Sunday, December 14, 2014

Some thoughts on change

I have a lot of mixed emotions towards change, I think most people do. The best way I think I can describe change and how it feels is to compare change to a flu shot. First is obvious, the pain of a needle being shoved in your arm, but also before that there is the anxiety of knowing the shot is coming, while they are cleaning of your arm. The sweatiness your palms get right before. Then there is the throbbing pain for the next day or 2 that hurts and aches. That is the best way I can explain change. It hurts but like a flu shot, in the long run it helps you.

Ok so maybe that isn't such a good analogy. But change is hard. And I'm not saying I have gone through the worst change ever, but I have had some big changes in the last couple months that have me finding it hard to believe how I have managed some. I have had tons of change lately. But I have realized that I can look back at all the change and events that has happened and I can hate it and be angry how things have turned out. How I got sent home and then diagnosed with a Chronic illness. Or I can look at  how I have changed from these tough events and have a totally different perspective.

I once heard someone say that their testimony grew more coming home early from their mission because they were sick, then if they would have finished. And where I find that very admirable, and amazing, I can't seem to believe that for myself. I can look back on the 11 months I served and see all the change that happened to me, and that I made in myself, and it is amazing! And when I look back at how I have changed after being sent home, I see less. But what I have been able to see is how strong my testimony really  is. I haven't had it grow sufficiently these past 6 months of being home like I did when I was out serving. But those 11 months were able to lift me up, and now I am witnessing just how strong I really am.

Change is hard. And the events that led up to this were hard to. And I really hope that one day I can honestly say that I am grateful for all that I am going through right now, because right now I can't say that honestly and mean it. But I hope one day I can.

So instead of looking at how little I have changed, compaired to fulltime missionaries coming home now, I can look at what has changed in me. The first thing I can think is self-patience, I was very poor at this on my mission, and I am definitely still learning it, and in no way an expert, but I am much more patient with myself, and I have to be.

Another change I have seen in myself is I am learning to control myself better, my words and my thoughts as well as my actions. I would get in trouble occasionally out on the mission because I didn't want to back down from a bible bash or an argument, because I knew I was right and they were wrong... Unfortunately, I never realized that they thought the something. But now, it's not that I shy away from a fight, I just know that I can't spend my energy on useless arguments and worries, because then a panic attack sets in and I freak out about everything. So learning to gain control of my inner self and emotions is a big change I have seen.

Another change is how I view people. I used to look at people that had problems and think like my mindset was... Well if they just worked a little harder and stopped making excuses they would be alright. But now instead of making mental suggestions and judgments of how people should fix their lives, I am now giving people more of a benefit of the doubt. I feel like I understand people more when they say they are having a hard day, or when someone appears to be struggling I can sympathize more, because I feel like I might know a tiny bit of what the other struggling person might be feeling like. So that is a big change I have noticed.

And finally the biggest change I have noticed, that I have sorta already touched base on, is I have noticed just how strong I really am. And I guess one never realizes how strong they really are until they are given something heavy to lift or carry, that is when they get the test. And maybe my prep for my test was cut short 6 months, but I am stronger than this burden I have to lift and carry. And I think if more people will stop thinking of a sudden change of events in a negative way, and realize the change in themselves while the negative events are happening, then maybe the events won't seem as hard, and change won't seem as difficult.

This is so true!
Gahndi once said "be the change you want to see in the world." I say be the change you want to see in yourself. Because if we all individually looked at what we could improve within ourselves than the world wouldn't need changing. And maybe that is what Gahndi meant all along, I don't know, but I do know that change starts with yourself... Myself.

-The Lyme Warrior