Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Agency and Happiness

2 Nephi 10: 23

"Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves-to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life."

I had an interesting realization this morning: Agency is often the greatest source of happiness in this life.  Why?  Because we can choose.  We can choose what lifestyle we want, and the blessings associated with living a healthy, active, and restful life.  We can choose how to react to the circumstances around us- we can choose to be cheerful.

Too often we consign ourselves to our bad circumstances, explaining that we had a bad day because we didn't do so well on a test, got in a fight with our roommate, or whatever.  What we're really saying, though, is that our reactions to those events made us unhappy.  It is important to allow ourselves to feel- even when that's sad, hurt, or angry.  Those feelings tell us that something is up- that we didn't like the way we were treated (and thus shouldn't treat others that way), that we are disappointed about an outcome (and might need to study harder or alter our expectations in the future), or something else.  But it's what we do next that matters.  If we allow ourselves to see the incident through the lens of the eternal plan of happiness, we can learn to approach our lives a little differently.  We can use experiences of hurt to learn, and thus to become more completely the divine sons and daughters that our Heavenly Father knows we can be.

Even though it is often the agency of others that hurts us deeply, it is that same agency that enables us to be wonderful, blessed people anyway.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


"You've been calm since I picked you up."

Best compliment of the day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

tuesday: some joy

Still not really getting into the big posts I have planned...but in the meantime, I have some happiness to share.

First of all, I got my first job offer!  Big whoop.  And free cereal!

Second, I'm learning and growing so much.  I mess up occasionally  and I am becoming so grateful for the promise that if we ask Father to show us our weaknesses, he will show them to us and help turn them into strengths.  I never realized how awesome that promise was until now.  If there's an area that's not going right, I can ask Him to help me identify what it is, and also how to fix it.  Like how I've realized lately that I'm not that great of a listener- at least not as good as I'd like to be.  And, after praying for help, I've quickly been given more opportunities to practice and improve.  Steady progress upward is difficult, but it's also possible. AND it's important to remember that we don't need to be perfect now, and we don't have to (and can't) do it alone.  All we need to do is take one step forward every day.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again: I love where I live.  I love living with people who help me be better, give me opportunities to serve, and who shower me with love.  There is so much peace in coming home to a safe place.

I'm improving in my Spanish class!  Woo Hoo!

Epiphany: Living after the manner of happiness doesn't mean that you'll always be happy.  It just means you're giving happiness the best shot.

Massive wonderful realization from Celeste's blog: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn't perfect, but the gospel is.  There are many problems with specific people and the way mortals carry out their responsibilities.  But you know what? That's sort of the way it's supposed to be.  The Church isn't run by perfect people who do everything perfectly- as Celeste put it, that would be Satan's plan.  The idea on earth is to all muddle together and try to do the best we can living the gospel.  Our testimony should be based off the gospel and the living reality of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, not how we were treated by people who are on their own spiritual journey just as we are.

I had an incredibly emotional moment today when I stumbled across the Voices of Hope project.  The website isn't officially launched yet, but their first video is.  It's an incredible project, and one of my friends was the first to share his story.  His name is Blake, and I really respect him for his courage and kindness.  See him share part of his story here.

And finally- sometimes it's okay just to be.  It's okay to not to freak out about moving forward and over-analyzing everything.  Sometimes you just have to live for a while.  It's important to have days where you're not thinking about what everything means, and afterward you can look back and think, "Wow, today was nice.  Yeah, there are things that didn't go perfectly.  Yeah, I made mistakes.  But overall I did my best, worked hard, loved those around me, and laughed."  Sometimes I think we look for too much in life- for dramatic romantic-comedy moments, action-filled car chases, and grand intellectual epiphanies.  But really, life is meant for us to work hard, love others, laugh some, cry some, and make the world a little better for our being in it.  Little steps every day.  That's manageable, right?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

So Blessed

So many wonderful, hopeful things in my life right now.  I'm actually sitting on a fairly lengthy post, but in the meantime I'd just like to share some of that happy things that are making it easy to be grateful!

  • Successfully navigated my first career fair last week!  I almost peed my pants with fear beforehand, but with some wise words of comfort and counsel I was just fine.
  • I love gospel discussions, and this morning I had a great one with my roommate Jameyson.  Seriously, though.  Few things are more incredible than being able to be open and honest (and learn!) about important things with those closest to you.
  • Had my first job interview today, and it went really well!  It's just one step along the way, but it feels good to be taking steps forward.
  • Went to Winco (in professional attire) and shopped like a boss!  Sometimes pretending to be an adult is really fun. :-)
  • Came home to find another interview opp. waiting for me on my email!
  • I had an epiphany driving home (driving my wonderful boyfriend's car, I might add, because he's the best and doesn't always let me get away with being stubborn).  PROVO IS BEAUTIFUL.  We live in a gorgeous place.  The mountains are incredible.  We are so lucky.  I never thought I'd really say this, but I love it here.
  • Delicious guacamole and peach mango salsa. I might die.

Monday, February 4, 2013