I'm grateful to say that I've never experienced anything too traumatic in my life. Everyone I love is alive and well and for that I am most grateful. However, we all have trials and mine seem to come in the form of internal "torment" if you will. Something that I'm desperately seeking answers for and trying to overcome. I wouldn't classify it as depression or anything, just a constant struggle in my head, an internal conflict. Feelings of anger and frustration, bouts of low self esteem, discontent, struggling to forgive and lacking tolerance of others' actions. I have the tendency to obsess over the things I CAN'T change rather than the things I can.
As much as this constantly consumes my mind lately, I know without a doubt I will overcome it. When I'm struggling I spend a lot of time reading, googling, writing and praying. Desperately trying to understand these emotions, where they stem and how to overcome internal conflict. We all have our peaks and valleys and lately I'm smack dab in the middle of a deep dark valley. Writing it out gives me peace. It's my way of uncovering the cause, accepting the now as perfect and essential for my growth. Although the pain and discomfort I'm experiencing is less than desirable, I know that it's just a minor bump in the road towards personal development and fulfillment.
As I'm learning and unveiling these truths I feel compelled to share them in hopes it may reach someone who is going through something similar. I find great fulfillment when taking my MESS and turning it into my MESSAGE! It helps shift my focus to proactive measures rather than taking on a "victim" mentality. Brings me so much peace during my trials.
I would like to break down 3 specific emotions I listed above and share some quotes from various articles and books that really resonated with me.
"In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet."
I feel like I've been so focused on achieving BIG goals that I've become completely dissatisfied with where I'm at and how far I've come.
One of my favorite talks by Dieter Uchtdorf is his Forget Me Not message, I highly recommend reading it over and over. He eloquently put into words the feelings I've been experiencing. He compares our tendency to be discontent in life to the classic Charlie And The Chocolate Factory story. How in the beginning everyone was so concerned with getting the "golden ticket" that even the candy bar itself was no longer enjoyable.
"This is not to say that we should abandon hope or temper our goals. Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don't close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day's ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life."
When reaching for goals and choosing to do hard yet worthwhile things like put on an event, run a marathon, give birth naturally, homeschool, go on a mission, ect. I find myself at one point or another wondering why I CHOSE to do this in the first place? Why did I put this unnecessary weight on my shoulders? Then I'm reminded that the easier road is much less fulfilling. It's the hard things that not only enlightens us of our true potential and empowers us to achieve more, but uncovers little by little who we are. Makes us feel ALIVE!
"What we don't realize is that our ultimate unconscious goal is to come to understand who we really are. How else would we be driven to know our truth? Isn't it by desiring to understand why life isn't working for us that we begin searching for answers? What else would motivate us to start looking for the causes of our effects~for what makes us "tick"? It is for the purpose of searching, understanding, and finally discovering our Real Self."
~Karol K. Truman Feelings Buried Alive Never Die
Lacking Tolerance and Struggling to Forgive
We've all been victims of people who are flat out mean and insensitive. Recently I was really hurt by the actions of another person. I dwelled on it for days, wondering why the heck would they do that? I realized I just can't take it personally.
"Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up. You eat all their emotional garbage, and now it becomes your garbage. But if you do not take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell."
I'm learning that in order for me to have peace, I've got to forgive and allow people to be who they are. Love and forgiveness is the answer to most problems.
"Real love is unconditional. Real love accepts the perfection of all...accepts that EVERYTHING is perfect just the way it is, and EVERYONE is perfect just the way they are! When we accept everything and everyone just the way they are, there is no reason to find fault or judge. When we are able to accept the perfection in everything and everyone, the ego doesn't get bogged down with its fears ~ fear of not being equal, fear of being rejected, fear of not being good enough, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the future, fear of being unworthy, or whatever the fears may be. The problem is too many of us are so emotionally involved in trying to get others to change that we fail to realize that the only person we can change is OURSELVES!"
~Karol K. Truman
A hard lesson we have to learn is, not everybody is going to like you! I have an extremely difficult time with this one. I've spent too much energy making sure I'm liked by all. Took me a while to realize it's an impossible feat. I can't force people to like me nor can I force myself to like certain people. We all have our peeps, the ones we mesh with and the ones we don't.
I'm really embarrassed to admit this and I can't believe I'm going to tell you but I've been guilty of paying WAY too much attention to who "follows" me on Instagram, who "unfollows me" wondering why certain people won't "follow" me back, pretty shallow I know... When we begin putting too much value on the number of "followers" or "likes" we have on social media and allowing it to define and validate who we are, then it's time to step back for a moment. Take a break from social media. I believe it's one of Satan's sneaky ways of distracting us from fulfilling our purpose. He wants us to question our importance and lovability. He knows how to stop us from believing in our mission and living out our potential.
"So you aren't included in a tribe, go find another tribe that is more your style. You could not only wind up doing what you love surrounded by people you adore who you actually relate to, but you might one day realize you can no longer remember the names of the people whose approval you so desperately thought you would die without. "
Another thing I wrestle with is when I lovingly support someone and that person doesn't reciprocate and support me back. Seems only fair that someone would return the favor right? Well, yes! In a perfect world. But that's completely out of our control. "Expectations reduce joy". And boy has it been reducing mine. I've gotten so worked up over the lack of support from certain people after I've been such a good friend and support to them. It has only caused me more pain. I'm learning to be more tolerant and accept that everyone has different circumstances, everyone does things differently, everyone thinks differently, and yes, not everyone is going to like me, boooooo!
PLUS, I shouldn't be serving and loving others with the expectation of a return...My bad...
Low Self Esteem
I read an interesting explanation of the human competitive nature from the book Status Anxiety .
"It is the feeling that we might, under different circumstances, be something other than what we are~a feeling inspired by exposure to the superior achievements of those whom we take to be our equals~ that generates anxiety and resentment. If we are short, say but live among people of our same height, we will not be unduly troubled by questions of size. But if others in our group grow just a little taller than us, we are liable to feel sudden unease and to be gripped by dissatisfaction and envy, even though we have not ourselves diminished in size by so much as a fraction of a millimeter.
Given the vast inequalities we are daily confronted with, the most totable feature of envy may be that we manage not to envy everyone. There are people whose enormous blessings leave us wholly untroubled, even as others' negligible advantages become a source of relentless torment for us. We envy only those whom we feel ourselves to be like~ we envy only members of our reference group. There are few successes more unendurable than those of our ostensible equals."
~Alain de Botton
It's interesting how competitive the natural man is. Why we compare ourselves so much to others and tend to feel resentment towards people who seem to be happier or more successful than us. This is something I really hate to admit but I find myself experiencing over and over. Just when I think I've reached new heights and learned to be happy with where I'm at and happy for the success of others, I get on social media and I'm right back where I started. Social media is a blessing and a curse. The answer is not to abandon social media all together, the answer is to learn the lesson. How can we overcome our envious nature? How can we stay in a place of peace and love for everyone? That is the big question. I've found plenty of tips and advice on the matter but I tell yah, it's no easy task. If only it were that simple... here's your 3 easy steps to peace and happiness... If only...
" God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect. He is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not. And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does."
It's all about shifting our focus really. We have to pay attention to all the gifts, talents and blessings that WE have. Each one of us is unique and wonderfully made. We are all loved equally by God, he has no favorites. Also, we gotta remember that nobody has it all. It may look like it on social media but God is a fair and just God. We all have struggles, we all have weakness, and we all have pain. There is no way around it in this life.
This reminds me of some pages I marked in the book called Girl Code and it's a message I hope all women will heed to, including myself.
"There is no reason to hoard information, connections, or insight. Wisdom is meant to be shared, so let's start sharing what we've learned to make each other better. Let's start building each other up. Women need to learn to empower one another not tear them down. If you see a beautiful women, tell her. If a women is being a great mother, tell her. Wearing cool shoes? Tell her. Lost weight and looks great? Tell her. There is more than enough success and happiness to go around. The universal laws of abundance prove that there is absolutely no reason to compete. Competition is soooo '90s. Evolve past it and learn to collaborate instead."
This was so beautifully said and I'm 100% passionate about loving and supporting all women. You are my friends and I genuinely appreciate your support. When someone is being supportive to me I try to reciprocate. That's how I show my gratitude.
Love you all❤️