Saturday, September 29, 2007

I Fell In Love In Hawaii!

It had been a whirlwind week!

The moment for my even being in Hawaii was at hand. The marriage of one of my best friends in the Laie Hawaiian temple. It had been a beautiful week. I knew I would have fun and this really was the trip of a life time. Not because it was beautiful Hawaii but because it changed my life.

A couple of weeks before going I took some down time away from friends and family. I asked myself some serious questions about my life- where I was and what I was doing in comparison to where I wanted to be. What I really wanted was to put some thought into how I was going to achieve the things I really desired. I felt going on this vacation was would help bring clarity and the opportunity to contemplate and focus on these things so when I returned to Utah I would be headed in a specific direction and working toward new goals.

I had asked the Lord to show me those things I desired and to give me the knowledge I needed to accomplish them.

Being with Lori and her family was an amazing experience. Every time they met, each family member was greeted with a hug and kiss. From oldest down to youngest, Grandma, Uncle, brothers, sisters, niece, nephews and cousins. It didn't matter that they saw each other every day at school, or in the store or whatever. Even their words of discipline, when needed were filled with care and respect. Saying goodbye was the same way and very genuine.

Watching Lori and her fiance gave me perspective on relationships and communicating. Recently, I've been upset with myself and this lashing tongue I have always getting me into trouble and fights. In April 2007 General conference Elder Jeffery R Holland spoke on "speaking with the tongue of angels." There's been very few weeks that have gone by that I've not read or listened to that talk since April and I still was not doing very well with my goal.

She and I had many great talks about her new family situation. This was not going to be easy for her and I was able to have a first hand experience of what lies ahead of her. I've seen how my "ghetto Island twin" turned handling anger, hurt and disappointment into something more peaceful and tolerable. It touched my very soul. I knew if SHE could do it, I could as well.

Although Lori was getting married, I felt like a Hawaiian princess- her family and friends, family and friends I had known for years but never met, showed me such love and respect. So did strangers on the island. I came to believe I was actually worthy of it. If I could sum up my trip in 3 words it would be: Love, Laughter, and Family togetherness. Because that's what we did the whole week.

The morning of the wedding I was overcome with so much love and joy for Lori and Ben. I felt as if I would burst open and just spill that love over to everyone around me like a volcano. I can remember few times when I felt so much joy and wanted to share all of it.

After the ceremony I walked around the temple grounds and feelings of familiarity came over me- the ceremonies held within, The sacred words and promises we speak inside, the feelings of peace, security and timelessness. Feelings of eternity washed over me.

Although I was looking at myself outside through the reflection of the lobby door I saw myself dressed in white. Those I have always loved and come to love were by my side in the reflection. I looked at a woman in the reflection surrounded by her friends and family and felt an overwhelming love and respect I had never known.

I loved her Mocha skin and her curly, braided hair. Her brown eyes and full lips. Even the scars across her eyebrows. The span of her hips and her ample breast. The woman in the reflection smiled back at me as if to say "welcome, we've been waiting for you!" 40 years. Its' taken me 40 years to find the proper love and respect for this woman.

That experience happened 2 weeks ago today.

Coming back home to Utah was difficult. I've felt differently about myself, the people around me and some of the things around me as well.

Some people I've known for years were like strangers to me.

Certain people and things don't feel right any more. They don't fit into my life while others seem to find a place to be drawn within me automatically.

The contemplating I did while in away caused me to struggle the first week I was home. I did a self imposed isolation. Not yet knowing where to go, what to do and how to even began gave me tear filled days and nights. There were times when I would be at work and have to rush to restroom to collect and compose myself before I could continue with the day. I thought I would have a nervous breakdown. I was confused and my heart felt as if it were mourning for those things and people I knew I would need to part with. I wasn't sure who or what I would be allowed to keep when the smoke cleared so I stayed clear of everyone I could.

This lasted until just a week ago. By the time last Saturday night came I was so mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. There was no more fight in me. I slept hard.

My dreams were like a book of knowledge being opened and presented before me.

I was taken back to certain situations I had already lived. But I saw them differently then I lived them. A knowledge of truth manifested itself in those situations. I was able to see them in full clarity, intention and purpose. I saw the reasons behind what I could not understand while actually living the experience. With that I heard my own harsh and stinging words lash out at others based on my own limited knowledge of what i assumed the situation to be. It was not pretty. I felt the hurt and pain I put others through with my lashing tongue.

I saw the people I loved turn and walk away, not because I was not worthy of their love as I had assumed, but because I couldn't see or appreciate the love they'd given me. I focused on the lack of what I was feeling, not by them, but because I didn't have within what I was requesting from everyone else. It is very unloving to ask others to give you something you do not give yourself. I pushed people away with my attitudes and hardness and stinging words and actions.

My inability to love myself caused me to turn away everyone Else's efforts and attempts to love and support me.

When I woke up last Sunday morning my mind and heart were crystal clear. As I went to church Sunday and walked into Relief Society I felt that love I had in Hawaii. The lesson in Relief Society was... "The Tongue Of Angels" by Elder Jeffery R Holland. I smiled and wiped a way a small tear. If you don't think Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need and the times we need it, think again. If he knows when every leaf on a tree falls, he certainly knows every detail of our lives and exactly what we need.

I remembered the woman in the reflection of the temple doors just a week prior. She was waiting 40 years to take her rightful place. And so she has. I fell in love in Hawaii. I fell in love with me.

"His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches over me."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Free Therapy...

I collect journals. I have lots of them. Some are half written, some are blank and some are full. Each depicts some sort of stage in my life. I made the mistake of sitting in the middle of my bedroom floor and going through them as I was cleaning my room. My room is still a mess, but I feel good after reading and waxing nostalgic. I came across a passage dated

9/15/96: "My daughter started gymnastics today. She's terrible at it but had the greatest time. She was so determined to do a cartwheel that she cried when I pulled her in at 9pm to eat dinner and go to bed. I think I've lost some of that kind of determination to accomplish my goals"

This is helping me be more determined and committed to the goals I've made for myself this year.

December 31,1995

A quote from President Howard W. Hunter:

"This Christmas

Mend a quarrel

seek out forgotten friends

dismiss suspicion and replace with trust

write a letter, give a soft answer

encourage youth

Manifest your loyalty in words & deed

keep a promise

Forgo a grudge, forgive an enemy, apologize

try to understand

examine your demands on others

think first of someone else

be kind, be gentle

Laugh a little more

Express your gratitude, welcome a stranger

Gladden the heart of a child

Take pleasure in the Beauty and wonder of the earth

Speak your love

and then speak it again."

I actually cried when I read this tonight. It's so difficult when you feel like you're bending for others most of the time and ready to break. In reality, others are bending for you and you just don't always know it. The good thing is, God made us "bendable" and we will NOT break. We should seek to always bend for each other.

Which brings me to A quote in this year's Journal Entry. It's from my General Conference Journal. Jeffery R. Holland spoke on "Having the Tongue of Angels."

He said

"Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith and hope and charity."

And he Quoted Ephesians 4:29-32:

"let no corrupt communication proceed from your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.

And grieve not the holy spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.

And be ye kind to one another , tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

I started working on this about a week ago. You know when you set yourself up to make changes, REAL changes, everything that can tempt your determination about that change will come up. And so it has with me. I'm quick to find fault and point out how I feel and why I'm angry and such. So I took some time out last week to sit and contemplate how to do set about this change. And low and behold, last Sunday, something happened that pissed me off. I was furious. But instead of doing my normal thing which would be to "bless someone out" as my grandfather would say. I chose to be silent. I keep thinking of Bambi... if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. So I figure with the way I can go off.. the less said the better, keep it short and as nice as I can at the moment and it will be better than the norm. I know there's a balance in there somewhere and finding it will be the key. Is silence better than a whipping tongue? I know it will take time because to be able to master this, it comes with changing the thought process, which comes about when there's a change in the heart. This won't happen over night I've got to be consistant. I'm screaming on the inside and hurt, but I can't feed into it.

Heaven Help ME! LOL.

Another journal entry :

November 13, 1996

Reality check: If I went back home today would The Father be proud of what I've accomplished? Am I ready to go home today? How am I preparing my life to be when I return? When I get home, where will I end up?

ACK! What would happend if I didnt wake in the morning? What have I set myself up to do and where am I placing myself to be in the eternities? None of us are promised tomorrow.

Ok last journal entry, and it's not really an entry. I have a "family history journal" which is more in the form of a scrapbook. I cracked that baby open tonight and flipped through the pages: My younger brothers wedding program, my family pedigree chart, Some family pictures, passages on places I've lived and things I liked to do at the time.

I turned a page and there it was.. a pictures of this pretty young woman with the Jordon River Temple behind her. There was a pink card next to the pictures with the words written:

"Own Endowment 16, May, 1992" With my name written across the card. Underneath is a picture of the Savior and the quote:

"I will not forget thee, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." Isaiah 49:15-16

The feelings of that day came over me in a rush. The excitement, the anticipation. The shock of actually believing I made it to this point after all the mistakes I'd managed to make in my life at that point. I remember how nervous I wasn't. How calm and at peace I was on that day. I floated. I laughed, I was soo happy. I felt so loved and adored by all my friends who were with me that day. I was committed to the convenants I had just made. The world felt right, the people in my life felt right and we were all seamless unto each other and the father. I was able to live how Elder Holland was asking us to live. I was focused on who and what things were important and everything else didn't matter. There was no petty fighting, arguments or even desires to criticize anyone, because there was no need. We were all too busy supporting and uplifting one another. As I recall this went on for at least a couple of years, this happiness. I guess as time goes on we stop doing those little things that we don't think will matter but now, looking back make all the difference in the world. I remember the things I was doing at that time. Thing so simple. So easy. So simple and easy that omitting them didn't seem like a big deal. Well it is a big deal. I recall that same happiness I felt on May 16, 1992 came to me again in abundance May 10, 2007. And here it is Sept 6, 4 months later and the little things have slipped again... and my world seem out of whack, just that quickly.

I spent some time last week in silence and fasting in prayer. Shoot, I spent the first 3 days of this week the same way. Things are slowly coming back to a point of focus. Reading my journals tonight, made some things crystal clear. With Clerity come knowledge and if you don't act on that knowledge, then WO UNTO YOU! It's been the best therapy, these journals, and it's free. Not only is it free it comes from those who know me best: Myself and The Father

Write Journals, it's great therapy. And then go back and read them from time to time, they truly are some of the worlds best text book into your life.

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments
Hand in Hand


I earned some temporary wings!