Convictions

I’m all about following your convictions.  If I’ve learned anything over the last year and a half-it’s to follow your heart. Follow that inner voice, the compass, the Spirit-and be true to your convictions.  I didn’t realize how often I was ignoring that inner voice before-sometimes because of perceived outside pressure, after all-everyone’s got an opinion and I would often feel tossed to and fro with what to do, what’s best, what brings happiness, and on and on.  But I found the voice-and I’m trying to follow it.  And I feel more like myself than ever before-I feel happy and life’s good.  But what about those times where people each have their convictions-and these convictions seem to be at odds with each other?  Well I feel like that’s when the magic happens.  I haven’t always felt this way-I feel the Lord teaching me a better way-a 3rd alternative that I really never thought of.

So before this 3rd alternative-I would process everything through  a filter…”hmmm, is this right, is this wrong…how does this fit with my view of the world?  And while I embraced a lot, other times I would often ignore information, ideas, and people thinking “that’s just nutty.”  And I would interpret the world around me this way.  This is different than personality traits, food preferences, and what you like to do in your spare time.  I can understand how people prefer different things and that’s great.  What I’ve been pondering on goes deeper.  It’s no coincidence that a few things came up all around the same time that really shook me-to the core.  Yet I felt invited to search and discover, and I pondered over a lot of things that have changed my heart and mind.  I found myself in a situation where I was just so sure I was right-like I felt peace about it and everything.  I was dead-set.  Only thing was, this didn’t involve only me.  There was another person that was part of this decision-and they felt the opposite.  I felt so set on my convictions-and they were just as set on theirs.  Funny thing is, I pled with the Lord to change their heart-to help them see the light.  Ha!  It’s funny to me now cause I had a lot yet to learn here.  But I was so sure THEY had a lot to learn.  I honestly felt like I was coming from a good place, but it was really a “Oh bless their heart-they just don’t know…”  Which is really like saying, “It’s too bad they don’t know what I do, but someday they will…and hopefully sooner than later cause this is wearing me out!”

But there was this feeling, like a whisper to my heart, “There’s more here…keep searching.”  I knew I was missing something.  But I didn’t know what.  Then one thing after another came up that made me rethink my whole view of the world.  “This is beyond right and wrong.”  I have heard that phrase come to me more times than I can count.  But with some things, I really felt like, “Nope-this is right and that’s wrong and that’s it.”  But I kept hearing the phrase, “This is beyond right and wrong” and I felt like I was being invited on this search-which involved big stuff, deep down stuff.  I kept asking God, “What’s right and wrong here?”  And the answer was the same, “Put down your right/wrong view of life.”  But I kept coming back and asking, “No seriously, who is right and wrong-we can’t both be, it doesn’t make any sense.  Aren’t some things a right/wrong issue??”  Finally, after asking so many times and sensing the same answer, I felt like He was laughing.  Which helped me lighten up-and I knew I needed to trust Him.  And then I realized this is all related to releasing judgment-and in determining right/wrong-I’m being the judge, which can really be annoying.  Eespecially when people near and dear to me don’t see it the way I do and we have to decide together!  Cause I can try and love em into changing and making good choices-but then I’m missing a real, pure love.  How about loving them without judgment-with no strings attached, “I truly love you just the way you are.”  God doesn’t give us truth and light to judge others, but to love others.

I’m learning the value of following convictions.  And I know it’s no coincidence that answers to some big problems in my life have been out of the ordinary.  I can look back and see it so clearly, though in the middle of discovery, it’s really a search…with twists and turns, a stop (or several) while I throw my hands up…a really rocky road to the answer.  But it’s such a road worth taking.  The answers are often not what’s typical, not what the experts say…but I know in my heart what I’m feeling and what brings me peace.  Yet I would start to feel the tension rise within me, when my convictions don’t jive with someone else’s-and we have to work together.  I’ve had to learn something about convictions-I won’t get convictions for someone else.  And the beauty of it is in the differences.  “But how can they think this and I think that-we can’t both be right?!”  We are supposed to think differently-and we are all supposed to follow our heart.  And that won’t lead us to the same destination-or maybe it will in that we are all realizing our potential.  The more I follow my own unique path, the more I feel free to encourage others to do the same.  It’s unique and it’s supposed to be.  The issue isn’t who’s right and who’s wrong-and it never will be.  It’s learning unconditional love.  It’s no coincidence that the earth is filled with all kinds of ideas, passions, cultures, religions-We have been given so much good on this planet, but when the focus is on right/wrong and our differences, we lose our power as a great big family.  I’ve been learning right and wrong is irrelevant.  And guess what happens when I quit worrying about it-from what we like to eat, to our deepest-held views of the meaning of life…I find love.  I see people.  I feel free to love them with no walls, no conditions, no “bless your heart you’ll see the light someday.”  I feel free to learn from some pretty incredible people-and they’re everywhere!

If I could put into words my conversations with God through this experience, it would look something like this.  (Although the impressions came as feelings to my heart and mind):

God:  “It doesn’t matter…either way is ok.”

Me:  “Really??  But I’ve worried so much about making the right choice!  It seems like it matters-like a lot.  How could this not matter?  I don’t want to do the wrong thing…make the wrong choice.”

God: “This isn’t an issue of right/wrong, this is about love.  Your life is so full of opportunities to learn love.  You think it’s a matter of making all the right choices so you can be with me….It’s beyond that.  You’re here to learn love, to feel joy, to be happy!  And to share this kind of love with others.  Fill your life with this love and you’ll feel me with you now…not just after this life.  (Then He brings to my mind times where I was doing my own thing and He stepped in to prevent me from making some choices that really were a big deal-letting me know not to sweat the small stuff.  And He reminds me that people feel passionate about all sorts of things-and that it’s ok. That’s the grand design.  And in our differences we can learn love, compassion, joy, and see the world anew.)

Me:  “No way!  Really??  It’s ok either way? But this seems too good to be true…wow, if this is true, then I don’t feel all stressed, worried and fearful.”

God:  “Exactly-those feelings don’t come from Me.”

Me:  “Sweet!  Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!”

And the gratitude keeps on going…and the burdens keep on lifting.  And I realize how many things I’ve been worrying about that I can let go of.  I’m finding a lot of “it doesn’t matter” stuff and it’s great.  I know I haven’t lost any weight over this-but I feel so much lighter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Releasing Judgment

Like my last post, I had a pretty cool experience with some new information.  This experience I’m about to relate happened a week after my experience with the perfection seed being planted.  I know they’re related and intertwined, like everything in life-but I struggle to put into words what it all means.  Both experiences and “one-liners” were heaven sent and have been changing my view of the world.  But I didn’t just embrace them both and run with it…I had to mull it over-a lot.  I wondered how it could be and how it could fit into my understanding of life up to this point.  Anyhow, here’s what happened…

I was talking to a woman about judging and I was telling her how I struggle with judging-that I didn’t want to judge others and knew it was wrong, but it was a struggle for me.  She said, “Stop judging yourself.”  Ok imagine hallelujah, clouds departing and angels singing.  Which isn’t what I saw, but in hind sight-I felt like it was a pivotal moment for me that would alter my world big time.  But it was a totally new idea for me.  I argued with her for a bit, “I know I shouldn’t judge others-but if I don’t judge myself, who will keep me in line?  How will I behave??”  She reminded me there is only one judge and it’s not me.

I know this information came at exactly the right time.  The year before, I had thought God was harsh and punishing, and I’d been learning how wonderfully wrong I was.  I felt like I’d been on a love journey with the divine and was getting glimpses of  how loving and kind our Father is.  I saw the cover of a book the other day that said, “God’s Message to the World”, and the cover had a picture of the earth with a sticky note that said, “You’ve got me all wrong.”  I haven’t read the book but I was in love with the cover-and could say “Amen!” to that.  I am so glad I got Him all wrong.  I can’t get enough of Him!

Well I knew I needed the “Stop judging yourself” message.  This made sense to me, and yet I had spoken this judging language with myself for so long-learning to release judgment with myself has been like learning a new language.  It’s been several months since this message and with time and practice, I’m starting to grasp it.  The more I think this way-the more love I feel in my life.  I keep catching myself since it was previously my go-to way of thinking.  Wow, I can’t believe how much this changes things.  Here I was trying not to judge the world, but was judging myself constantly.  Of course the way I see myself would be projected onto how I see the world-how could I stop judging the world if I couldn’t stop judging myself?  It all started making perfect sense.  I was looking at everything as good and bad, right and wrong.  And when something was going “wrong”, I would so quickly look inward and wonder what I did to cause this problem.  I often saw in terms of bad=punishment, good=reward.  I worried if I ever caused suffering or made mistakes-that I needed to suffer.  But I was forgetting my dear Savior and His Atonement.  I feel like I’m learning to release all the energy I was putting into the good/bad and right/wrong…and just leave it alone.  This frees me from the temptation to blame.  I wanted to find reasons for pain, misery and suffering in the world.  But I feel invited to leave judgment and blame alone.  Focus on my Savior, focus on following His Spirit.  And leave things alone that take away the light.  Who’s right and who’s wrong are irrelevant.

I feel like my regrets are fading.  And my memories are healing.  I feel free to observe life, memories, and people as I get judgment out of the way.  And there is so much light everywhere!  And truth!  With opposition in all things there is also darkness and lies-and it’s all essential and part of our glorious journey.  I feel like I’m seeing things “as they really are” and I’m shedding a lot of heavy baggage beliefs that I don’t need to carry anymore.  When the scriptures talk about denying ourselves of all ungodliness, I’m seeing what this means to me personally.  I can add judgment to guilt, shame, fear, and whatever else keeps me from Him.  Those things are heavy,  achy and blah!  I used to think, “If only I knew then, what I know now.  I would have done things differently.”  And I felt sad about the wasted time.  But without judgment, I feel like it’s all good.  Everything-even those times I was searching and searching for peace and happiness-and looking everywhere but up, because I was too afraid.  Even then. I love that I’m learning more of the nature of God this way-the bitter to know the sweet.  To learn what isn’t Him, to find Him. Everything has a purpose.  As my husband reminds me, I wouldn’t be the same person without all these experiences.

Life is quite a journey.  I feel like the Savior is teaching me to release this judgment mantle I’ve taken on myself.  I imagine it to be this totally uncomfortable heavy wooden vine that consists of old dead wood.  It’s kind of tangled around me and it’s hard to get anywhere with it.  He lifts it from me.  Sometimes He has to remind me again and again-to let Him take this.  And it feels so good.  And in return, He gives me a precious shimmering jewel in my hand.  “How is this done?  How is this possible?”  My precious Savior, dear Redeemer.  Again and again-He saves me.