Friday, June 15, 2012

Let go of he hurt

I don't want to have a preach-y blog, but I want to share a principle that I learned recently. Maybe I'm just behind all of you guys, but this was a big "aha" moment for me, so I really want to remember it so that I can apply it to my life from now on. If you need to hear it too, I hope this post can help.

This story starts back in high school. I had a good guy friend. Well, since I've graduated, I've heard about the horribly mean things that he was doing to my sister her senior year of high school. I was away at SVU, and my defensive mode for my sister kicked in, but I felt so helpless because I was so far away. He said mean things about me too, (to my sister). I cried and cried when I found out, because it hurt. Why would such a good friend do this to me and my sister? I thought the days of high school drama were over. Because we had been such good friends, I was tempted to confront him, instead of quietly suffering. But then I decided it would just be contentious, especially because I couldn't talk to him in person. I tried to let it go.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I was talking to my mom on the phone, and she said she had stood up for me the other day. I was naturally curious. Apparently, at a recent Relief Society activity, the mom of this friend said to my mom, "my son is having a hard time imagining Lexi being a mom, because every thing grosses her out." It was said in front of a few people, and there was an awkward feeling in the air, and my mom replied with some good qualities that I have that she thinks will help me be a good mom. That wasn't the meanest thing someone could say, and of course it came through his mom, so who knows if that's really what he said at all. But with my pregnancy hormones and already having feelings of mommy inadequacy, I burst into tears when I hung up. My mom called me right back and said sorry that she had told me.

But this second encounter really made me reevaluate some things. Even though I was married, and he was about to go on a mission, it seemed like the nasty talk was never going to end. And even though I had been trying to forget the first bad encounter, I was still holding a grudge deep down and hadn't forgiven him the first time. Had I ever talked bad about someone, and it got back to them? Bear reminded me that "haters gonna hate" and I can't let what other people say get me down. Another friend said that the best "revenge" would be to live my life the best that I could and prove that I can be a good mom. Those helped a little, but I really was comforted and learned my lesson from these quotes:

The first was one that the cast of the Nauvoo Pageant learns together from Brigham Young.

"If you feel evil, keep it to yourselves until you overcome that evil principle. This is what I call resisting the devil, and he flees from me …. When you are influenced by the Spirit of holiness and purity, let your light shine; but if you are tried and tempted and buffeted by Satan, keep your thoughts to yourselves-keep your mouths closed; for speaking produces fruit, either of a good or evil character. You frequently hear brethren and sisters say that they feel so tried and tempted, and have so many cares, and are so buffeted, that they must give vent to their feelings; and they yield to the temptation, and deal out their unpleasant sensations to their families and neighbors. Make up your minds thoroughly, once for all, that if we have trials, the Lord has suffered them to be brought upon us, and he will give us grace to bear them. But if we have light or intelligence that will do good, we will impart it. … Let that be the determination of individual, for spirit begets spirit-likeness; feelings beget their likeness. If then we give vent to all our bad feelings and disagreeable sensations how quickly we beget the same in others, and load each other down with our troubles, and become sunk in darkness and despair! In all your social communications let all the dark, discontented, murmuring, unhappy, miserable feelings-all the evil fruit of the mind, fall from the tree in silence and unnoticed; and so let it perish, without taking it up to present to your neighbors. But when you have joy and happiness, light and intelligence, truth and virtue, offer that fruit abundantly to your neighbors, and it will do them good, and so strengthen the hands of your fellow beings." (Journal of Discourses, 5:351-352)

So by venting and whining about my sad story, I was bringing other people down with me. But that wasn't enough.

Next, I read President Uchtdorf's latest conference talk, "The Merciful Obtain Mercy". He said, "when we feel hurt, angry, or envious, it is quite easy to judge other people, often assigning dark motives to their actions in order to justify our own feelings of resentment." "Christ...forgave the wicked, the vulgar, and those who sought to hurtand to do Him harm." And "love your enemies , bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite fully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44) "There is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it through our own stubbornness, bitterness, and resentment." "Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord's way."

But the icing cake was Elder Scott's talk "How to Obtaim Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life" from this past conference:

"..Yielding to emotions such as anger or hurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost. Those emotions must be eliminated, or our chance for receiving revelation is slight...haughtiness, pride, and conceit are like stony ground that will never produce spiritual fruit."

That's the most important. I'm driving the spirit away every time I get upset about what he did. This was probably something that I should've learned in high school. But I'm glad that I learned it now. I really, really, don't want to turn into a bitter old woman. I forgive him.

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