Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Turning A New Leaf

"What you thought before has led to every choice you have made, and this adds up to you at this moment.  If you want to change who you are physically, mentally, and spiritually, you will have to change what you think."

Have you ever wanted something so much, that you let go of the rest of yourself just to have it?  Or has the thought at least crossed your mind?  Have you ever wondered if what you're doing, this strong 'want' or 'desire', is for you and not because of what other people dictate and think?  Although hard to admit, I know that some of what I do in life is because I am overly concerned with how I'm viewed, how certain people may react, and the consequences of disappointing someone who's opinion I care about.  We all do this to an extent.  As much as we like to think that everything we do is for ourselves, it isn't.  We lie to ourselves all the time - trying to justify every action, every thought, and every ounce of expended energy and say that it was for  ourselves and ourselves only.  We are social beings - we crave attention - we need people to survive - and we form our perception of ourselves through the eyes of another.  Without the concerns of how we portray ourselves to other people, the need to be a better person would not exist.  Although along our life's journey we start to gear away from doing things in satisfaction for other people, it initially starts out that way.  Without knowing what it feels like to have to live for someone else, we would never come to know or appreciate what it means to live for ourselves.  Until we've come to this realization, we continue to soak in our own miserable lives of resentment and blame.

I have been told many times to stop letting what other people think, dictate how I feel or what I do.  Have you ever been told this at some point in your life?  If you think about it, if we were letting other people dictate our lives, those around us would have no reason to think that that is exactly what we were doing - because there wouldn't be an issue between what we want to do and what we feel like we need to conform to.  It is exactly because we are not doing what others want, that we have that inner conflict of whether or not we should.

It is hard to take life exactly the way it comes and to accept it in all forms of representation.  We want things to be perfect, we don't want any interruptions, or 'ups and downs' - yet, we still want the lessons learned and knowledge acquired.  It doesn't work that way.

Sometimes life just doesn't turn out the way you want it to.  Sometimes what you want isn't always going to be what is right.   Sometimes what we want most isn't what we get and we get mad at ourselves for not having it.  Despite what you want and what you need, you just have to accept whatever may happen because at the end of the day - you can't change the choices you've made that have led you to the situation you're in.  Everything happens for a reason, whether we like it or not.  Sometimes those reasons are unknown to us and we do not get a form of the bigger picture until the problem has already passed.  When things are unclear, we are less than willing to have the faith that we are going to make it through - once we've seen that it has made us into a better person, we can't help but be grateful that it happened.  None of us welcome our struggles and trials with open arms, it is natural for us to want the easy way out, but when all is said and done - we can't help but embrace and be grateful for the heartache we went through in order to have the long lasting happiness and growth as the end result.

Sometimes I fret over the stresses in my life and withdraw from everyone and everything - other times, I don't let my bad days get to me and I go on my merry way.  I spend hours on end thinking about what I would've, could've, or should've done - when in reality, nothing could have been done differently.   I lay in bed at night wishing there was more to me than the reflection I see in the mirror - not realizing that I'm the only one who is holding myself back.  Being able to let yourself go and being free from conformity requires having a vision of where it is that you want to be in the future - near or far.  Sometimes this can be discouraging when your loved ones or those you hold close do not have the same vision as you do.  This is when living life for you and not for others has to take a turn.  Major events happen so that you can fully prepare yourself to be everything you want to be and more, without someone else taking the credit or dictating to you constantly on what seems to be an overhead surround sound system.  Let others live their lives and take pleasure in living yours.  Be happy with who you are and what you do because you have to live with YOU for the rest of your life.  Make it worth it.

I have come to realize that in order to live a happy and fulfilling life, our top priorities must be those that give us the most happiness in life.  Then, we need to decide that nothing can come between those priorities - they are first in our lives for a specific purpose, keep it that way.  It is always going to be difficult, one way or another, but if it's pure and lasting happiness we are after - it will all be worth it in the end.

Although I am guilty of doing many things that I encourage others not to do, what I have to say would not hold value if I weren't able to identify myself with another's struggles.  Experience reaps wisdom.  If I hadn't "been there, done that" - than nobody would take me seriously because I would not be able to understand what it is that I claim to know and continue to blog.  I'm not here to give you a mushy story or sugar coat what it is that we all go through - I'm simply here to give you my thoughts and words of advice through personal experiences and knowledge I have acquired along the way.

I'm not going to lie - life is NOT an easy ride, but don't let that discourage you from being who you were meant to be.  Surround yourself with uplifting people that are quick to pick you up when you're in need.  Ditch those who constantly bring you down and make you feel as though you're not good enough - because you are.  You ARE good enough, you ARE of value, and YOU are worth more than they could ever offer.  Give yourself a little more credit for what you have accomplished and what you continue to do for YOURSELF and for the needs of other people.  Do not sell yourself short due to the dictations and misunderstandings of another.  You're better than that.  Don't forget it.

"You can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it.... if you change your mind you will solve your problem."

Turn a new leaf, look at life from a new perspective, and change your mind -- take hold of what comes and don't let anyone tear you down in the process.  Start living life for you - it is so much more satisfying.  Be the change you wish to see in the world.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Song of Remembrance

Yes - I did this myself! :) Took both pictures and did an overlay :)

I started this poem back in April and only just finished it about an hour ago.  It is a little hard to say that it is "finished" because I feel as though it might be a life time project - which is why it took so long.  I want to keep changing and adjusting it depending on my audience and topic.  It doesn't feel 'complete' yet - I'm not sure what it needs.  Maybe just more time and thought?  I don't know... 

Some of you might be wondering how I even came up with such a poem.  Back in April around Easter time, I was challenged by one of my Insitute teachers to somehow incorporate the Atonement into more aspects of my life.  I had already written another poem (which is posted in April's archive!) but I felt compelled to do something more.  Obviously I love to write, and one of my other passion's is music.  Whether it is singing, dancing, or playing an instrument - I absolutely love it.  So, I took some of the hymn titles from the LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) Hymn Book and somehow formed a poem - no added words, no abbreviations, just simply the names of the songs.  About a week ago my friend Natalie gave a talk in church and she used part of this poem in her talk.  At first I was a little hesitant to let her use it because of my own insecurities, but again - I felt as though someone in the audience needed to hear it from her.  Oddly enough - that someone was me... I've NEVER heard my own creations come out of the mouth of someone else.  It was refreshing, and eye opening.  It was hard to believe that that was my work.  I had a flush of different emotions as each word was said - but, I was totally calm and at ease at the same time.  That sounds crazy - but I don't know how else to explain it.....

Song of Remembrance

God Loved Us, So He Sent His Son
O, Holy Words of Truth and Love
He Died That We Might Live Again
Lead Me into Life Eternal - Beautiful Zion, Built Above

For All The Saints - Come Follow Me
Abide with Me: 'Tis Eventide
The Time Is Far Spent
Behold the Great Redeemer Die

O God the Eternal Father
We Ever Pray For Thee
With All the Power of Heart and Tongue
More Holiness Give Me

The Wintry Day, Descending to Its Close
God, Our Father, Hear Us Pray
Where Can I Turn For Peace?
As Zion's Youth In Latter Days

In Remembrance of Thy Suffering
Upon the Cross of Calvary
In Memory of the Crucified
Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

What Glorious Scenes My Eyes Behold
The Happy Day at Last Has Come
Men Are That They Might Have Joy
O Love That Glorifies the Son

High on the Mountain Top
Gently Raise the Sacred Strain
Know This, That Every Soul Is Free
We Sing All Hail to Jesus' Name

There Is a Green Hill Far Away
Go Forth with Faith - Come Along, Come Along
When Faith Endures - Turn Your Hearts
Great God, to Thee My Evening Song

Dearest Children, God Is Near You
Ye Simple Soul's Who Stray
Prayer Is the Soul's Sincere Desire
Did You Think to Pray?

How Gentle God's Commands
Love One Another - I Am a Child of God
How Great the Wisdom and the Love
The Lord Is My Light - The Iron Rod

Let the Holy Spirit Guide
Nearer, My God, to Thee
I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go
The Spirit of God - Abide with Me

I Need Thee Every Hour
Oh My Father - God's Daily Care
Though Deepening Trials - Be Thou Humble
In Humility Our Savior - Sweet Hour of Prayer

Lord Accept Our True Devotion
All Creatures of Our God and King
Father in Heaven, We Do Believe
Sweet Is the Peace the Gospel Brings

Father In Heaven
Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me
Before Thee, Lord, I Bow My Head
Guide Me to Thee

By: Talaileva Fa'apoi
October 4th, 2011