Sunday, March 31, 2013

We Know Them to Be True

"We all have experiences with the Holy Ghost, even though we may not always recognize them.  As inspired thoughts come into our minds, we know them to be true by the spiritual feelings that enter into our hearts."  Craig C. Christensen, An Unspeakable Gift from God, General Conference, October 2012.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Asking The Right Question

I can't quite figure out what is going on with me right now.  I keep asking myself, is it because the sky's have been grey all winter, is it because my son is coming home from his 2 year church mission in Brazil soon, maybe I need a medication adjustment?  So much has been going on around here for awhile and maybe it is just that.  All I know is that I am not okay and it is high time that I do something about it!  I started back to therapy and being able to unload about the last few months was a huge help.  Then realizing that I haven't been doing any of my Breathe strategies (I know, broken record here) again which leads me to this amazing quote from Michael Yapko in his book "Hand Me Down Blues":

"Realize that much more is required of you to manage despression well, . . . specifically learning and applying key antidepressant concepts and skills."

I absolutely love the phrase "antidepressant concepts and skills" and as I reread that I realize that they are skills and I haven't been practice the concepts that I have learned, they haven't become skills yet for me because I haven't been using them.  Another great quote by this same author in his book "Breaking the patterns of depression" he says:

"Depression is often associated with errors in judgment about control issues.  The errors will usually take one of two forms; not controlling things that could be controlled, or trying to control things that cannot be controlled. . . .  Mastering what is and is not in your control will help manage your depression well."

This is definitely something I have had problems with in the past, being able to control things makes everything feel safer, but it is the trying to control what cannot be controlled that creates the craziness in my life.  My therapist is always trying to get me to flow more.  Flow with how the day leads me, it is when I am forcing things that I start feeling the anxiety.  Flowing with the day is controlling me, not the craziness around me, which I cannot control anyway.  Michael Yaptko goes on to say:

"Depression is not about bad events in the past, it's about how you interpreted those events and the skills you didn't have at the time for dealing with them.  Make changes now and learn skills now so that things will be better from now on. . . .   Don't ignore your own needs.  Depression often comes about from letting your inner world become imbalanced, because you invest more and more heavilty in others or in external situations."

I have definitely let my inner world become imbalanced!  Instead of asking how can I control this situation, I need to be asking myself what is it that I need right now.  That is the real question after all isn't it?  What anti depression skill do I need to be using right now to get through this moment, not what do I think I need to control right now.  What do I need right now to help me feel better, not what is wrong with me.  The right question is what do I need, definitely not what is wrong with me!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Experience the Joy That Should Be Yours

"You may want to ask yourself if you are merely going through the motions as a [daughter of God] what is expected but not experiencing the joy that should be yours."  Dieter F. Uchtdorf  [I changed the "priesthood bearer" to daughter of God so that it applies to me]

Friday, March 22, 2013

Something Extraordinary

This was shown last night at our Relief Society Birthday Celebration and it touched me so much!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

He sends messages

Your needs are great and varied. Each of you is a unique child of God. God knows you individually. He sends messages of encouragement, correction, and direction fitted to you and to your needs.

Henry B. Eyring

Monday, March 11, 2013

First Jobs

My daughter has been working her first job for over a month now and it has been interesting watching her grow and change with the experience.  At first, she wasn't sure that it was worth it, then she got her first paycheck and decided that maybe it was.  It isn't the funnest job in the world, but what first job is?  It has been fun talking to others about what their first jobs were.  My husband for instance, summer jobs were in Alaska fishing or working on a fishing boat.  A friend said her first job was identifying roadkill (not sure what the purpose was in that).  I was really lucky in my first jobs, at 13 my gymnastics teacher started paying me to help her with some of the little kids in some of her other classes.  Then at 15 I started working at the SCERA Theater, but I didn't get paid for it because it was a community theater and I only worked one day a week.

I loved working at the community theater, it was just one of those old, beautiful one movie theaters.  It had a candy counter that I mostly worked at, but there was also a counter where you could get a malted shake and every now and then I got to work there.  My favorite shake was the Iron Port which was essentially a red cream soda malted shake, so yummy!

With my affiliation with the community theater, sometimes during the summer they would send me over to the community pool to work as well.  Now that was fun, the smell of the chlorinated pool water and the kids all so happy.  It was practically a tradition to buy candy after a day at the pool and that is what I would do when I worked there.

When I was 16 a friend of mine was working in the new movie theater that had 2 screens, that was a big deal then.  Anyway, she told me they had an opening so I went in to talk to her boss and he hired me.  This is where I lived much of my life for the next 4 years, it is a place that is firmly planted in my heart.  Friends, fun and film, what more could you ask for in a first job? 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Consistently Be What You Want To Be

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day. Elder Richard G. Scott

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Relationships and Clothes

I may have mentioned that we have an addition to the family, a teenage girl from our ward who needed somewhere to stay.  She is a fun loving girl who loves people and doing things with friends.  This normally wouldn't be a problem, but she has been coming home in tears a lot lately with friends at school taking advantage of her good nature.  I have been talking to her about how maybe she needs to put her attention on more long-term friendships.

Yesterday when I picked her up from school she was in a really happy mood.  She had decided to really focus on a few certain things like finishing high school and a few other extracuricular activities and if the people and drama at school don't fit into those focus things, she wasn't going to worry about them.  It's a really good decision and I could see how it had already helped her feel better.

I shared with her an article I read in a magazine many years ago, in fact, I was probably her age at the time.  In the article the author compared people to clothes in your closet.  She said that every now and then you need to clean out your closet.  As you go through the items you ask yourself if it complements you, if it makes you feel beautiful, if you feel good in that item and if so, you keep it.  If it makes you feel the reverse, it is time to let it go.  As with people, sometimes we need to take a hard look and ask ourselves if that person complements you, makes you feel worthwhile and a better person when you are with them.  If not, it may be time to let the relationship go. 

While letting go of any relationship is a hard thing, sometimes it is better for both of you.  Not everyone we come into contact with will be in our lives forever.  Clinging onto a relationship that makes you feel like less of a person isn't good for you.  Just like with our closets and surrounding ourselves with clothes that makes us feel beautiful, we need to surround ourselves with people that make us feel beautiful, especially when we are struggling to feel good about ourselves.

It is okay to still be friends, just don't dwell in their negativity and drama with them.  It's kind of like being in your sweats, its okay to be them for awhile, but not all day, every day, it will bring you down.  As my favorite saying goes, "if you want a beautiful life, make every square inch of it beautiful."  I think that goes with relationships and with clothes.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A New Purpose

I have been really struggling with what to write in this blog lately (as clearly evidenced by the lack of posts the last few weeks) and didn't know what to do about it. A few days ago I decided to research the general topic of blogging. I read through some great articles on blog planning, content and more. As I was reading through all these various articles one topic kept popping up which was asking what your blog's purpose is. It was then that I realized why I have been struggling, my blog purpose had changed and I hadn't even realized it. When I first started this blog I had been going to therapy for several years and my purpose was to post what I was learning in therapy. Well, here I am a few years later and I am no longer in therapy, at least for now, never say never, right! Anyway, I realized that I have changed a lot and therefore my blog needed to change as well.

I took a lot of notes in my research and I have done a lot of thinking and praying as to what new purpose my blog needed to have.  I came up with three things that I would like to accomplish via this blog and the first one is to Reduce Stress and writing helps me reduce my stress.  It shocks my family how much I like to write as none of them do, but for me it helps me clear out my thoughts and I definitely need to do that often as I think way too much.

The second thing I would like to accomplish through this blog is to increase my spirituality by putting spiritual thoughts on this blog I find that I am starting to pay more attention to the spiritual things in my life and I would like to keep doing that and increase that content.

Lastly, I would like to share my life, lessons I have learned and how I have grown through my challenges, if for no other reason than to leave something of a legacy for my children but I hope that my experiences and thoughts will helps others along the way as well.

I didn't expect to have growing pains on my blog, but I did and it took several months to work through it and I am sure I will have several more ahead.  I feel like I am entering a new phase in my life.  I had my years of therapy, anxiety and depression which feel like the worst of those years are behind me (one can always hope) and it is time to live what I have learned!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

You Matter to Him

Good sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season--He sees you as His child.  He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become.  He wants you to know that you matter to him.   Dieter F. Uchtdorf