Sunday, November 23, 2008

Discouragement

Last night I found myself feeling discouraged, resentful, and slightly angry - familiar feelings that I had hoped would stay forever in the past.

I asked myself the 'why' questions. Questions that have no answers - at least not in this life.


This morning, I was still discouraged. This scripture came to mind:


"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." D&C 122:7

Clearly, my life has not been so dramatic as to be cast into a pit or into the hands of murderers, but I will admit to feeling sorry for myself in the past for some of the things that have happened. Trials that are meant to give me experience.

I started a quest about a year ago to draw closer to the Savior and to leave the past behind me. To trust the Lord. To follow Him. To have faith.

Faith has been a difficult lesson for me to learn. I like to 'see' what I believe. I like tangible evidence. But as I've grown more faithful - so has my testimony grown.

I suppose it is normal for the old feelings to pop up now and again. I've learned a few things that have helped me to put it all into perspective. Tricks to reject the negativity and keep it out of my life.

This music/video helped me today. Take a minute and watch.

What do you do when you feel discouragement? What helps you to put things into perspective?

12 comments:

Tammy said...

Discouragement and I go hand in hand at this time. With the economy so bad I don't see how we are just going to "pop" out of it. I see the very real chance that my home could very well run thorugh our hands like sand and find ourselves homeless if something doesn't happen. It can be hard and make your heart pound with sadness. Do you know what helps me? Prayer and a ginormous sense of humor. Hubby and I have started praying our personal prayers day and night of course, but we also pray before we open the store and again when we close up for the night. It helps us. I feel the Savior standing near taking my burden from me and helping my heart to feel lighter. The very thought that a scripture could come to mind in your time of need is truly a testament to how far you have come. Hang in there Red and know...you are not alone. We are here!!!

binders said...

Ah, Jodester. This is so timely for me right now. Especially the 'stuff I thought I left in the past' part. I recently found out that someone I am connected to is also friends with my husband's ex. A person I've never met but have such resentment toward.

I thought it was all in the past but this odd connection brought up old feelings etc. Especially when the connection was raving "Oh, she's such a good person". I could barely keep my mouth shut. But I did.

I've spent waaayy too much time rumination on that which cannot be changed. Discouraged.

I need to follow your example. It's really the only way to not be drown by past struggles. Forgiveness is the only way forward.

Cheer up, my friend. I know of many of your struggles and I'm so proud of how well you've managed them. It isn't easy but it is worth it.

wonder woman said...

Usually when I get discouraged I just let it build and build till I explode. My house and family go to pieces, I get all resentful and get really emotional.

To be honest, I don't know what I do to get out of it. Lately, it's been blogging. If I can get it out of my system and get a little sympathy, I can just move on. But I admitly haven't gone through anything to tough in my life. (Which scares me to death. I REALLY don't want to know what my big thing is going to me.)

Michelle said...

Thanks for this. Discouragement just crashes in on me-- sometimes with good reason and sometimes for none at all. Laughter helps me the most. And sometimes cheap novels like Twilight. Sorry, those weren't very spiritual answers!

Hey! I found your crashed car in my yearbook!

Tink said...

Joseph Smith had a LOT to be discouraged about and so when the Savior said that to HIM it made me feel like a heel for all the whining and complaining I do. Thanks for the video. I LOVED it. Very inspirational. It is easy to be discouraged. We all experience trials and hardships and feelings of loneliness or regrets. It's easy for me to get on my pitty pot when I think about things I struggle with...being a working mom, having a child with a mental illness, living in a small hut under 1600 SF, dealing with an ex-wife who hates me and makes life VERY difficult, etc., etc., the ONLY way I can counteract that discouragement is counting off the blessings I DO have in my life. That hymn "Count Your Many Blessings" I love cuz it's sooo true. It doesn't discount what I'm discourged about, but it helps me refocus. And also it helps sooo-sooo much to have sisterhood and friends in my life who love and support me and reaffirm that I'm a GREAT person! We all are divine! It also helps to have a great cry to my Heavenly Father in prayer. I haven't met you yet, but I feel a kinship with you and can't wait to meet you next Friday for lunch. Is that still one for people? Have a great Sabbath day! You're amazing!!

DesertHen said...

(((Hugs))) to you my friend!! Discouragement can creep in during the best and worst of times. I know how you are feeling...just don't let the past get you down. When I feel that doubt, discouragment or overwheling ugre to run and hide from the world and all of my mistakes....I stop and take stock of the blessings in my life and remember to live in the present moment. It has taken me many, many years to learn that lesson. So again (((HUGS))) to you. Have a lovely evening and a wonderful week.

( I have been trying to catch up on my blog reading today and my computer is so darn slow...talk about discouraging!!! )

Motherboard said...

I know this discouragement demon all too well. It is Satans biggest tool with me... I feel insecure, then get all discouraged... its a slippery slope from there for me.

I'm sorry you have to fight this demon too.

One thing that has really helped me is a quote that I actually wrote in my scriptures when I was really struggling... it says, in short, "I must never forget that I am a child of God..." I will email you the rest.

Sorry you are having a rough go... We all love you, and think you are wonderful.

Mechelle said...

We are all discouraged from time to time. Some of us more often than others. But with our faith planted firmly in the pure love of Jesus Christ, we can overcome these feelings.

When I feel blue I go for a run. There is something about the pounding of my feet that gets the blues out of my system.

But that is not for everyone. I understand that. I do believe that working out your body will help your mental health.

I like what MB said about being a child of God. That is the bottom line. Love to you. m

Michelle said...

Coming from your less-than-spiritual friend, my words of advice are to seek support from those you love and try to look at the good things in your life. That's what has typically worked for me in the past, although every day provides a different and sometimes daunting challenge to deal with. Do your best to keep negative people out of your life - you don't need them. And if you do have to deal with them, don't let them bring you down.

And when all else fails, fall back on Napoleon.

Hey JLW, can I borrow your chapstick? My lips hurt real bad! Gosh!

Sher said...

Where have I been? How did I miss this post? I know a little too well what you're going through. It seems just when I start to think I've got things under control, that little depression demon creeps back up and bites me.
Yours words have encouraged me, and I hope you realize that you're not alone, and we're all here for you!
(And I'm glad to hear the pre-Thanksgiving dinner cheered you up!)

Mother Goose said...

I love the tricks and things that you have learned to get your through these times. Holidays always tend to bring up unsettled moments in time. I have to just literally detatch and sometimes treat it as if I am an outsider looking in, or being invited to participate. Truly, it is much easier to look at it that way and everyone is so much happier. I too, have tricks that I use for coping with the holidays and old family drama.

rich and steph said...

After going thru a major depressive episode this summer I learned the value of letting others help me-this even included my hubby, mom and dad and kids. Amazing how their strenght helped me back. I am also a hospice Rn and just want to let people know that depression is real and not just a phase we can talk ourselves out of. There is so mamy resouces out there for help and counseling and many of them thru our faith. I learned the hard way that just picking someone from an insurance directory was not a smart idea. Keep your friends and the gospel close to you and good luck:)