Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Love Projects

Those of you who know me well, know that I love to organize, it just really makes me happy.  I know its kind of weird, but its just who I am.  I can look at a room and see how it could flow better and as I work in a room I can see how some changes would make it flow even better.  Along with my love of organization is my love of a good project.  I love to immerse myself in a project and just go and go until it is complete, doesn't matter how many hours or days it may take, it has my full attention.  You know the saying that our strength is also our weakness, well loving projects is a great strength because I always finish what I start, but it is also my weakness because other things get ignored while I focus on my project. 

My current problem is that there are a lot of projects that I want to do, things that have been on my list for many, many years.  My main problem is that with depression you don't care about anything and that even included organization and projects.  Luckily, I had a lot in my life pretty organized before the worst part of the depression hit.  I have been feeling so much better lately and have been getting things back into shape.

As I mentioned in a post a few months ago, I have a new app that I use every day that I just love, it is the 30/30 app.  It really helps me stay on track.  How 30/30 helps me is that I have my various tasks that I need to do each day assigned a slot and time frame on the app.  This way everything gets touched just a little each day and once the 30/30 task list is complete then I can put my full attention on my projects.  This way I get a little of everything done each day as well as working on the project that I'm currently focused on.  I just love being organized and I love my projects!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On Sunday We Attend Church

I was reading an article the other day ("On Sunday We Attend Church" by Linda Pratt, January 2014 Ensign) where a woman was talking about how she would go to church alone with six small children every Sunday while her husband had a High Council position so was usually traveling to other Wards on Sundays.  She shares how very rarely was she able to sit though a complete meeting because of the children.  One day a lady jokingly said, "I don't know why you even bother to come." 

As this woman thought about that comment she remembered how her own mother went to church every Sunday on her own with her children and how not having a spouse who didn't go to church never stopped her mother from worshipping at church.  My favorite part of the article was when the author said this:

Reflecting on my own situation, I realized I would never neglect to meet my children's physical need for food each day.  So why should their spiritual nourishment be neglected because my husband couldn't be with us all the time?

The author also said that it became easier to go to church because the decision was made once for always, that is, "every Sunday we attend church."  She knew it, her children knew it.  I guess this article struck home to me because that is always how I have been, on Sunday I go to church.  My children have known this too and at church they either sat on the bench or on my lap.  I didn't let them down even if we had to leave the chapel because of crying, I held them out in the foyer.

Don't get me wrong, there have definitely been times where it was really hard to go to church, but I never thought about actually not going, I may have thought about attending a different ward, but I always went.  Church is a staple for me, it brings me peace, answers and definitely that day of worship and rest that I need.  It's quite simple, on Sunday we attend church.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Release Mistaken Belief Process

Last week I had a post that was talking about reinterpreting past events.  The process of releasing mistaken beliefs is similar in nature.  When I came upon this process, I had been trying to work on positive affirmations which felt like lying to myself.  To try and tell myself that I was beautiful and amazing just seemed so wrong.  As I tried to work through this, I came across a process that made more sense to me.  Instead of just coming up with something positive to say to myself, I needed to come up with a mistaken belief, something I believed about myself but was detrimental to my well being.  For example, telling myself that I am not loved.

The next step would be to come up with the evidence for that belief.  As for not being loved, my evidence would be that no one told me that they loved me, I was ignored and so on.  After writing all the evidence I thought I had, the next step was to write down the real truth which would be that my family tells me that they love me, my husband is always there for me, etc.

The next step is to ask yourself, "is this belief promoting my well being and why or why not."  As I worked on this process there wasn't a single time where my mistaken belief was promoting my well being. 

The last step is replacing the mistaken belief with a positive affirmation such as, "I am loved."  The positive affirmations no longer felt like lies to me and I realized that the real lie was the mistaken belief that I had told myself.  This process was so good for me and I used it on a lot of my thoughts and was able to turn them around.  Here is the Release Mistaken Belief Process in a nutshell:

1-Mistaken Belief to Release:
4-Is this belief promoting your well-being and why or why not:
5-Replacement affirmation:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A New Dream

One of the things that my therapist was helping me with was facing my children leaving home.  All my life all I had ever wanted to be was a mom at home and there I was facing them graduating from high school and heading off to college and their own lives.  My therapist told me that I needed a new dream.  At first I wasn't sure what I wanted and I wasn't sure I wanted to let go of my old dream (even though I knew I had no choice), but as I explored my life, my likes and what brings me joy it became obvious to me that my Close To My Heart business, that I had been a part of for 19 years, was my new dream.  When I create I feel so much better, it brings me so much joy when I teach my classes and I love working in my studio.  So I started spending every day in my studio and realized how happy it makes me.  Now as my children are getting married (one in October the other in November) I'm grateful that I do have a new dream!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Enduring Well

I was reading an article out of the January 2014 Ensign entitled "Enduring Well" by Elder J. Christopher Lansing.  My favorite part of the article is where he talks about how Joseph Smith is praying while he is in Liberty Jail and he says, "O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that coverth thy hiding place?" (D&C 121:1).  The Lord responds to him by saying, "My son, peace be unto they soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment" (D&C 121:7).  Then Elder Lansing says:

"Then He teaches Joseph a wonderful principle: "And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" (D&C 121:8).  The message is straightforward and succinct.  We should not expect the Lord to remove our challenges just because we promise Him that we will always be faithful if He does.  Rather, we are to endure well, and then we will be blessed.  That is a marvelous life lesson for each of us."

It made me think of the phrases "endure to the end" and "enjoy to the end" and I feel like "endure it well" is somewhere in the middle of those.  Endure it well sounds like enduring with grace and I really liked that thought. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Reinterpret Past Events

There is a story about a boy who reached for a hot iron and his mom yelled at him to stop which he interpreted as "mom doesn't love me" which couldn't be further from the truth as she loved him and didn't want him to get hurt. 

How we interpret things that happen to us greatly affects our lives.  I have many situations in my life that as I now look at them logically I realize that they really weren't what my child mind was convinced that it meant.  But knowing this logically didn't immediately change my emotions and relieve those past hurts.  I have had to work hard at reinterpreting past events to help me heal emotionally from them.

The book Healing the Eight Stages of Life by Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant, and Dennis Linn that my therapist loaned to me had a lot of great things in it that helped me with this process.  I particularly like this quote:

Imagination is our "inner eye," a faculty of our intuitive mind, through which we perceive the emotional and spiritual world, a world just as real as the material one we perceive with our five senses.  Jesus uses the inner eye of imagination to help us "see" with him events that have left emotional and spiritual scars, and to help us reinterpret those events in the light of his love.

Having support (like a therapist, family, friends, faith) can help work through those old interpretations.  So, for example, the boy trying to touch the hot iron could realize that his mother was just trying to protect him.  When he would think that his mother doesn't love him, he could say to himself, "no, that is the old way of thinking, I know now that she loves me and was trying to protect me."

I have used this process a lot, thinking of a past event, understanding it logically as an adult then reinterpreting that event and then remind myself of the real truth of the situation, not what I perceived it to be.  Every time the old hurt emotions would rise up, I tell myself, "no, that is the old way of thinking, I now know the truth is . . . ," whatever that truth may be.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One Sick Puppy

Let me just start by saying that I am not a dog person, so when my daughter begged for a dog, I really wasn't thrilled about that thought.  We eventually did get her a dog, Wednesday, who is a rescue dog from Taiwan in early 2008.  Not being a dog person, I was surprised by my reactions to her.  I talk to her and I play games with her but I can't seem to bring myself to pet her (some OCD thing which my family loves to tease me about). 

It was recently while I was at my convention for my stamping and scrapbooking business that I realized I have a bigger connection to Wednesday that I thought I did.  Wednesday has been sick for many weeks and getting sicker and sicker.  During my convention my family told me how she had continued to get worse.  That night I had a dream about her and how sick she was.  When I woke up, I had to acknowledge that I have a connection with this dog, have grown quite fond of her and was very worried.

It has been many visits to the vet and lots of tests, but we finally have an answer as to what is wrong with her.  She has an autoimmune disease and it is called Pemphigus Foliaceus where her body is attacking her follicles.  We are all so relieved to have an answer and to see her slowly getting better.  She has lost a lot of her fur, but at least the sores all over her body are going away.  She will be on medication the rest of her life, but that is okay with us.  It is so nice to see her moving her ears and wagging her tail again.  Even her annoying barking is pleasant to hear again as she spent many weeks just laying on her bed.

It is so hard to see those you care about suffering, even the furry ones, so happy this has a happy ending!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Don't Be An Ostrich

"Do not take comfort in the fact that your transgressions are not known by others.  That is like the ostrich with his head buried in the sand.  He sees only darkness and feels comfortably hidden.  In reality he is ridiculously conspicuous.  Likewise our every act is seen by our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son.  They know everything about us."  Elder Richard G. Scott

I know that this quote is directed toward repentance, but when I read it, the ostrich part really stuck out to me in regards to facing our emotions and past hurts.  We may have our heads buried in the sand and feel like those emotions and hurts are comfortably hidden, but just like the ostrich those pains and emotions are ridiculously conspicuous in everything we do.  Likewise our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ know everything about us, they know our pains and they want to help us through them.  We have to pull our heads out of the sand and face our emotions and hurts in order to move forward in our lives just as much as someone who needs to repent in order to move forward in their life.  Don't be an ostrich, choose to face your emotions and past, which is choosing a better life and future.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Feeling Like Myself Again

I scrapbook one day a week with a friend and the other day she was looking through some old pictures and saw one of herself and exclaimed how she looks like and feels like herself again.  She has been losing a lot of weight and physically feels and looks like herself again, but it is more than that, it is finding again who you really are.

It wasn't too long ago that the thought, "I feel like myself" had popped into my head.  I hadn't been able to say something like that in probably 8 years and it felt really good to think that thought and believe it too. I really did lose myself, not just in motherhood, like so many of us women do, but in the depths of depression, anxiety and emotional therapy.

It has taken me a long time to get to know myself again.  It took a lot of therapy, journaling, prayer and going back to the things that I used to enjoy that really brought me to know myself again.  Being kind to myself was also a really big step.  I have learned to allow myself time to get swallowed up in the couch (I have a rule that it is only in the evenings otherwise I get stuck there all day) and allow myself that time to decompress, play games, knit, watch tv and put my feet up. I feel like myself because I'm giving myself space to do things as I feel inspired, accomplish things as I have the energy and allow myself rest time when my body says its done.  I have learned that self-care is the best thing you can do for yourself.  It is so nice now to look in the mirror and when I see the face there looking back at me, I know it is me.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Don't Blink

Life sure does change in a blink of an eye and yesterday I blinked and boy did things change.  This is a picture of my son and his fiancĂ© and they are getting married in October, this we have known about for some time. 

A few weeks ago my daughter announced her engagement (the second picture is of her and her fiancĂ©) and they were looking at this January to get married.  I did suggest an earlier time frame because of school schedules so some of this is my fault.  But really, yesterday in a blink, the wedding date was moved up to November. 

So in the blink of an eye, I will be having my children married within a month of each other.  Not to mention our "adoptive" daughter should be receiving her mission call within the next week or two.  I know it is all crazy but it is also wonderful!  What more could a parent want than all of your children to make it to the temple, especially around the same time.

Years ago I kind of "adopted" one of my nieces as well and she was the first one of my "children" to make it through the temple and now I will have five more (natural, "adoptive" and "in-law" children) go through all around the same time.  The Doctor said, "don't blink," but in this case, it was a great blink!