Tag Archive | improve

Sending the Right Message

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Jay and I want success for our upcoming marriage!

We appreciate all of the tools and attitude adjustments possible to help us make our adventure together into matrimony one that is joyous throughout our lifetime. We each want to do our part to be accountable for what we create. We also want to avoid pitfalls and mistakes of the past.

So last weekend we especially enjoyed attending a workshop, “Sending the Right Message,” (STRM) by John Canaan. We’ve been to a lot of workshops before, individually and as a couple, and this was my first time at this workshop, while a re-take for Jay. He hadn’t told me too much about it, except that it had opened his heart.

We really appreciated what we experienced there and came away feeling empowered and inspired. What struck me most deeply was that my life is really my choice. While I don’t always choose what happens around me, I DO choose my reactions to it. This includes my thoughts and feelings, actions, and how long I hold on to or cycle these.

All of us make mistakes, so we need a way to unburden ourselves from the guilt. We can’t always make restitution for our errors, either. This class is Christ-centered, explaining that Jesus Christ came to earth exactly for the purpose of redeeming us from our sins and paying them for us through His suffering, knowing we couldn’t make amends for everything. [If you are not a Christian, you may turn to your own beliefs and Higher Power to assist you with this concept of relief from guilt.] Christ not only paid for our own sins, but also for those of the people who hurt and betray us. When we hold grudges against them or retaliate, we hurt ourselves more and cause Christ more suffering. By forgiving them, it doesn’t mean that what they did was not wrong, but rather that we leave judgment to God and allow that person their own experience. We also release ourselves from the poison acid of resentment that hurts us more than it affects them. 12893946-closeup-of-a-representation-of-the-jesus-christ-crown-of-thorns-cross-and-nail

Jay and I are NOT perfect people! We have each seen the other get ‘triggered’ (overwhelmed by negative emotions) in various settings. Sometimes it has been by what the other has done, sometimes by others around us. It is important that we have a way to deal with these upsets as they arise, and not allow them to damage our relationship. By accepting Christ’s Atonement, we forgive ourselves for being human with fears and insecurities that trigger us in reminder situations, and we also forgive others when they act as less than their best selves.

I actually got upset during the workshop with reminder symptoms from prior bad relationship experiences. Jay let me cry on his shoulder, and John Canaan had me write about my feelings and thoughts, asking me to record on paper what the situation reminded me of and to describe my feelings and thoughts about that, then what those reminded me of, and so forth. By doing this, I traced it back to childhood hurts and feeling betrayed and abandoned by loved ones then and later.

John said that we are all very good at sending messages! People get exactly what we mean! The problem is that this message is not necessarily very nice. Because our hearts are filled with negative emotions like fear, mistrust, or resentment, we tend to send defensive or offensive messages. The RIGHT message is LOVE. Only when our hearts are filled with LOVE will we send the RIGHT message.

I learned invaluable ways to fill my heart with LOVE, the simplest of which is to BE STILL and connect with God until I feel whole and complete. Then to SERVE. We LOVE those we SERVE.

This is definitely something Jay and I can use to improve our marriage!

John has a wonderful program, and taught us nine Agreements to make with ourselves in order to be accountable for what we create with our own life. I create my world!

Jay and I signed up for the Mastery 10-week program, which gives one week for each of the Agreements with daily support and a class each week. This will be a retake for Jay, and I want to take it with him. It will be interesting to see how my perspective evolves as by then we will be newlyweds of two-and-a-half months.

I am so excited to be on this grand adventure of life and of marriage with Jay. I feel very humble and blessed to have him as my companion, because he dotes on me! Wow! We hope that with these tools we can keep our love as fresh and vibrant as it is now. We cherish our time together. I look forward of sending Jay a lifetime of the RIGHT messages: “I LOVE you!” and “I love SERVING you!” His happiness is my happiness. I delight in ways to bring him greater joy.

He always seems a step ahead of me in serving each other, so it is a fun game we play together. “I win!” when Jay feels loved! And vice versa. Actually, we both win. We win because we both feel loved and supported. This in turn helps all others we interact with to win: our children, my parents (Jay’s are deceased), our grandchildren, our friends and neighbors, even the people we meet on the street or while shopping. Because when we are connected to each other and to God, our hearts are filled with LOVE and we are sending the RIGHT message to each other and to everyone: L-O-V-E.forever-love-holding-shape-together-mean-loving-each-other-36033051

 

CONTINUALLY LEARN AND DEVELOP

(Continued from THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTINUAL LEARNING)

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God tells us to study things in addition to the scriptures. In Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) Section 90:15, He states: “And…study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people.” Notice He says to “become acquainted with ALL good books” (emphasis added).  In Section 93, He says (verse 53), “it is my will that you should…obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen.”

We see from these that God wants us to learn as much as possible, to help build up His kingdom here on earth (i.e., “for the salvation of Zion”). In the parable of the ten talents (see Matthew 25:14-40), the Lord gives out talents (verse 15) “to every man according to his several ability.” He then expects each of His servants to gain more talents, to be a “good and faithful servant” (verses 21, 23). But the “unprofitable servant” (verse 30) is “cast…into outer darkness” (ibid.). Not only does God expect us to magnify our gifts, but He warns that those who do not that their talents shall be taken away and they will be punished (see D&C 82:3; Ether 12:35; D&C 60:2,13). God wants us to use our talents to bless others (see D&C 82:18). He wants us to improve upon what He has given us, to gain other talents.

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In May 1829, Hyrum Smith was told, “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men” (D&C 11:21). Preparation to magnify our callings is sometimes necessary before we are ready to “go forth” (verse 26, ibid.).

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For example, when I was called to be a ward organist, I was a pianist, not an organist! I stumbled through learning a new instrument, and applied myself to study, taking lessons and attending the BYU Organ Workshop. I passed off Level 1, then Level 2. I took responsibility and learned what I needed to learn. This greatly increased my confidence and self-reliance in magnifying my calling.

Julie B. Beck, Fifteenth Relief Society General President, said, “We become self-reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being.”

Anything we do to improve in education, financial wisdom and skill, spiritual strength, and physical, social, and emotional health, prepares us to magnify our mortal mission. It adds to the talents with which  the Lord already blessed us. The key is to consecrate all we learn and do to the Lord, to build up His kingdom on the earth.