandchildren (only other grandparents understand this one fully)
57. My parents and step-parents
58. My in-law parents
59. Our brothers and sisters,
60. Our extended family (this list is huge and goes back countless generations)
61. My dear, sweet, caring, loving, giving, sharing, compassionate friends (I wish I could name you all by name…this could make up the majority of my gratitude list)
62. The many missionaries that have impacted our lives deeply
63. Our sweet pets, who’ve made us laugh and give us such joy
64. Our universe
65. Our galaxy & stars we see
66. Our moon for its light and mystery
67. Kolob (where Heavenly Father works)
68. Our sun for its life, light, warmth, and stability of our solar system
69. Our precious earth
70. All of nature (all things that grow upon this earth)
71. All the living things on the earth (all that walk, swim, fly, and creep)
72. All of the water that brings me peace which passes understanding
73. Our atmosphere which keeps us safe, brings us the ability to live here, and provides amazing beauty
74. All of the land, including the plains, mountains, hills, & valleys
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
First, when I have a particular dis-ease symptom, I now know the Father through the Son through the Spirit is attempting to show me something about my life that is out of balance. Several examples of this include liver pain, migraines, joint/bone pain, and digestive issues.
I have learned my liver is where I store my anger. Anger is a secondary emotion to hurt, fear, frustration, & confusion. When my liver hurts, I know I have a new emotional issue coming forth involving feelings I have stuffed down. It is also where ancestral feelings that were passed down through my DNA are retained.
Migraines are a symptom of feeling scared or alone. This is a recent discovery so I am currently working on this. We all feel alone at times because each of us experiences this physical separation from Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother very acutely. This needs to be confronted and resolved somehow to relieve this particular feeling.
Joint/bone pain are the first sign I am feeling less than or not good enough. When I recognize this, I can simply repeat a mantra of “I am loved and valued” or something to that affect. I do this until it become believable to me.
Digestive issues show me stress is becoming overwhelming for me, and I need to slow down and give my body what it needs.
Second, when I ask Heavenly Father, through prayer, to show me ways in which I can heal, He always obliges me within hours. This is a fairly recent discovery for me. I have found when we ask for something, we need to then pay close attention for an answer. It is probably rude to ask for something and then not “listen” for the response; something I have been guilty of doing often.
I know how He communicates with me, so I know when an answer is from Him. I know His “yes”, His “no”, His “maybe”, His “I’m waiting for a holding place for you to put the answer, so I will answer this one later”, and His “this is what I want to teach you right now because you are sufficiently prepared to learn” or a “general teaching moment” response.
Most of the time the “teaching moment” response involves my needing to forgive someone or some situation. Forgiveness appears to be the path for creating a balanced, loving life.
Third, when I have a breakthrough emotionally & spiritually, my body will react in a so-called negative way for the following period of time, perhaps several days. This took me awhile to ascertain and accept.
Let me clarify what I mean by a negative reaction, though it will seem obvious after I explain it. For the next couple of days after a breakthrough, I experience increased pain, fatigue, and stress. I have learned these symptoms are my body’s way of purging the effects of holding onto negative energy. This requires constant reminders from me that I am moving forward, not backward, and doing this work is difficult.
Fourth, the longer I put off learning what Jesus Christ wants to teach me, the longer I will need to endure the effects of living an unbalanced life. I thought I had been forgiving all along. I needed to confront the idea that my dis-ease is the result of unresolved feelings and emotions and the need for forgiveness.
I now know my dis-ease is not a punishment, but a natural consequence of consciously or sub-consciously ignoring past experiences. Our feelings and subsequent emotions are supposed to act as a signal or warning to us.
I am dealing with each new discovery as it comes with the hope that there will be an end at some point. I mean I am doing an enormous amount of emotional, physical, and spiritual work, and I expect a reward filled with grace, ease, abundance, and balance. That is not to say that I will never have to confront future issues, but I will not also have a lifetime of unresolved feelings to work through at the same time.
Fifth, I need to stay constantly vigilant to guard against frustration, fear, and panic by this process. I confess this process has been brutal at times. I have found it difficult to work through issues while experiencing near-constant pain throughout my body. Jesus Christ, I am sure, feels sympathy for my frustration and pain, but He just wants to teach me how to become like Him. He knows more than anyone how hard this process is, and He offers His love, peace, and help anytime He is called upon to act on our behalf.
I need to remind myself that this is a learning process and necessary for my best good. I used to feel alone, but now I know I am not nor have I ever been alone. Christ Himself and many Angels are present and are always working in my behalf. When I notice frustration, fear, or panic creeping in, I repeat to myself that I am grateful for this teaching, and doing it will allow me to progress spiritually. Converting the feelings from frustration, fear, or panic to gratitude and joy can take several minutes or hours, but if I do not give up, gratitude and joy come into my heart and fill me with hope. Repeating the many things for which I am grateful helps to alleviate the fear and frustration more quickly.
Sixth, there is a strong, evil force working to prevent progress from taking place in my life. There is also a more powerful legion of angels utilizing Christ’s power to overcome their influence. So I am casting out these satanic forces regularly as well as asking for angelic protection.
Those evil or negative influences are extremely damaging, and so it is necessary for me to differentiate from where my current state of mind is coming. I’ve discovered it is fairly simple to find out which is which. If I feel good, then that is from Christ, and if I feel bad, that is from satan.
Feeling bad feels bad, so I have learned to run away from those influences as quickly as I can. Feeling good feels good, so I do all I can to replicate the steps that lead to that result.
Seventh, it is crucial for me to remain teachable and to accept help from positive, wise friends and family. Getting insights from others who are further along on this particular path is so important and necessary for my progression.
Giving and receiving service is crucial for our salvation. To be the recipient of service helps others to receive the blessing of giving service. I am certainly deeply grateful for all I have been given and taught.
Eighth, I am learning how my relationship with food has played an important role in teaching me about my feelings. This relationship has changed over time depending on where I was emotionally. I have used food as an escape, a tranquilizer, an emotion stuffer, and a pain reliever.
I think anytime a person says I have “used” food is a sign of imbalance and self-abuse. I am hoping once I have progressed enough I can allow the consumption of food to take an appropriate role in my life as a fuel source and eating as a socially enjoyable experience. Eating food currently involves pain and discomfort.
I know when full healing and energy balance takes place I can enjoy consuming healthy food. I will never go back to stuffing unhealthy food into my mouth just to receive temporary pleasure. I vow to finally treat my body as a temple and a gift from Heavenly Father.
Ninth, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is intended to provide everything we need to recover and heal in every way. I am learning to offer all my distress, effects of my dis-ease, and dreams for an abundant, whole, healthy, and Christlike future to my Saviour, Jesus Christ..
His love for us is pure, all-powerful, and unconditional, but a greater level of progression involves intense, focused, & faithful work on our part. We are never alone during this process, we are helped every step of the way, and we receive amazing blessings with each new lesson.
We honor Him by relying on Him, giving Him our all, and practicing obedience, hope, and faith. Our sincere, grateful, and humble attempts of becoming like Him can only result in everything He wants for us. We show our love by accepting His way and learning whatever He wants to teach us.
These lessons are individualized for me and may not apply to you. However, I need to acknowledge all that I have learned so far and express my deep and abiding gratitude to my Savior and my Father in Heaven. This is my letter to them to let them know I am paying attention and I am doing all I can in this process. I love the plan of happiness and look forward to a time when I have sufficiently forgiven everyone and every situation and will no longer feel the effects of stuffing my feelings and emotions.
It is so important for us to remember. We must remember everything we have been given, all that we have taught, and how the Atonement has worked in our lives. Forgetting is our downfall; remembering helps us to move ahead in our progression. If we forget, we might begin to believe our blessings are a result of our work alone. Remembering Christ has healed us, taught us, forgiven us, and blessed us brings us a step closer to our Heavenly home and reward.
I humbly and gratefully offer my eternal thanks to Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, heavenly beings, and my wonderful family and friends!!