Sunday, December 27, 2015
By Beckie Carlson
I've been thinking a lot about words and how we use them.
In my Relief Society lesson today, we talked about questions we have and the right way to get answers from our Heavenly Father. We not only have to have the right question, we have to be willing to act upon the answer we get. This can be easier said than done. I have a standing rule in my life: Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answer to. I started this mantra years ago while my husband was still alive. I realized, many of the questions women ask their men have no good answer.
"Does this make me look fat?"
Seriously ladies, is there a safe answer to that? If he says yes, he just called you fat and you are in tears. If he says no, you know he is lying because you already know you do. We set men up to fail all the time. It isn't fair. Don't ask if you can't handle the answer.
This is true when I pray. Many times, I have worked out an answer on my own, as we are supposed to do, but I'm really not ready for the answer. I'm either afraid the Lord will not agree with my predetermined answer, or he WILL agree and I will have to do something hard or unpleasant. This is probably why I have stress in my life. I have cursed myself due to my lack of confidence and faith in the answers I need.
I was recently reading a book entitled, "How to get married in a year." Go ahead, laugh. I bought it for a 'friend' and thought I would just 'preview it' to make sure it was good. And, it was cheaper than therapy. The book is pretty interesting. It is like a work book that asks the reader (patient) to do a great deal of introspection and self reflection. You might think a book with this title would give you maps and locations of the most eligible bachelors, but it doesn't. The book's goal is to help the reader be a person ready for marriage.
I was doing well with the assignments, on track for the year mark, until I got to one question.
"What brings you joy?"
I literally set my pen down and sat back. What did bring me joy? What was joy? What was/is the difference between joy and happiness. Is it different than excitement or anticipation? Euphoria...what about that? I couldn't go on. I didn't know.
Part of me thought of my children. I love them more than anything. Is love joy?
I thought of the high I get from teaching. Is that joy?
I reflected on the satisfaction I get from writing something great. Maybe this was joy?
Realizing I didn't know what brought me joy caused a sort of 'shut down' in my year plan. I didn't know what brought me joy. Maybe I wasn't a happy person. Maybe I was depressed or even depressing! No wonder I was single.
My focus has changed. I would still like to get married, but I realize I have to figure me out first. I need to discover what brings me joy. I need to define joy for myself and seek it out on a daily basis.
What brings YOU great joy??
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