April 30, 2011

ringing true

at the beginning of april, it was that delightful time that comes twice a year for those of us who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:

growing up in the church, i was always taught that the best way to prepare for general conference was to have  a personal question i wanted an answer to and the either by the voice/words of the Lord's servants or the spirit brought from them, an answer would be found.


i have been thinking a lot about myself lately.

doesn't that sound so selfish?

haha... maybe it is. but i am twenty-three years old. single. at the crossroads of my life.
i believe right now thinking about myself is apropos.

{apropos - it's been my favorite word for a while now, .... i'm glad i could find a way to fit it in!}

often, when pondering myself and my life, i think about what i have accomplished and the things i do, wondering if they're "enough." am i the person i want to be? am i doing the right things? am i failing? do i disappoint those around me? and ultimately, do i disappoint my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ?

all of those questions constantly bouncing around my head fall under one umbrella question: am i a good person?

up until this point, I haven't really been able to answer that. however, there was one talk in conference that i felt Heavenly Father put in just for me.

here is a video of the actual talk and you should watch it -- if you can get past his excessive hand usage. although, i understand why he uses them {to help clear any confusion}.... anyway, this is definitely tied for my favorite talk this year.

here are some parts that i love:

  • the do {behavior} is only a symptom of the unseen motive in our hearts.
  • like the advice to "condemn the sin and not the sinner," we should not believe that the things we do wrong are who we are. {quoting carol dweck: “never let failure progress from an action to an identity,” with its attendant labels like “stupid,” “slow,” “lazy,” or “clumsy.”}
  • what a person does for a living and what they own should not define their identity or self-worth. this should come from their character and beliefs—who they are.

by far the best part of the whole talk {for me, anyway}:

we are children of God. that is our true identity and potential. "His very plan is to help His children overcome mistakes and misdeeds and to progress to become as He is. disappointing behavior, therefore, should be considered as something temporary, not permanentan act, not an identity."

i am a child of God.
He sent me here.
He knows i make mistakes.
He loves me anyway.
because what i do can be only temporary.
those actions, mistakes, are not what make me who i am.
because who am i?
i am a child of God.

Heavenly Father knew the questions in my heart and sent me this talk as an answer.
now, i have needed time to let it soak in.... the longer i think about the lessons this talk taught me, the more i learn from it! my beliefs are slowly changing and i am trying hard to believe in my potential.

the following quotes are helping me:

"success in life was not to be measured in terms of money and personal advancement, but rather the goal must be the richest and highest development of one's own potential."actor, singer, and black activist paul robeson

"if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours."henry david thoreau

paul robeson's quote spoke to my heart because if success in life was measured in terms of money and personal advancement, i would be weighed, measured, and ultimately be found wanting. but to think that it is actually the development of my own potential that success is truly measured by gives me a sense of peace with where i am.

thoreau's quote has been printed on a piece of paper that i've kept with me for too many years to count. i seem to forget about it, then look at it right when i happen to need a reminder that dreams can be achieved.... success is attainable. sometimes i need the 'fake it til i make it' sentiment - or something to that effect. i know that because of who i am, anything is possible. now i just have to work on the do.