Have you ever felt like you don't fit in? Like you know what others expect of you but you realize you aren't living that way now, and that might not ever be your experience? You realize that the way others want you to live may be better. Yet, you want people to value you now. You don't want to have to wait till you fit into the bubble they have designed for your perfect life for them to realize your worth.
I think most of us have felt this way at one time or another in our lives. I have found that usually, the things that bother us the most about others are the things that we have the hardest time with ourselves. It's either we are jealous that they are making choices we wish we would have made, or we feel like what they "expect" for our lives will never come to pass. Some life decisions happen quickly and the consequences come on fast. Other times and probably the more common thing is that we make small decisions daily that lead us to become someone better or someone we never intended to be in the first place. It can feel very frustrating and almost impossible to change because we realize the pattern that we've created in our lives will have to be stopped and combated over and over and over again in our daily lives. Most change doesn't happen overnight. Most change involves daily actions that have to be repeated day in and day out.
I've heard people say you have to have a big enough "why". You have to believe in that change so much that nothing is going to stop you. While I do believe that is true, from my perspective I feel like it starts in our brains. We have to decide what we are going to tell ourselves every time the temptation to stay the same hits. Are we going to be willing to have compassion for ourselves or are we going to hate ourselves through the whole process? Are we going to tell ourselves why we are making the choice every time the temptation comes up? Are we willing to step outside our normal comfort zone over and over again? How are we going to combat this pattern?
Over the years I've heard lots of suggestions on how to make a change. Today I will share one. The first step in this process is to write down all your thoughts about why you are the way you are NOW. Who of you has said things you don't like about the decisions you've made? What thoughts come to mind when you are making this decision? What are the hard things you've dealt with that have made making this decision seem necessary or worth it? Does making this choice daily help you handle your life better? Do you feel powerless when making this decision? It's important to just notice in this step, be an investigator. This is not a time to beat ourselves up once again for the choices we make. I would suggest doing this over a couple of days and just writing down what you observe as if you were watching your life on a movie screen.
Once you've decided the investigation period is over now it is time to take a look at the thoughts that you've written down. Do you want to keep those thoughts? What are the results you want to have instead? What thoughts could you think that could help your goal feel possible? Write them down. You can either choose to keep the thoughts, change the thoughts, or completely throw them away. If you decide you want to change those thoughts, I would literally cross out your old thoughts and then write new thoughts on another page. If you decided you want to throw them away I would literally rip up, or burn the thoughts that aren't serving you. Taking the time to rip them or burn them really magnifies in your brain that this is not something you want to think.
If you find that this is a hard process to do by yourself maybe find a coach who could help guide you through this process. If being alone with your thoughts is a scary thing for you I would suggest talking to a licensed therapist or a coach so that you can open up in a safe environment. I will mention that I have been there and I would try and do anything I could to avoid being alone with my thoughts because they seemed too scary.
This process is not always easy and it can feel like no one cares or understands. The Lord loves us how we are now. He absolutely will accept us exactly how we are, with all our flaws and our insecurities. Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, "Because God’s love is all-embracing, some speak of it as “unconditional,” and in their minds they may project that thought to mean that God’s blessings are “unconditional” and that salvation is “unconditional.” They are not. Some are wont to say, “The Savior loves me just as I am,” and that is certainly true. But He cannot take any of us into His kingdom just as we are, “for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence.”7 Our sins must first be resolved." God will for sure take us how we are, with all our flaws and insecurities, but if we want to make it back to him we must know how to change and repent. That is why having tools to help us have lasting change are worth the effort it takes to make them happen. It does require effort, it is not easy, but it is worth it!
With much love,
Christy and the family
P.S. Much of what I talked about above I need to work on myself and I am in the process of working on ways to shift my life to become more of what I want it to be. Don't feel discouraged if you feel this is too much. Every little bit of effort you take will be worth it in the end!
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