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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Changing Myself

One major life lesson I've learned from my mom (and is being proved again and again from my own life experiences) is that the only person you can change is yourself. No matter how much you desire and how hard you try to change others- it will all be futile. It's part of God's plan for His children. We were given the gift of agency and therefore we are responsible for our own actions- not others. However, an interesting thing about human nature is that it is a million times easier to see the changes that need to be made in others than see what needs to be changed in ourselves.

In my life there's a person I would desperately love to change. This person is someone with whom I should have a close relationship with, but I don't. It's a very strained and difficult relationship. One in which I hold a lot of negative feelings (of anger, resentment, disappointment, frustration, etc.) against this person.

I've gotten to the point where I'm tired of spending so much energy on these negative feelings towards this person. I'm tired of carrying so much anger, resentment, and disappointment around with me. I want to let those feelings go. I'm not hoping for a close relationship with this person. I just hope that I can get to the point that no matter what this person says/does, that I'll be able to be calm and at peace inside. That I can stop giving this person the power to affect my emotions so negatively. I hope to get to the point that treating this person with respect and kindness isn't so difficult. I want to stop feeling on edge every time I'm around this person.

I'm ready for change.

I'm ready to stop waiting/expecting for this person to change, and finally just start working on myself. However I know that I can't get to the point I want to be at on my own. I can't bring about this change in my heart without the help of the Savior. I've held on to these feelings for too long and too deeply. I know this is going to be a long and very difficult process. I know that there'll still be times when this person makes me frustrated and hurt. But I also know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can overcome this.

I will one day be held accountable for my actions/choices I made regarding this relationship. Right now I couldn't go before my Father in Heaven with a clean conscience of my actions/feelings towards this person. Therefore I am choosing that today I will start the process of softening and changing my heart, with the Savior's help. So that one day I can stand before my Father in Heaven with a clear conscience.

As I was looking for a quote/picture to go along with this post, I came across the talk, The Merciful Obtain Mercy by Pres. Uchtdorf. It seemed that every point Pres. Uchtdorf makes was directed right at me. Coincidence? I don't think so. The entire talk is amazing, and I strongly encourage reading the entire thing. But these parts particularly hit home for me:
"The pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment and wrath from our eyes, allowing us to see others the way our Heavenly Father sees us: as flawed and imperfect mortals who have potential and worth far beyond our capacity to imagine. Because God loves us so much, we too must love and forgive each other. ... 
... In a world of accusations and unfriendliness, it is easy to gather and cast stones. But before we do so, let us remember the words of the One who is our Master and model: 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.' ...
... Brothers and sisters, there is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it through our own stubbornness, bitterness, and resentment. We are not perfect. The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way.  
Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord's way. 
Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive. 
Lay your burden at the Savior's feet. Let go of judgment. Allow Christ's Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another. The merciful will obtain mercy."
Forgiven- Greg Olsen


  1. I am also currently working on this with someone(a different person than you), and I have one tip that has helped me (when I can remember to follow it) that I'd like to pass along to you: When the person is doing something that is bothering you or that you don't like, instead of just seeing the behavior, try to see WHY the person may be acting that way, from their perspective. Are they tired? hungry? lonely? anxious? Did something else happen in their day that could be making them feel/act this way? It is a whole lot easier to have compassion for someone and to love them with Charity - the pure love of Christ, when we see them the way that Christ sees them - by looking at their heart, their hurts, their needs - and then striving to love them and bring out the best in them despite their weaknesses. It is also important to make sure that we are nourishing our own spirit as well so that we are as close to the Spirit as possible and therefore able to be our best selves because we have access to heavens help. Anyhoo, you know I'm talking to myself here as much as anybody. Don't give up. The Savior can heal ALL wounds.

  2. I'd just like to say Amen to everything Stacy said in her comment.