Archive for February 28th, 2014

I’m stealing this from another post floating around Facebook that I can’t find anymore to give it credit. I loved the basis for the article and the content wasn’t necessarily wrong — it just was different from my experiences and I want something a little more personal. 

Music heals the soul. Music can reach deep enough that words alone can’t go. Into the depth of your soul where it is hard to let anything in. Let it move you, strengthen you, make you smile. 

I have minimal musical talent. I can’t even play chopsticks on the piano, couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket if my life depended on it. I have no sense of rhythm and can’t even dance (I love to try, I’m just prepared to laugh at myself).  I love music though, I even enjoy watching people who enjoy sharing their talent. My musical talent is letting music into my soul. I have a playlist for when I’m not certain I can even get up out of bed because everything seems so impossible. The opening chords to the first song start to lift my spirits before and words are even spoken. 

Listen to your body. There is only so much stress and Hard Things your body can handle before it starts struggling. A vague stomach ache, shingles, immune system not being up to par. Listen before it gets to that point because shingles seriously suck, help nothing and just make everything more miserable.

Want to know how to listen?  That is harder for to describe but find a quiet place, I prefer on a grassy hill in the sunshine but it is February in Utah so I take what’s available and comfortable. I clear my mind (this part took a lot of practice and still can take sometime) and pay attention to what I’m feeling. Is the grass tickling to my legs?  There’s a smooth rock under my shoulder, the sun is warm on my face, my neck is tense, I can smell spring flowers (or maybe the stink from the trash truck is blowing towards you).  When I first started I’d run through all the senses systematically and it helped teach me. My body knows before I do when I’m not doing okay, but sometimes it has to yell at me because I forget to take the time to listen.
Also, be good to your body. Eat well, exercise a little everyday (walking is my choice), get enough sleep, if your physician has prescribed meds take them.  You want your body on your side while tackling whatever Hard Thing you are battling now or may lie ahead.

Faith.  “If the foundation of faith is not embedded in our hearts, the power to endure will crumble.” Henry B. Eyring

The morning after the most difficult night of my life I felt as if nothing around me were true.  All the facts I’d learned in school.  Yes, the sky is still blue.  The floor is still under me so gravity must work.  I went through in the quiet before the kids woke reorienting myself to my life.  I can’t say I awoke because I didn’t sleep but when I was pulled out of my daze by a phone call checking on me the only thing I knew is that Christ still loved me.  Knowledge was temporarily lost, but faith sung about in Primary rooms every Sunday was with me.  I believe my faith in Christ’s love for me was stronger that morning than it ever was before or since.

I’ve since come to learn that faith isn’t just a passive emotion or concept described by philosophers and religions but it is an action word.  My faith isn’t something that I can describe to others how I feel but something I show by my actions.  It doesn’t take large amounts of faith to begin, just the “particle of faith” spoken of in Alma.  My faith isn’t what I believe in, it is who I am.

Above is a description of my faith and what pulled me through my darkest days one hour at a time, everyone’s faith is going to be stronger in different areas or different doctrine completely and that’s okay.  Faith can be character strengthening.

Discover your friends.  I’ve not found anything that clarifies a friendship as much as a difficult trial and ongoing struggles. 

I’ve redefined friends in my mind, only distinguished by punctuation or mental notes.  There are “friends” which wouldn’t be inappropriate to use air quotes around with the exception of it isn’t kind.  These are the people that I’m friendly with whether out of obligation of work, location, kids in the same activities etc.  They seem to come and go with staffing changes, seasonal activities ending, or moving much like a dandelion gone to seed in the wind. I know I listed coworkers here so I feel I should note that currently my coworkers aren’t just “friends”  Working in a small department in a small hospital you can form unique bonds over generally unpleasant tasks.  I have worked places where my coworkers were “friends” but not now — perhaps I need to come up with a difference for my current work buddies. Then there are friends.  Webster dictionary type friends who you hang out with, have interests in common, share activities etc.  You enjoy each others company and get along well.  The discovery part comes when you realize you need friends.  You may or may not do many social things with friends but without a doubt you know they are there when you need them.  Then you realize that they’re there when you didn’t realize you need them — they know you so well that they knew what you needed before you did.  You don’t care if they see you when your dishes are undone or you’ve just rolled out of bed.  Friends are willing to get down in the muck of hard things are help you through.  I think of mine as angels walking around disguised as humans and I count them among my most valued treasures.

Somewhere in a journal I have a list of other things, but as I sit here unable to sleep and thinking back over this past week I wouldn’t wish my pile of hard things on anyone, but if it was what was required for me to learn and to trust in others again I’ll pick up my pile of Hard Things and keep stumbling forward.  If there was a way to do it and protect those I love most in my life I’d be even happier.  What I wouldn’t give to be able to wrap up my knowledge learned the hard way in a package and gift it to them.  This moment of peace and clarity has let me look back and see how I’ve not only discovered my “friends,” friends, and friends I have discovered myself along the way too.  I’d say I’ll come back and edit in the rest of my list but you and I both know I’ve not yet done that to any post I’ve said I will.  So, I’d like to but I’m not making any promises right now that I don’t intend to keep.

Read Full Post »