Thursday, February 4, 2016

Life is hard and it's OK

I recently read an article from Time about how to deal with anger based on neuroscience. Basically it said that according to science,  neither suppressing anger or venting it helps. The only thing that can help you feel differently is if you distract yourself, or in essence, change your perspective. For instance, if someone is blowing up at you and you tell yourself "it's not about me, they must be having a bad day," you can feel totally calm despite the confrontation. 

This has really stuck with me and I think it can apply to other things as well. I know my husband has learned the only thing to help with anxiety is to accept it and experience it. I know when I have negative thoughts I can't address them, I have to shift to a different thought pattern. It's about re-writing your mental dialogue. That supports what we learn in the gospel, that in our trials our eternal perspective allows us to have peace.

Last night I had a chance to apply this in another way. It hit me that having a child disobey you is a very unpleasant feeling. But as I was praying about it I realized maybe it's not bad to experience unpleasant feelings. I cannot control my child. The scripture came to mind, "Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high." [D&C 121:7-8] If you endure it well! It's not about avoiding discomfort, it's about doing the right thing. So applied to parenting (my life right now) that means learning how to be a good parent, rather than trying to control my child.

So without getting into specifics of how to parent, I think as in all things, this is a balance of finding God's will - what He wants us to change (and we can only change ourselves, even if that means how we influence our child) and what he wants us to accept.

Lately I have been surprised at how delicate my faith is. Things can be going well and I can feel great one day, and the next feel completely discouraged. Maybe it's part of the package of being a young parent with little sleep, constant change and unpredictability, and not much time for personal devotions or exercise. But I think it is probably just life! The covenant path is not an easy one!

This article in the January Ensign, Revealed Realities of Mortality was also very insightful. Hard work is our common lot, and the way to become more like God. Marriage and parenting are also the vehicle to our refinement and exaltation. This sentence definitely resonated with me right now:

"Bearing children is neither easy nor convenient, but it is a commandment that helps us realize the real blessings of mortality.

So I am trying to embrace that life is hard and turn to the Savior for help. This world is so evil, and life has so much opposition. But I am choosing faith. And I believe that will help me find joy in the journey.

my Joy

To Arizona

I feel like I owe Arizona an apology. Anyone who knows me will know I have whined a lot about living here. I'm sure it's been obnoxious even.

While this Is still not where I want to settle and raise our family, I just want to acknowledge that Arizona is not all bad and explain that my strong negative emotions came I believe as a result of a combination of many circumstances. Yes the summer heat is horrible, but it is also the ghetto complex we live in, the loneliness I felt for a long time, being pregnant during the summer, my husband being in grad school etc.

On the contrary, today I feel there are many beautiful things that are special to me about my time here.

Sunsets, those desert bushes that smell amazingly like water, the mountains and stars.

Mostly the friends. I know once we finally leave this place and settle into our new home who knows where, my heart will ache for the many wonderful and deep friendships I have formed here.