Earlier this week, the house was quiet, and I was alone in my room. I can’t remember why the house was quiet or why no one was jumping on my bed in my room that morning. But I sat by myself, on my bed, looking at myself in the mirror that hung on the other end of my closet. And I got this impression: This is it. This (looking at myself in that mirror) is what God gave you. It is what you are responsible for. It is what He will hold you accountable for. It is His greatest gift to you – YOU. This is it. Now what will you do with this?

“And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh”

2 Nephi 2:21

And if repentance means:

“A change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world… a turning of the heart and will to God”

Then what am I doing with ME – to change MY mind about how I see God and how I see ME and even the world around me?

In what areas can I make a turn around? And, honestly, how is that going, Rach?

“What do you do if you find yourself in a situation that you’d like to turn around, but you don’t seem to be making any progress? The pull of the old cycle keeps you stuck…

What is something in your life right now that you would like to turn around? Is there one thing that, if you could turn it around, it would have more impact for good than anything else?”

A relationship? A habit? A belief? If I believe with all my heart a thought that is not serving me at all, how do I turn around? How do I “repent” of that thought? How do I believe something that I don’t believe?

Brooke is giving us somewhere to start.

“The three fundamental elements for creation. They are the same three elements that can be found in God’s creation the world. And they are the same three elements that we use every day to create our life – positive or negative.

What we see. What we say. What we feel.”

SEE. The world around us feeds us so much information, our brains need to choose what it sees. This morning I was on a run with Bryant. The weather was perfect. And I saw the leaves falling all around us – it was beautiful. And I saw the other runners, smiling at us. I saw all this. But it was lost on Bryant. If I asked him now, I bet he couldn’t say what the weather was like, or if leave were falling or not, or even if we passed other runners. He only saw me. He is a man in love. Still. And he just kept looking at me and smiling at me, and I was what he saw.

I told him, if I were to see the world from his eyes this morning, I am not sure that I would even recognize the world. We see different things.

What I choose to see in the world, in the people around me, in myself – consciously or unconsciously – creates my life’s experience.

SAY. And what we say about what we see creates our life experience as well. I think of President Packer’s oft quoted words: A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it. When I speak my experience, it confirms and even strengthens that experience in my mind – the positive and the negative. When I “speak my truth”, in Brene Brown’s words, I am confirming and validating who I am, not only to the person I am addressing, but, more importantly, to myself.

We must be very very careful with this!

FEEL. I remember an interview published with Elizabeth Smart, maybe a year after she was found and rescued from nine months being tied to a poll by her abductors, and raped repeatedly on a mountain behind her home. At some point before the interview, her and her parents had hiked up to the spot that she had been held captive and tortured for so long. The interviewer asked her how she felt being in that place again. Her answer will always stay with me: Victorious.

Elizabeth Smart created her life, from the point, by choosing her feelings. Today she is a child-protection activist, speaking before Congress. She’s met with the President of the United States, has won many awards, and founded a foundation to protect children against internet crimes.

“All of us – every person in the entire world – we all use these elements of creation every moment of every day to create our life. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all creating.

And … to create a turn-around in our life, we will be required to use these three elements: See, say, feel…

If you just try to change your actions, but you haven’t changed the way you see, what you say, and how you feel, then your actions either won’t be sustainable or you’ll be expended a whole lot more energy than you need to for a turn around.”

I remember being told as a child, Smile until you feel like smiling. Or, Fake it ’til you make it. I’ve tried that. And it may have made the people around me more comfortable, but it did nothing for the one thing that I am most accountable before the Lord for – myself. Brute force has not, in my case, lead to a turn around or a “change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world”.

“This is not to say that changing our actions cannot eventually work. If you focus on changing your actions for a long enough period of time, eventually you will start to see things different, and to talk different, and to feel different. It’s just that this approach requires extreme persistence and a lot more energy to create. Because of this, many people give up and stay stuck.

Guess what happens when we work on creation from the other direction? When we start by changing how we see, what we say, which then changes how we feel – in this state our efforts are met with far less resistance… We’re not trying to force something or work against our feelings. Change happens in a more loving and sustainable way.”

Let me give one example before I close for the day. I want to pick up on this same podcast a little more in tomorrow’s post. But, again let’s look at an example of me trying to create a turn around in my life using ACTION first, and then what it might look like using the THREE ELEMENTS OF CREATION first.

Years ago, a friend made some decisions and said some things that really hurt me. I felt like she had really been self-serving, and had really betrayed our relationship. At the time, I lived far enough away from her that I could step back and get some distance from that relationship and it was easy – it wasn’t even apparent that that was my intent because we didn’t live close enough to each other to be in close contact with each other anyway.

But with our move from NYC to UT, we are now living close to this woman again, and I am trying to navigate this long-ago damaged relationship.

I prayed. I prayed a lot, in fact. One thing that I thought would help was, if I thought of her name while in prayer, I would commit myself to texting her that very moment to check on her and to share my love with her. And I did it. I kept that commitment to myself, ACTING in love, in hopes that the feeling would follow.

I remember the morning she called me, and she told me that she thought I was a fake, sending all these nice texts to her all the time. It was crushing. I’d only been trying to ACT on what I’d thought was inspiration and pure desires to strengthen my relationship with her. But I’d only done more damage, I learned that morning.

I had gone into ACTION before changing the way I SAW this woman, the way I thought and SPOKE of this woman, even if only to myself. My FEELINGS were, of course, still very negative – before action, while in action, and maybe even more so after my actions.

Now, stay with me, there is still a lot of work to be done here. What if I keep the same goal, an improved relationship with this long-time friend, but approach it the other way around – using the three elements of creation first? What would that look like?

It might look like me setting a daily reminder on my phone to take a moment to SEE something good in this woman. It definitely looks like me SAYing good about her, out loud and in my own mind. And that doesn’t mean that I am lying to myself. My brain is stubborn. It’s not going to believe – not right away, anyway – that I was not right about this friend. But I think it can believe that this friend is trying her very best. And saying that truth to myself and, if the opportunity arises, to those around me, will affirm that in my mind. It looks like me pursuing the FEELing of love.

And that will always serve me best. Here is something to think about tonight, as I lie in bed, thinking of her, thinking of my family, thinking of myself and my relationship with myself:

“Ultimately love is where we’re trying to get to – (for our own sake). Love is always going to serve you best. It is going to create your best results for yourself because … it’s going to drive your best action. You are your best, most creative, most confident, most genius self when you’re operating in love.”

Jody Moore

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