Prickles

Normally I post education related things, but that isn’t the case with this post. I haven’t posted anything in a very long time because I confess, my life is insane. So insane, that I don’t even want to go into it. What I do want to talk about is how I’m coping with all of this insanity.

I am feeling a turn lately toward my God.

I have found that I need him. Like I actually can’t handle my life without him. I fall apart when I turn away from my Heavenly Father. Panic attacks, random crying episodes, anxiety, nightmares. And if you knew the intricacies of my life, you’d probably expect that kind of reaction.

But I’ve found that I don’t have to live that way. I made one simple change a few weeks ago, that turned that all around. I began reading the Book of Mormon every day. Again.

It’s something that I used to do, but had put aside in order to make time to study Doctrine and Covenants for my Sunday school class. Then, as I listened to conference, I was reminded of the promises that come with reading the Book of Mormon. I committed myself to reading every day, at least one chapter, and the blessings were immediate. My problems didn’t go away or change, but my ability to cope with them improved.

As I read, I noticed different things and gained new insights that I never had before – even though I’d read it cover to cover repeatedly for 5 years. I began to realize there are things I do that prevent me from being as happy and confident as I could be. These aren’t “bad” things (i.e. binge watching Netflix, cruising Facebook, and getting lost in books), but they were coping mechanisms to distract me from the stress of life. The thing is that I also distract myself from the good things – the things that actually help me cope and progress. I realized that I need to get my head out of these distractions and genuinely turn toward God for help.

The thing is that genuinely turning toward God means putting the distractions of life aside and genuinely turning toward him. And the more I do that, the more I catch glimpses of ugly prickles on myself that I need to smooth out. See, the truth is that living the gospel in a shallow way means that I don’t have to look at those prickles. I can be happy with good enough.

A genuine turn toward God means not being satisfied with “good enough”. It means taking a good hard look at those prickles that are part of me and cutting them off or smoothing them out. Today was one of the few days that I was forced to sit without distractions and just be with myself… (despite the fact that I was in a room full of people). And what I found is that I’m not happy with “good enough”. I really want to be more.

Which means I have to take a good hard look at those prickles and do something about them.

That is not easy my friends.

But I’m working on it.

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