Jan 26, 2012

What Makes Me...Me!

All through Thanksgiving and Christmas I consistently tell myself, "Hang in there. After the holidays everything will slow down." And it never does. Ever. And yet, that's a good thing. Right?

My new favorite show is "Once Upon A Time." It's about a wicked witch who curses every fairy tale character ever created to spend eternity in the modern world - nothing changing. Ever. Even the clock tower reads the same time. Never moving. Oh...and the only one who remembers who they are is the wicked witch (She's the mayor of Storybrook, Maine). Until the one person who can save them from the curse shows up in town. Then everything starts to change...even the plots of the fairy tales themselves change as the clock begins to tick. It is a fascinating concept and the show is filled with all kinds of social, political, and philosophical nuances.

Of course, timing is everything...One line hit me right between the eyes when I watched the latest episode -- the day after Doug lost his job. Snow White knows she is in love with the prince, but has told him goodbye and that she never loved him (in order to save his life). She is in emotional pain. She has a potion in her possession that will erase that pain. She starts to open the bottle and Grumpy stops her. Snow White asks him to consider if he would use the potion to take away his own pain. Grumpy says,

"No, I would never use it. My pain makes me who I am. Grumpy."

At first I giggled. Yeah, my "pain" makes me grumpy too! I love the play on words, as corny as they might be. Then I thought about the deeper meaning of what Grumpy said. Every event, every thought, every action/reaction, every person that comes into my life, makes me who I am today. Would I take away any of my experiences in order to lessen the pain? If so, which ones?

The past couple of weeks have been particularly challenging as my teenage daughter demolished the garage door with the Durango, my husband lost his job and the kitchen sink clogged up...again. Of course, amazingly wonderful things have happened too! A new granddaughter, a fun trip to Idaho, children and grandchildren visiting and our new kitty caught her first mouse! I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from friends and family throughout the world.

My prayers this morning included a plea to help me feel the strength and courage that I know is there to help me, not just survive, but flourish in these circumstances. I opened my scriptures and an index card fell out and landed on the table in front of me. A reference to 2 Kings 6: 14 - 17 was written on the bottom of the card.

"Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." Wow. I am surrounded by angels who love and protect me!

The quote above the scripture said, " Have the courage to be "ruthless" with my discards."

I remember now how to focus on what is needful. I will be ruthless in discarding my fears and insecurities. I choose to let them go. In the storyline, things change more and more as the characters start to remember who they are. I will remember who I am and what the Savior did for me. I choose to be strong and listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Then I will act on that guidance and look forward to the blessings that await me!



  1. "We are the sum of our experiences."

    This is an old quote, I just can't remember who said it first. I agree with it, totally. Although I think I could've done without a lot of the bad experiences that I grew up with, I have found I used those feelings to build emotions in my characters, and even wove a plot around one or two. My dad lost is job when I was in junior high. I was one of four kids, and my mother was ill with cancer. He was "let go" because he didn't have a college degree. Being the smart man that he was, he spent the next four years working at home keeping books and going to school at the same time. His stress must have been great, yet I remembered those years as being the happiest of my childhood. We must have had angels with us, too, no doubt!

    Hang in there, Kari.

  2. I've been watching "Once" too and love it! That line about Grumpy's experiences was poignant to say the least.

    I once told my mother-in-law I wished I could take back one huge event in my past that was negative and she said, "But you wouldn't have learned the lessons that you did and you wouldn't be as strong as you are today." That's why our journey is hard. That's what makes a good story.

    Chaos happens. It's what we do with it in the end that makes us who we are.

  3. It's a wonderful day when we realize we wouldn't change a thing. Sometimes the craziest times are when we count our blessings and when we build the most character. Hugs to you.

  4. I could say so much about this post, but so as not to leave a thesis length comment I'll simply say - thank you.

  5. Kari, poignant post. You are in my prayers. You and Doug always land on your feet, and you will once again. I feel the many angels around me too and know all will be well, not easy, but well.

  6. I watched one episode of it last night (not the first episode) and it was really intriguing. Grumpy's a wise dude. We don't ever progress if we try to bury out pain.

  7. LOVE and needed this post! The quote "Have courage to be "ruthless" with my discards." touched me greatly.

    Sending hugs and hope for better tomorrow

  8. I wish you the best and hope things get easier soon.

    This is the first I have heard of "Once upon a time." I will have to look for it. I like "Grimm."

    I agree with the Grumpy character our memories and experiences shape the essence of who we are. But if I had the opportunity to change some of my experiences I would. I would want to keep my memories of how I dealt with them the first time and the lessons I learned but I would like a do over.

  9. Your topic of "What makes me,me" is something I have been contemplating for some months now. Particularly what makes us who we are when we don't have those memories anymore?


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