Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hard Things

As I think about the days events, and the hard things I am dealing with... I think about doing "Hard Things"...

A few weeks ago on a Saturday, I woke up early to see my older brother pass by as he was running a marathon. As he passed by he was hurting and about 20 miles into it. I sat there watching my bro, as he was doing a hard thing...on purpose. He ached and winced as he kept going, and kept running. All for the purpose of "doing it", and facing himself. It is self against self, when you run a marathon, it is a question of "keeping going", and not giving up. Giving up is not an option... That is the expected attitude as one takes on a task like that.

Is the rest of life always that simple? Is there a time when switching directions and changing course is "the better thing to do". Or should we always stay "THE COURSE", and to give up is not an option. I think when it comes to personal convictions, principles, and values... YES!!... stay the course and do your best. If you get off course, get back on course, and stick to it. Other areas of life I question...

I guess we must all decide what path we wish to take. Which is not always easy, when one is lost and confused. I admit that I have hurt (not on purpose) people by not being clear and decisive. I have learned much by my mistakes and flaws. I was reading the other day and I'll quote and paraphrase some of it…

"Sometimes in life you meet and even love someone that shows you things you never would have otherwise learned… They in ways are a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back (your own flaws, faults, and all), the person who brings you to your own attention of YOU, so you can change your life. THIS SOMEONE IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON YOU'LL EVER MEET, because they tear down your walls, and smack you awake... They come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, then they leave. And thank God that they came... Their purpose was to shake you up, drive you to new levels of discovery, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart so wide open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life! Then introduce you to The Divine, and allow God to take over from there".

This is a hard thing to face, and sometimes I feel like i can't even go on... and I don't even want to anymore. I personally feel (a lot of times) like NOT going on unless it's with the one or those I love... It seems too empty and without purpose.


  1. Wow, you seem to be a bit of a “Johnny Raincloud.” I completely agree with you when you talk about maintaining and not giving up on your personal beliefs and conviction. However, I question your theory about “Staying the Course” in all other areas. I have to ask, is “THE COURSE” one you’ve chosen, or one that was chosen for you? I guess what I’m asking is, that perhaps staying the course isn’t the real question, but are you willing to deviate from the course you desire to the one God, the divine, higher power, whichever you believe in -- requires of you in order to help you grow and progress? I know that personally, my life is nothing like the course I had mapped out or planned on, but I’m so thankful for that. Has heartache come? Yes, and it has sucked the big one. Have I hurt others? Absolutely, and for that I will be eternally sorry. Have I endured more pain than I thought anyone could handle? Somehow, yes, and I’d like to think I’m better for it.

    I’m sorry that you’re struggling and seeming to question the veracity of “going on” alone, but I guarantee you that you’d be surprised how un-alone you are. I’m not only talking about God, but those around you. Trust me, as someone who hates (and I know that’s a strong word, but it’s true) to talk about how she’s feeling, sometimes that’s what is needed to get off the plateau of self despair and keep moving. It’s not necessarily sharing your burden with others that I’ve found helpful, but sometimes just voicing my thoughts, fears, annoyances, anger, and yes, even feelings, and getting them outside of me – or externalizing them into the great cosmos – helps me to better internalize what is needed to overcome whatever obstacle or “thing” holding me back.

    Oh, and another thing I’ve found that helps when I’m feeling this way: kicking puppies, knock-knock jokes, eating Pop Rocks with carbonated soda, and visiting a local skating rink to watch other’s slip and fall. Okay, maybe not the kicking puppies part, but the others are at least short-term happiness helps – hey, don’t judge. The slipping and falling at skating rinks is hilarious, especially when I know I look just as comical trying to stay upright on ice.

  2. Haha... that struck me funny..."Johnny Raincloud"... I guess I am lately.. Its been a rough time lately. I guess you're right in that I need to lighten up a bit and learn to enjoy again, and laugh. Hard to get out of this space sometimes...but necessary. Gratitude and a smile will probably go a long way. :) I'll try it! Thank you for the comment!

  3. I find it absolutely fascinating how the Universe and Heavenly Father works. How randomly coming across someone's blog can help answer your prayer. I moved to East Coast almost 10 ten years ago to follow the course I felt was right for me. Everything pretty much blew up in my face. I changed courses and it happened again. The third path I chose held more promise and I was happy and fulfilled. Recently I met a catalyst person similar to your situation that painfully forced me to look hard at my life, my career and what was ultimately most important that I had by choice been neglecting for years. As painful as this was to reexamine myself once again I know that this is where Heavenly Father wants me. I quit my job and I am relocating back to the West Coast. It has been crazy, most people think I am crazy, and for once I don't have a plan just trying to trust. I seriously feel like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where until he takes "that first step off the ledge and into the darkness" he can't see the bridge below that provides stability and safety. It is not the purpose of this life to be empty so if you are feeling that way you really should get on your knees and figure out why and chart a new course of action to change it however works best for you. CS Lewis in Mere Christianity said that we let Christ in to do a little remodeling and point HIM to where "we" feel we need fixing but instead HE start Knocking down walls, tearing up the floors, ripping up the very foundation, changing everything because instead of making a minor repair in our little house he is re-building a mansion." If you feel that your very foundations are being ripped up or you're having a crisis of faith try to remember what you must be being molded into and how important and worthwhile that final product will become. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be reminded of these truths for myself. If you ever want to chat it sounds like we are going through some similar experiences and you're a stranger thousands of miles away which feels surprisingly more comfortable. Something great is awaiting you! Don't give in, failure is not an option. Cheers, Jennifer

  4. Jennifer, I really liked your comment and especially liked the CS Lewis reference. You are right in that we seem to be somewhat "choosie" in where we "think" we need remodeling, yet how interesting it is when life gets completely turned around for the better. If only we would let Christ take over completely... and we will let go and allow it all to happen. I just struggle with differentiating between what answers are coming from on high, and those intellectual meandering thoughts of mine. I know that the difference is the confirming power of the spirit which causes clarity of mind and soul... I guess I just tend to analyze way too much. I remember receiving some answers and even praying for help with just allowing the answers to be as they were given. I tend to pick apart my own thoughts, and even begin to discredit things. "Let the answers stand,, and BE as they were/are given".
    Anyways, I admire that you have taken such a bold turn in your life, and chosen a defined direction. So many people fail to even choose, therefore are at the mercy of whichever way life throws them. For me (lately)... I read, and think, and talk to people, blog, and even see a counselor... so I can become more aware. With awareness comes more ability to choose. I found myself even unaware of choices that I could make. How can one choose, if one is completely unaware of their choices? And so I explore things in my own mind and with those that I trust...all to be more aware, so I CAN choose. Without awareness, choices are made for us. I will say it's very empowering to actively choose in life, instead of floating and being tossed from one side to the other. I don't feel like I've been tossed from one side to the other very much, yet I see so many that are. Afraid to take a position, unaware of their options, and they're ultimately frustrated....and not even sure as to why.
    I wish you luck in your journey Jennifer. Thank you for reminding me, that it's OUR move first that must be taken... That step out onto the invisible bridge, "for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:6)
    God bless!

  5. Hmmmm. I love the post, but I love the comments even more! So insightful! Jennifer is brilliant. For years I felt as if my entire 'above ground structure' (what the world saw) was being torn down to it's foundation. I felt as if the structure that had been built was weak, incomplete, built without sufficient framing and would easily crumble. The foundation (my spiritual understanding) had been laid (thankfully) properly by my parents which in the end helped me make good spiritual choices regarding the direction I would go with that, but as far as the 'above ground structure' the structure that the world saw was faulty, ugly and weak. When the wind blew, and the tornado came it crumbled. Once it crumbled, God had to rebuild. Building something beautiful, hand crafted by an expert takes quite a while. Many times I got impatient with the process. I didn't see the structure that was being built. You can't see the structure up close- you have to take a step back and look upon it from afar to see the results. And during the process, it doesn't look grandiose or impressive, it's not until the final touches have been made that the new structure is recognized for what it is-a masterpiece.) The problem is often times we think we are our own carpenter and try to build our own lives, our own mansions and fail to allow Christ to practice his skilled profession and make us into something unique and beautiful. We are our own architect. We decide what we want our structure to look like and Christ with Heavenly Father being the big boss are the carpenters who form and build that structure, adding on to it the beautiful details we did not think of ourselves. I look back now and see how he took care of every 'nook and cranny' not leaving one detail left unfinished. He rebuilt me, my testimony, my faith, my soul to be my own personal temple. If we can make our own body a temple wouldn't that mean we are a "house of the Lord" thus encompassing and inviting the Lord into our hearts and souls and minds for him to come and live and be present. You hear the term "our bodies are a temple"...think how amazing that actually is! To be a temple-sacred-where God himself feels welcomed and invited to visit and stay. God says, "No unclean thing can dwell in his presence". We should ultimately strive to not allow any unclean thing enter our bodies as we are temples which in turn is a house of the Lord. (I know this is virtually impossible being human and all;) but I suppose that's the importance of the sacrament and having a 'deep cleaning' every Sunday-to keep the cob webbs dusted and under control.
    "Life is a Highway, I'm gonna ride it all night long"
    This life IS a highway! There are exits and detours, off ramps and on ramps, potholes and speed bumps, accidents and free sailing. People get off course all the time, and that is okay:)! People take detours and get lost from time to time, but that is okay! We are all on our own highway back to our Savior and Creator. Everyone's scenic tour looks different. No two journeys are the same. There is always an on ramp to get back on the course. No detour too large.
    I *Loved* the quote from your post about people coming into our lives just to show us more of who we can become and introducing us to the Lord in a way we never had been before allowing for light to come in a new form.
    Have a great day Matthew....! I'm posting a few of my blog posts in another comment that pertain to this post....take some time to read them, I think they may be of interest:). Have I mentioned how I love your objective thought pattern? You are one of my kind in the way we think. I have come to find, it's a rare-ity. I too am an analyzer-oftentimes to a fault.
    Keep Blogging....it's been a while! Your blog has renewed my love for blogging and objective thinking and paying attention to the thoughts swirling around in my mind.

  6. http://daysofmichelleslife.blogspot.com/2011/04/131-in-15650-for-you-my-sweet-baby.html



  7. As a runner this post stood out to me immediately... Loved the message in this post! Thank's for posting! Would you mind if I shared this post on my blog?



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