Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Moment's Journey

Typically I write for an audience. It is easier for me that way, but now I write to me for me. I want to make a plea for my heart and my soul. I know what I want in life and although my desires are good, I still struggle all the time. I am not reading my scriptures. I don't pray. I am barely going to church. I attend but outside of that I pretend in putting anything into it. It's not that I lack faith, but I lack faith.

I know God is real. I know the Atonement and the Gospel to be true. I know that my sins are specifically designed for me and I know they hold me back. But I feel alone and my natural man seeks refuge in immediate solace instead of having the patience and faith to pursue what is eternal and I know to be true. The temple and everything within and a part of that Holy House - I know to be true. I know that God still uses me in His work. I have seen Him do it recently. And I know that through Him I have found myself in the past. Now, I wish to put my past in the past and truly begin to move forward.

The path is unclear and destination unknown. I know the first few steps I must take. I have taught others to do the same for years. Again, I pray for faith. I pray that others will pray for me too. Faith to act, to trust, to live for God. I don't know if my future is tied to someone far away in another state, in another country, or in another place. I can love people with all my heart. I want to do that. I can pray for them and want their success and happiness. They come to me in my dreams and show me the life filled with happiness, real love, and joy that I desire. But that is only possible with and through God. So if I don't know whom I am to be with or how to get there, the least I can do is make sure I am with God so when the time comes I am ready. I need to choose to invest.

It doesn't matter about the other people and how they act or choose to live their lives. Their sins are their own and we all will struggle with them. We struggle with them because we like them. But I do not need or want to let them become my stumbling block too. I can only change what I can control and that is me.

I need to study my scriptures, pray, go to church and family home evening, and I need to be more productive with my time. I need to put myself in good places and surround myself with good things. I need to be brave enough to remove myself when I am not. I need the courage to regroup, recenter, step away for a moment so I can refocus one shot at a time. Every choice is different and yet they all affect my future. Every choice is new. I can change and we can change in a moment. We have to seize those moments. See it. Feel it. Trust it. And then we might find out way back home.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Finding Peace When I'm Impatient

People are funny. We tend to not be as grateful as we should. Some people may be more richly blessed than others in different ways: material things, appearance and beauty, physical health, family, faith, intelligence, etc. However, we tend to see things we don't have. I don't have an internship that pays yet. I haven't paid off college yet. I haven't finished school yet. I'm not married yet. I don't have a girlfriend yet. I haven't. I want. I need. I am part of the problem. I'm not perfect yet nor will I.

If we are going to be thinking about ourselves, then let's think about our pasts and our present. Let's be grateful for what we have learned and what we have been given. Our greatest trials can be our greatest blessings if we look to serve and to learn from them. We all need to move forward and move on but we also don't want to continue to repeat our pasts. Like one of my good buddies for instance. He met a girl he had a solid conversation with, super cute, into sundresses (and who doesn't like a girl that looks great in a sundress?), triathlete, and after being super flirty with him, he walked away like he was the boss but forgot the crucial ingredient... Her phone number. It was one of those experiences where you are sitting on the edge of your seat thinking he struck gold and then...

But at the same time, all he had to do and which he eventually did was pull a Edward move from Twilight and stick around long enough that he could get her number. Now, they will be married by Wednesday. People in Utah get married faster than average. Any slower and she might be confused if he actually likes her. But whether my issues with gratitude are actually issues with impatience, I will find out eventually. Things will fall into place. But in the meantime, I just need to learn to find happiness peace wherever I can and not get upset when it isn't as easy as I would like.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Grint

In case you didn't already know, I am a bit of an avid golfer. I may not be "Lefty" or the "Golden Bear" but I do have a love for the game and it is something that is relaxing for me regardless of my skill. My analytical part of my mind however loves to look at statistics and see if there are specific areas of my game where I should focus on for improvement. My golfing partners would say all of it but the question I wanted answered was what specifically are my greatest strengths and biggest weaknesses. So I looked around and found an interesting mobile app called The Grint.

"Grint" is a term which means to shoot par or better (below par). Par is the average score that an average golfer would shoot on a specific hole. Tonight I finished playing a round of 18 holes and posted my score to the app and began looking at the free statistics that it had calculated. It posted everything from putting, overall score, driving accuracy, statistics for types of holes such as par 3 versus a par 5 hole. It also had statistics for when I shot 9 holes compared to when I shot 18 holes.

9 Holes 18 Holes

Hopefully, I will continue to improve and I thought it was fascinating to see things like I shoot better overall when I play a full round versus 9 holes but my putting doesn't improve. Only my short game and my mid-irons. I tend to hit fairways more often on par 5's versus par 4's. Still, no matter what information I can glean from the game, I feel like I will always have a love for it. It is by far, the greatest game I have ever played.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

New Life Lessons

Life is filled with learning experiences. Some struggles I have been able to overcome and some I have carried with me for as long as I remember. However, the ones that I carry, I do my best to learn from them and to use them to help the people I meet. I read once that,
"the people who exhibit the most kindness have experienced a lot of pain. The ones who act like they don't need love, are the ones that need it more. The ones who take care of everyone else's needs are the ones who need it most. And the people who smile a lot may be the ones who cry when there is no one around." - Unknown
 Just the other night a friend of mine told me how she loved that I am always so nice and so happy. Now, I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I am a very self-reflective person. I try my best to learn from my past and apply it to my present. I think this is the reason that I love to learn about psychology. I feel like it is a study of the way people think and how we perceive the world. If we can see things differently or from alternate points of view then we can empathize and understand other people and their realities. Everyone forms their own opinions and thoughts on people, circumstances, events, things, and those opinions are real and true to them and they form their reality. Everyone is different so even though two realities may contrast one another, it doesn't mean that either of them are any less true to that person. Yet, there are some people who look for absolute and fundamental truths. They look for meaning.

Yesterday, I had to take some time to relax from my job search for this summer. I have hit many roadblocks along the way and I am still struggling but I decided that it was going to be a good day for golf. I had some plans originally and when those fell through, I made new ones. And while I was out on the golf course, I got matched up with a man who was raised a Christian but since then had fallen out of his faith and no longer believed in fairy tales. It is hard to help people who don't believe in miracles. The amazing thing is you can see the miracles all around you each and every day. The way that the earth and all life is perfectly in balance, how the world naturally heals itself, and how all manner of life is created from the combining of two microscopic cells. Still, the man I met had so many questions and wasn't looking for answers as much as he was looking to feel peace about his decision.
"Yeah, I always felt a man's grip on his club just like a man's grip on his world..."
I recently watched a few films about golf that have taught me quite a bit. Why do you hold the club a certain way? Why is your stance the way it is? Is it merely because it feels good? The casual comment by a spectator is the thing that will mess with your confidence. We need to have conviction and reasons behind our decisions. The other ways we need to find our game is by finding rhythm, balance, patience, emotional control, and a focus on the feel and not the outcome. I need to visualize my shot and paint a mental picture because our body follows our mind. If we can see ourselves doing it then we can learn how to do it. This creates confidence and a sense of being prepared that allows us to expect the unexpected. This freedom provides a powerful force and yet the greatest trophies we can get in this life are the ones that come from overcoming our own weaknesses and temptations. It is improving ourselves. The way we make the perfect shot is we have to see it, feel it, and trust it.
"Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing... Somethin' we was born with... Somethin' that's ours and ours alone... Somethin' that can't be taught to ya or learned... Somethin' that got to be remembered... Over time the world can rob us of that swing... It get buried inside us under all our wouldas and couldas and shouldas... Some folk even forget what their swing was like..."

 Bury the lies and trust in the truths in our lives: faith, relationships, character, and integrity. But trust most in yourself. Take the shot. Don't be afraid to live life. Take the chance. Make the leap.