Thursday, September 20, 2012

This is Life!

by Kari Diane Pike

Last Saturday, my Facebook status said, "Evidently I am in serious need of an attitude adjustment."
The next day, my status said, "Nothing like a beautiful Sabbath day and feeling the Spirit to bring about that needed attitude adjustment..." [Along with a little (okay...copious amounts of) chocolate for staying power.]

This week has been focused on (re)discovering joy. I've pondered on how easily Satan uses negative thoughts to work against me. If I give a negative thought just a moment's consideration, it multiplies like a virus -- exponentially and out of control. Quite frankly, it brings out the ugly in me. Fortunately, I have an arsenal of tools available to obliterate negative thoughts and the destructive patterns they set: prayer, scripture study, obedience to the Lord's laws, keeping my covenants with God, listening to the Holy Spirit and service -- just to name just a few. 

As I worked on a school assignment this week, I came across this quote:
"Some families choose to participate proactively in intervention programs focused on preventing the negative outcome of specified stressors or transitions" (McKenry, Patick C. and Sharon J. Price (2005), Families & Change: Coping With Stressful Events and Transitions, p. 415).

Because of my "attitude" experience over the weekend, my mind immediately shifted to thoughts on how the tenets of the gospel are the most perfect and effective prevention program of all. Actively practicing and participating in gospel oriented activities is my best resource for helping me change the meaning I give to challenges and trials and help me restore balance in my life and to my family.

One of my biggest weaknesses is perfectionism. While it's a good thing to want to do the best I can, it is not healthy or productive to get so caught up in thoughts of "what if I make a mistake" that I either make myself ill trying to get it right, or end up not trying at all. In Doctrine and Covenants 117: 4-8, the Lord tells his servants to repent of all their sins and covetous desires. He tells them to let go of certain temporal things and to pay attention to weightier matters. Then in verse 13, the Lord teaches me that no matter what the outcome of my sincere efforts, He will bless me just for trying. In the Lord's sight, every effort is sacred. 

I may not be able to choose what happens to me, but I always get to choose how I look at the situation and how I react to it. The teachings of Christ give me the light I need to clearly see the path I want to take. Life really is what I make of it.

Here's a little song by the daughter of a friend of a friend:


What helps you adjust your attitude?

Hugs!

5 comments:

  1. This is a great post, Kari. I tend to be a positive person and like to use my down times for reflection.

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  2. It's so true--we can't entertain negative thoughts. Great post!

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  3. I've noticed, too, how one little negative thought can put even the fastest spreading weeds to shame with how quickly it can take root and take over. Nasty devils, those.

    In addition to all the gospel tools you mentioned, which truly are the most powerful tools we have, I also work at focusing more on what my logical mind is telling me than what my emotions are saying at times when the negativity tries to slip in. Most often I can "talk myself down" fairly quickly if I listen to reason.

    And, wow, nice song - very talented young lady!

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  4. Once again, you have me thinking. Thank you for your insightful words! How about checking in on Monday's?
    email is cindywilliams@q.com

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