Don’t Worry, Be Happy

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I have to write all of my thoughts down before I forget them all. If it’s not written down, all of my impressions/feelings/incites flee within days. I wish I wasn’t like that. I wish that I could retain the “who said what” at conference and what scripture made the difference when Matt was off at Brother’s Weekend on a warm beach on an island off of the Texas coast while I was at home in Utah with the kids in the middle of a snow storm, feeling like things were a little unfair.  It was a simple scripture- where the four sons of Mosiah were at a crossroads and were getting ready to go their separate ways into the unknown.  They were given a blessing just before they left and there was a phrase that left me with the impression that there was no room for contention, that Matt and I should support one another. I have looked many times for that scripture but I can’t find it anywhere- but I do know that I needed it when I read it and that this experience has great meaning to me. I wish I would have written it down though…

So here are my thoughts lately (only a few of the many that keep swirling around). The first one is from a talk by President Uchdorf called Of Regrets and Resolutions.” Last month this talk was the focus of a Relief Society lesson.  It left such a strong impression on my soul.  President Uchdorf shares the story of a nurse who cares for those that are terminally ill.  Before they died she would ask them this question, “Do you have any regrets?” Most would respond with one of these three things. 

  1. I wish I had spent more time with the people that I love.

  2. I wish that I had lived up to my potential.

  3. I with that I had let myself be happier.

At this point in my life, I’m just not worrying about the first two, but the third….. I think sometimes I get so caught up with the things that I need to do that I forget to find joy in it.  I came home from this lesson knowing that this idea would change me, and it truly has. I do not want to have that regret. I am not an unhappy person by nature, but I do know that I could find more joy and happiness in my life.  When I read with Alison, I let myself feel happy that she snuggles with me. When I help Dylan with his math, I let myself be happy with his stories from school instead of giving into frustration that it’s been one hour and we’re only on the second column. I let myself be happy when the kids are nosily playing because it means they like each other.  Now, don’t get me wrong. There have been days where I get the babies in bed for an afternoon nap, I’m still in my jammies and I crawl under the covers in my bed and stare at the ceiling because I don’t know what the future holds and it is hard for me to face that.  My mantra “Be happy, Be happy, Be happy” completely failed the two nights I was at dinner with Matt and realized that I think we really might move. I could not find my happy place. I couldn’t find anything to be happy about. Matt was happily chatting away because all of his happy hopes might be coming true…. and I could not find one thing to be happy about. And I didn’t want to. BUT… you can get it back if you want to. I want to and I have. I am not going to rob myself of happiness.

President Uchdorf said, “The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness.  We do matter. We determine our happiness.  You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness.”  That is powerful. I believe it.

The second thing I want to remember is a post from my friend Jen.  She talks about many examples in the scriptures of people who had to face living circumstances that weren’t what they would have picked out for themselves. Lehi and his family left their home (where they had everything that made life comfortable- money, friends, status) and set out in a new direction because it was the right thing to do. It was new and scary. Adam and Eve lived in paradise- it was comfortable and easy- but in the end something more was waiting for them. It was hard, required new skills and was intimidating. There are a lot of examples in the scriptures where a move was necessary, a change was necessary. Jen said, “While their houses (the physical structures they dwelt in) changed according to their life experiences, their homes did not.  It isn’t so much the space you live in as what you do with the space. The feelings that we put into our houses is what makes a home, and those feelings travel with us no matter what our house may be. That is what makes a dream home.” 

The last thing I want to remember is the lesson from Relief Society today, the talk from President Eyring called “Where Is the Pavilion?”  President Eyring said, “In the depths of his anguish in Liberty Jail, the Prophet Joseph Smith cried out: “O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?”1 Many of us, in moments of personal anguish, feel that God is far from us. The pavilion that seems to intercept divine aid does not cover God but occasionally covers us. God is never hidden, yet sometimes we are, covered by a pavilion of motivations that draw us away from God and make Him seem distant and inaccessible. Our own desires, rather than a feeling of “Thy will be done,”2 create the feeling of a pavilion blocking God. God is not unable to see us or communicate with us, but we may be unwilling to listen or submit to His will and His time.” This lesson was amazing and just what I needed to hear. I think my strongly based feelings of not wanting to move, the fear of moving, the fear of change, the worries that nag me constantly about this decision… has created a pavilion/barrier that has kept me separated from receiving a true answer to the question about whether moving is the right thing to do. With a decision like this I need my own testimony that this is the right thing for my family. That is really what I need for this to work, for unity in moving forward, and this requires an honest prayer in which I am willing to let go and listen.  Logic is not going to get me there.  

I was wrong. I have one last thing that I want to remember. This has been one of the happiest weeks in our marriage. Matt was surprised when I said this, but at least to me it has been.  We have both been so kind to each other, totally understanding of the reasons that we feel the way that we do. This week at work has been especially hard for Matt, with a boss who is harsh and demeaning.  I have seen the burden lift when he’s walked through the door of our home.  That has never been so tangible before.  Matt’s always been happy to be home, but then it’s dinner and he’s “shushing” rowdy kids, we zip through cleaning the kitchen and put kids to bed.  It’s always a marathon!  But this week has been different. I don’t know if I’ve been behind with dinner so it’s not waiting already when he gets home, but he walks in the door and life slows down.  He just snuggles Megan, gives big hugs to Alison, dinner is calmer (maybe not tonight, but that’s a different story :)) I want to remember that. How Matt feels in our home is such a contrast to what he is feeling at work, and he just radiates it.  I have really appreciated that. 

And so, we’re moving forward as a team. I have no idea what the future holds yet, but I do know that it will be a good future because we will be going where we are supposed to go and we will be going there together.

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3 responses »

  1. Thanks for the reminder of the pavilions that we use to block our ability to receive answers to our prayers. It’s exactly what I needed to hear tonight before I went to bed! Great post Crystal! Thanks for sharing your insights, I loved hearing them.

  2. Such heartfelt words – I think you are right about so many things about this post and even about writing them down before you forget. So many times I worry I don’t remember these impressions that bring me peace. One of your quotes stood out to me as something I really needed to hear – so thanks for that. I know whatever happens in the future for you guys can only be good.

  3. This is a marvelous journal entry.  Your children will treasure this when problems arise in their later lives.  I loved your open honesty…your concerns are real and valid, and of course, you are entitled as the Mom to have your own personal conviction if this move is right.  However, and perhaps I shouldn’t share my thoughts because it makes me feel like a mean mother-in-law, but I hope you realize I can’t keep thoughts within.  I feel the question as to “whether the move is right ” is perhaps premature to be asking of the Lord.  You don’t have all the answers yet, and won’t until you go.  THEN you need to make a decision and Then ask for the peace if it IS right.  I believe you will receive that witness if it is, and you’ll be left with uncertainty at every turn, if it is not.  You and Matt will receive your own concerns and solutions and answers—then you can come together to make the decision, and then you are both ready to earnestly pray for personal guidance.  I have many of the concerns you have, as you know, so I understand all your thoughts….for me personally, of course, I’m selfish enough to hope the answer will be to find work here. 🙂  However, as a mom, I’m open to what is right and good for YOUR AND MATT’s family,  and therefore, we’ll join you in whatever you think is best.    I hope all this makes sense.     I loved how you openly expressed your hesitations and fears, and your inner resolve to find peace.  KEEP UP THIS WRITING>  You will appreciate it yourself in years to come because if you are at all like me, you will forget most of life’s experiences because our mind simply moves on and doesn’t reflect on events that worried us or that gave us great joy, years ago.   Your children will treasure all the memories and pictures of the way your home existed when they were young.  I wish I had written more of the day to day activities rather than just big events.  Love you!!!!!!!  Mom 

    *******************************************Everything tastes good with chocolate except broccoli—Maria Lund

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