We had a wonderful Easter this year. After suffering from the flu as a family for the duration of Spring Break it was nice to have a break where we played and stayed healthy. Easter week was full of spiritual moments, family time and a sweet break from school. The weather was so gorgeous and we spent as much time as we could outside and at the park.
We’ve been back in counseling for a season and our last session for now was particularly helpful. We talked a lot about forgiveness and I just wanted to share my notes. All of this information is from James Ottesen, our Therapist who I love dearly.
Resentment is what happens when you take something personally or make someone else’s behavior a reflection of you. Resentment is blaming another person for how you feel today. And my biggest struggle lately? It’s telling + retelling the story of being victimized, mistreated, done-wrong or betrayed. It’s replaying old tapes. Rehearsal like this leads to things becoming ingrained from playing and re-playing that tape.
James explained that if you don’t tell anyone about your wounds, they will worse but the inverse of that is also true. If you tell everyone your wounds, they start to become who you are and worsen as well. A healthy way to work though wounds old and new is to talk about them to a few close people (and/or your therapist) and work through them.
Healing comes when we stop taking things personally. Not everything that is done to us is a reflection of us or even about us! The only things we can safely personalize is anything that comes from ourselves. We should never think less of ourselves based on how someone else has treated us.
IF YOU TAKE SOMEONE ELSE’S TREATMENT PERSONALLY, YOU ARE MAKING THEIR ISSUE BECOME YOUR SELF-ESTEEM.
It’s so easy for me to protect myself from most of the strangers of the world. If a stranger or even acquaintance doesn’t like me, is rude to me, etc. I don’t struggle with letting that go. When family, close friends or loved ones treat me badly (or have treated me badly) it’s harder for me not to take things so personally. I have to often remind myself that the way people act and treat me is a reflection of them-not of me.
He also explained that every human is carrying a backpack full of 2 kinds of rocks:
- Hurtful things that have happened to us.
- Hurtful things that we have done to others.
We should only carry #2 rocks! And with repentance, we are able to get rid of those too. Don’t be like the people in Alma’s time and continue wallowing in the things they did wrong. Use the atonement.
Alma 33:16 For behold, he said: Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they awill not understand thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them because of thy Son.
It is also not our job to be carrying everyone else’s rocks around. Part of remedying this is carefully choosing who you surround yourself with. Sometimes you can’t choose who you hang out with and that means empathizing without taking on their rocks. A job sometimes easier said than done.
We’re here to hold ourselves responsible for how we feel right now today. We need to be grateful and live life with gratitude. We need to repent and empty our backpack. We need to have long gratitude lists.
Instead of telling a story of hurt, we can tell a positive story of how we’ve overcome. We can make a positive re-write to our history and frame it how we choose to. We can make lemonade. It’s not changing the facts, it’s merely changing the focus.
Did I mention this post has a soundtrack?
Now I know this post should end here, but it doesn’t. We had this fantastic meeting last week and then with Easter and all of it’s healing and feelings and then General Conference and other events it’s just been a big week of growth + healing + learning. I have to take a minute and talk about my notes from Elder Bednar’s talk about meekness.
Every time I’ve been in a class studying about the attributes and qualities that Christ possessed, meekness has stood out to me. I’ve always known that I need to develop it. I’ve been blessed with people in my life that shine in this area and I know it’s because I need to learn from them.
From my notes:
Meekness is being quick to act. It is strength, activeness, courage, restraint, modesty and graciousness. It is readily recognizing the accomplishments of others. We develop meekness by striving to repent and obtain a remission of our sins and developing self-restraint. Being meek is something we become, not something we do.
From Elder Bednar:
“Please notice the characteristic the Lord used to describe Himself in the following scripture: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Instructively, the Savior chose to emphasize meekness from among all the attributes and virtues He potentially could have selected. A similar pattern is evident in a revelation received by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1829. The Lord declared, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.” Meekness is a defining attribute of the Redeemer and is distinguished by righteous responsiveness, willing submissiveness, and strong self-restraint.
The Christlike quality of meekness often is misunderstood in our contemporary world. Meekness is strong, not weak; active, not passive; courageous, not timid; restrained, not excessive; modest, not self-aggrandizing; and gracious, not brash. A meek person is not easily provoked, pretentious, or overbearing and readily acknowledges the accomplishments of others.
Whereas humility generally denotes dependence upon God and the constant need for His guidance and support, a distinguishing characteristic of meekness is a particular spiritual receptivity to learning both from the Holy Ghost and from people who may seem less capable, experienced, or educated, who may not hold important positions, or who otherwise may not appear to have much to contribute.
Meekness is an attribute developed through desire, the righteous exercise of moral agency, and striving always to retain a remission of our sins. It also is a spiritual gift for which we appropriately can seek. We should remember, however, the purposes for which such a blessing is given, even to benefit and serve the children of God.
As we come unto and follow the Savior, we increasingly and incrementally are enabled to become more like Him. We are empowered by the Spirit with disciplined self-restraint and a settled and calm demeanor. Thus, meek is what we become as disciples of the Master and not just something we do.”
MEEKNESS IS THE OPPOSITE OF PRIDE.
So much from this talk and this beautiful lesson from our therapist overlapped, and in my life that’s never a coincidence. So here’s to becoming meek, putting down rocks and listening to Ke$ha.