January 25, 2009

paradigms and blessings

my first semester of college i decided to take a saturday morning class. i have never been a morning person and especially on saturdays. but this was not just any college course, it was seven habits of highly effective people. instead of just reading the book, we dug into the book and applied its concepts to our lives. i vividly remember the first time we talked about "paradigm shifts" ... i thought the teacher was talking about something really scientific or sci-fi. little did i know that paradigm shifts would become an extravagant theme in my daily life.

paradigm: a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.
paradigm shift: representing the notion of a major change in a certain thought-pattern.

a major paradigm shift almost every human must go through is becoming less self-centered by understanding and caring about someone besides themselves. when we learn information about another person's life, it helps us see our own lives so much more clearly. each shift in our paradigm opens our eyes to the world and provokes the realization that the world does not revolve around our lives alone. a paradigm shift can sometimes feel like you've been given a whole new set of eyes - or at least a new prescription of glasses. with this broader understanding of those with whom we associate, we're given an opportunity to learn more about our own character.i believe it is for this reason that we are put in family units and are blessed with friends and other relationships. how could we ever grow to our fullest potential without experiencing paradigm shifts that can only come from our dealings with mankind? we can't. and so i believe we were not meant to live life alone. God knew that we could not succeed and return to live with Him again were it not for the help of others. He provided us with unending lifelines - our Savior Jesus Christ and earthly angels all around us. the catch? we have to allow ourselves to rely on others. we stumble and fall, yet still fight to be independent and do everything on our own. we want to serve others without needing help ourselves. but what is the point of that? what's the point of the Savior's atonement if we believe it can help everyone else but us? there would be no point. we must learn how to feel, learn how to serve, and learn how to let others serve us.

this has been my most recent paradigm shift!
we must let others serve us. are we better than anyone else? no! we are all at different stages and levels of life. but the common factor at every age is our need for love. sometimes we don't even realize that's what we need! these are the times when the greatest blessings come in the shape of loved ones. i have some amazing angels in my life who have said little things here and done little things there. they've helped me keep going at some of my darkest moments.
savannah and jenna are two of my angels most recently. savie, thank you so much for the flowers and soup - i can't tell you how much it warmed my heart to see you! jenna, thank you for getting me out of my house for the first time in days! i am so blessed.