About honesty

honesty big word

When I first got clean I learned that honesty is a spiritual principle that I had to learn to practice.

I’m not just talking about not lying to people, not stealing and giving back extra change a cashier might give me. I also have to be extremely honest with myself about how I am feeling and acting. I lied to myself for so many years that it was a hard lesson to learn, but it is more than worth the work!

If I am not brutally honest with myself there is a chance that I will go back to the denial that I lived in for so many years. As I practice self honesty, I can also continue to grow as I act on the information I find in my step work and receive in personal revelation. This way I can continue growing in recovery and as a child of God.

I have also learned that I have to be honest in my important personal relationships. Though the voice in my head says that I am not good enough, and if I am not exactly what my people want then they will not love me, today I know that is a lie and I know from experience that when I am honest, truly honest with my people about how I feel and how I am doing, that my relationships are much better!!

I spent way too many years being scared of showing my true self to those I love and because of that there were always gaps in those relationships. Today, as I am honest in my relationships, they grow!

Then Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him

The conference talk that I am teaching on in Relief Society this week is “Then Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him” by Elder S. Mark Palmer. It is a great talk and I learn new things every time that I read it.

First he tells a personal story relating to Mark chapter 10. He tells of how as a Mission President he was listening to the New Testament while driving and he heard a new part of this chapter…

“There came one running … and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

“And Jesus said unto him, …

“Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

“And he answered … , Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

His take on those six words

As I heard these words, a vivid image filled my mind of our Lord pausing and beholding this young man. Beholding—as in looking deeply and penetratingly into his soul, recognizing his goodness and also his potential, as well as discerning his greatest need.

Then the simple words—Jesus loved him. He felt an overwhelming love and compassion for this good young man, and because of this love and with this love, Jesus asked even more of him. I pictured what it must have felt like for this young man to be enveloped by such love even while being asked to do something so supremely hard as selling all he owned and giving it to the poor.

He then speaks about how with this new information, he was able to love more and be a better Mission President.

Next he gave 4 lessons he has learned that he believes will help us. I agree. I have learned some of them and am hopefully learning more each day.

As we learn to see others as the Lord sees them rather than with our own eyes, our love for them will grow and so will our desire to help them.

I am slowly learning this. But I do have some very positive experience with it. As I pray daily for the ability to love all of Heavenly Father’s children as He does, I am a better person and I can treat other’s better.

No true teaching or learning will ever occur when done in frustration or anger, and hearts will not change where love is not present.

This one is a principle that Heavenly Father is currently trying to teach me. He has been attempting to show me this for a bit now, and I am finally starting to be able to apply it to my daily life. I pray that I will be able to continue to apply this consistently in my life.

Love should never be withdrawn when a child, friend, or family member fails to live up to our expectations.

God taught this to me through the 12 steps. He revealed to me that I am to love people and accept them for exactly who and where they are. I am not suppose to try to control them, I am just suppose to love them. I even wrote a blog about acceptance recently which talks about this, you can read it here.

Because He loves us, the Lord expects much of us.

This one I do not have much personal conscious experience with. I do know that as I have developed my relationship with Heavenly Father I have consciously decided to obey more and more of His commandments, and as I have done so, I get to a new level of understanding and obedience and that just continues to grow as my faith, trust and journey continue.

I love this next paragraph:

My dear brothers and sisters, now anytime you feel you are being asked to do something hard—give up a poor habit or an addiction, put aside worldly pursuits, sacrifice a favorite activity because it is the Sabbath, forgive someone who has wronged you—think of the Lord beholding you, loving you, and inviting you to let it go and follow Him. And thank Him for loving you enough to invite you to do more.

That is so wonderful to me!! I know in my heart that Heavenly Father and Jesus love me! I have much personal experience with this. I also know that as I have allowed it, Jesus has guided me in my life and brought me to where I am today. But just the thought of Jesus looking into my eyes and “beholding” me almost brings me to tears.

I testify that Jesus lives, He loves you and me! He wants us to succeed in our lessons in this life and He is ready and waiting to guide us in this journey! We just have to be willing to do our part.

In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.

On forgiveness

In the book of Matthew we are told how often to forgive: (Matthew 18: 21-22)

21 ¶ Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me,  and forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times  seven.

 And then in the Doctrine and Covenants, Jesus is even more specific.

D&C 64:10 –  I, the Lord, will forgive whom will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

 

I personally know that the last scripture is for me. In the time that I have been in recovery, Jesus has made it known to me that I “must” forgive everyone!! Regardless or what they have done to me, or regardless of if they want to be forgiven. I am to forgive them.

I have also come to the conclusion that forgiving others has nothing to do with them. It is all about me.

Jesus wants me to forgive others because forgiving others helps keeps resentment out of my spirit. It helps keep me free from anger, it helps keep my spirit clean and happy.

It is just another lesson, that the commandments (rules, whatever) that Heavenly Father and my Savior give to me are for my good. They are to help me learn the lessons that I need to learn to return to Heavenly Father. They are not meant to limit my fun or to take away from me in any way!!

 

About Acceptance

Acceptance is one of the spiritual principles that I learned about early in my recovery. I have been saying for 10 years or so that acceptance is my favorite spiritual principle. It is! The reason for this is:  when I accept people and circumstances for exactly what they are, I am better in my head.

When I accepted that I was an addict, that I can not control my use of drugs, I was free to stop using and find a solution. When I accepted that NA was my solution, I was free to immerse my self in the 12 steps. As I worked the steps I was able to find a relationship with God and allow Him to guide my life.

As I accepted that my husband loved me (he had been proving that to me for over 20 years), I could stop listening to the voice in my head that said I wasn’t good enough for him so he was looking for someone else. I could finally accept his love just as it was!

When I accept myself as a human being who is going to make mistakes, I can forgive myself for my mistakes and try to do better today. And, I can also forgive others for their mistakes.

When I accept that life is not fair I can just let it be what it is, I don’t have to keep score!!

I gain peace of mind as I practice acceptance!!

HUGS

Spiritual experiences

A Mormon blogger that I follow (Middleaged Mormon Man) challenged his readers to write down their top ten spiritual experiences. I accepted the challenge. 

I have really enjoyed writing out my spiritual experiences. This exercise has accomplished multiple things.

1.  My top 10 spiritual experiences are now written down for future generations and my future self to learn from

2. I got to reexperience these great spiritual moments in my life

3. I realized that not all spiritual experiences have to be religious in nature

4. I spent some extra time over the past few days in a spiritual place rather than just passing time

Maybe you would enjoy writing down some of your spiritual experiences too. If so, please let me know how it went.

Have a great Monday!!!

(((HUGS)))

Faith

“How Shall We Live?

The Apostle Paul, quoting an Old Testament prophet, summarized what it means to be a believer when he wrote, 

“The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

Perhaps in this simple statement we understand the difference between a religion that is frail and ineffectual and one that has the power to transform lives.

But to understand what it means to live by faith, we must understand what faith is.

Faith is more than belief. It is complete trust in God accompanied by action. It is more than wishing. It is more than merely sitting back, nodding our heads, and saying we agree. When we say “the just shall live by faith,” we mean we are guided and directed by our faith. We act in a manner that is consistent with our faith—not out of a sense of thoughtless obedience but out of a confident and sincere love for our God and for the priceless wisdom He has revealed to His children.

Faith must be accompanied by action; else it has no life (see James 2:17). It is not faith at all. It doesn’t have the power to change a single individual, let alone the world.

Men and women of faith trust in their merciful Heavenly Father—even during times of uncertainty, even during times of doubt and adversity when they may not see perfectly or understand clearly.

Men and women of faith earnestly walk the path of discipleship and strive to follow the example of their beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. Faith motivates and, indeed, inspires us to incline our hearts to heaven and to actively reach out, lift up, and bless our fellowmen.

Religion without action is like soap that remains in the box. It may have wondrous potential, but in reality it has little power to make a difference until it fulfills its intended purpose. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of action. The Church of Jesus Christ teaches true religion as a message of hope, faith, and charity, including helping our fellowmen in spiritual and temporal ways.”

Those words are from “The Just Shall Live By Faith” by Presidebt Dieter F. Uchtdorf. 

I read this today and really needed the message! 

I have fibromyalgia and the symptoms have been extremely vivid (?) for a little over a week. The pain and exhaustion have been more than double their normal. President Uchtdorf’s words helped me remember that no matter how my physical symptoms are, God loves me, Jesus understands and I get to live patiently through my trials (Alma17:11)

(((HUGS)))

Happy birthday to me

Happy birthday to me

Today I turn 50 years old!!

I am very excited to get to turn 50! Part of the reason for that is: on Oct 15 of 2002, I attempted suicide. 

I was in such a dark place. I was out of the anti-depressants I had been taking for years, I was emotionally miserable and the voices in my head told me that life was too hard, would never get better or easier and that those I loved would be better off without me. Fortunately the person I was with at that time woke up 10 minutes later and knew I had done something, so took me to the hospital. The next day I had anti-depressants which helped some, but I was still very unhappy. I tried many things over the next few years to get happy, including prescription and illegal drugs, change of environment, change of relationships, but nothing really helped.

Then in March of 2006 I admitted myself to the local psychiatric hospital because I was having suicidal thoughts again. I stayed there for 10 days and got on some medications, but when I was discharged I went right back to my same lifestyle. There is no anti-depressant made that will counteract the come down from meth!! So I was still having massive up and downs. But fortunately God intervened soon after that!!

Today, my life is amazing!! I am happy! I am content! I like myself and I love my life! I have been clean for over 10 years, have worked the 12 steps multiple times, I have a wonderful relationship with Heavenly Father and many great relationships with family and friends!

Today I wouldn’t trade my life for anything!

So you can see why I am very happy to be turning 50!!

(((HUGS)))