I wanted to take a minute this morning to type up what I learned from my personal scripture studies last week.
In Doctrine and Covenants 20, we are re-introduced to the Sacrament prayers. But, for the new members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1830, this is the first time they are hearing these prayers. Imagine reading these prayers for the first time. How would we feel? What would stick out to us?
One of the first things that stuck out to me, reading it from that place, was the word “sanctify” in the phrase “bless and sanctify this bread” – sanctify, meaning to make holy or sacred. And, in that prayer, it is the bread that we are sanctifying. The most common of things – bread. And we are making it, or rather asking the Lord to make it, sacred. This loaf of cheap sliced bread from the bottom of the stack in the grocery store, is now sacred. Fascinating, right?
What other “common” things in my life am I invited to make sacred or holy? I kept a list, throughout the day.
- Conversations with the children
- Bryant holding my hand
- Our home
- Our food
- My health/illness
- The weather
- A beat-up white van full of kids and kids’ stuff
- My closet (my prayer closet)
- Divorce (going through that, growing through that, learning, and leaning on the Lord can become a holy experience!)
- My neighbor (such a common thing to have a neighbor, such a sacred experience to be a neighbor)
But then I thought, How? What is the process for changing some thing or some experience or some person that is very very common to something that is very very sacred?
Two thoughts: 1) We bless it. We ask the Lord to “bless” this bread, bless this relationship, bless this day, etc. Sanctification is, ultimately, a gift from God. And we ask for the gift when we ask Him to “bless and sanctify”. 2) Partake. That is our part! We ask the Lord to bless, and then we intentionally “partake”! Sometimes, when I am driving that beat-up white van, full of kids and full of kids’ stuff, I “clock out”. I put in my airpods and start up a book or a song or a podcast. I distract myself from that very common experience of kids and kids’ stuff, right? And I think that is totally okay! But I also think there is an opportunity there to sanctify that experience by partaking of it! Interacting with the kids, listening to their funny conversations, learning from them, teaching them, laughing with them, feeling with them. That could be sacred!
I was thinking about partaking of the weather. I thought about a quote that my brother, Ben, really likes:
“But Jenkin seemed to be able to enjoy everything; even ugliness. I learned from him that we should attempt a total surrender to whatever atmosphere was offering itself at the moment; in a squalid town to seek out those very places where its squalor rose to grimness and almost grandeur, on a dismal day to find the most dismal and dripping wood, on a windy day to seek the windiest ridge. There was no irony about it; only a serious, yet gleeful, determination to rub one’s nose in the very quiddity of each thing, to rejoice in its being (so magnificently) what it was.”CS Lewis, Surprised by Joy, 199
Today I want to spend the rest of the post talking about relationships. Some are the easiest thing to partake in, and some are the very most difficult, right?
PRINCIPLES STUDIED THIS WEEK:
One of the things I have been working on, in myself, is cutting drama out of my relationships. Drama is only created within me, right? If someone said something unkind about me, and it got back to me, I could create a lot of drama, but it would really only be in my mind. I can’t believe she did that. That was a bold-faced lie and she said it to protect herself. What kind of friend would do that?
Or I could, in the exact same situation, experience an absolute absence of drama. That’s an option. It’s not that I’m even cutting the drama out, I’m just never letting it in, in the first place, right?
I can do that by not listening – not participating in the talk at all. Not allowing it to be around me.
I can not let drama into my life by not reacting. It’s not drama for me, if it’s not drama for me. I do this by managing my thoughts around the situation. I can manage my thoughts around what was said, no matter what she said or how she feels about what she said. I only feel my feelings, not her’s. Does that make sense?
I can decide that it’s fine that she told that lie about me. It’s fine that she’s wrong about me. I can think thoughts like, You know what, she’s just a human in the world doing the best she can. That’s it. It’s hard to be a human. Or I can think, She found something wrong with me. There’s a lot more where that came from. And that’s okay. I love me. I’ve got me.
If I am in a good place, I could even think, She’s probably right, and she’s probably wrong. What she said was a lie, but there’s also maybe some truth in what she said. And that’s okay.
“I want you always in the driver’s seat of your own emotions and your own experience in the world. And the truth is that you are able to create any experience for yourself that you want to when you understand that you’re the creator of it.”Jody Moore
For me, the best line in this podcast:
“Stop thinking about what everyone else is thinking. Start thinking more about what you’re thinking.”Jody Moore
Looking at the A and the R lines today. I find I don’t put enough information in the A line. My coach says that having a robust A line leads to a clear R.
Let’s use the example above in our model today. It’s an example from the past. I like to sometimes use past circumstances when I practice my unintentional models because I can see more clearly in practicing populating the model.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Olivia told me that Hannah said that I wouldn’t let her help at all with the children.
THOUGHT: Hannah is telling Olivia this lie about me so that she doesn’t look bad in Olivia’s eyes for not helping with the children.
Here are some questions to help me explore what might go in the A line.
What did I do when the circumstance happened? I got upset and defended myself to Olivia. Then I stewed over it and didn’t sleep. I planned out in my brain over and over again how I could confront Hannah about the lie.
What didn’t I do? I didn’t actually talk to Hannah.
What would I see on a replay? I would see me sitting on my blogging chair, fuming over the lie. I would see me talking to my husband about the lie. I would see me doing thought dumps, trying to see why it is that I am so frustrated by this lie.
(I would also see me trying to understand what part of the lie might be true, and investigating why she would interpret my behavior in a way that might make what she said true in her mind. But that would be a different model. That would be a different thought, a different feeling, etc. Do you see that? Let’s stick with the original thought and the original feeling.)
What happened internally (in my brain)? I am stewing. I am fuming. I am finding proof from the past that Hannah has always protected herself, at all costs.
So, let’s try populating that A line.
ACTION: I react and defend myself to Olivia. Then I stew over it, instead of sleeping, looking to the past for proof of her flaws, and planning in the future how to confront Hannah about the lie she told about me. I don’t actually say anything to Hannah, but stop talking to her much at all.
To get the R line from here, I can ask myself some additional questions. What do I create for myself from these actions? What’s the result or outcome?
RESULT: I do not have a positive relationship with Hannah. I am not moving toward a positive relationship with Hannah. I try to sweep it under the rug. I’m tired. I’m not in the driver’s seat of my own emotions.