Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Just some thoughts

A couple of weeks ago I ran into a friend at the park who I had not seen for a while. John and I had been playing near the Harlem Meer on a sunny afternoon, and she said I always looks so calm and casual while she seemed so frazzled all the time. As we parted ways, I thought about how nice it is that to the general public I come across so calm and unfrazzled. I did mention to her that things can be quite different when I am within the confines of my own home and that I can be a totally stress case, but she didn't really believe me.

I have thought about that a lot in the past few weeks. People are always saying how they hate blogs that are dripping with sweetness and perfection, and I have to agree. No one has a perfect life although I do believe you can choose to be optimistic among the pitfalls. This blog has never been about documenting every truthful thing that happens in my day to day life. Mostly it is about stuff that makes me smile, which for the past 2 years has been John. In an effort to not be hypocritical to my message about visiting teaching a few weeks ago when I said that even people who seem like they haven't a care in the world probably have things they struggle with that no one ever knows about, I wanted to share a few thoughts. In essence, there isn't one person on this planet that doesn't need a friend. And just because some of us don't broadcast every tragedy, irritation, misfortune or triumphal overcoming on our blogs or in our every day conversation does not mean that those things aren't happening.

I had an experience worth sharing recently. The past few months have been difficult for me for one reason or another, and I do not see the smoke clearing at this juncture. And at times, as I am prone to do, when I let difficult things overshadow the good, my thoughts become negative. This can be a downward spiral into misery where nothing seems to be going right and life has thrown me more than my "fair" share of challenges, which is not necessarily true. I was in the midst of one of these quicksand like pity parties a few weeks ago, when a very important prompting entered my weary brain. I was coming back from running with a friend when suddenly a phrase from the scriptures came to mind... "Remember the great things the Lord has done for you." I immediately began to recall many blessings in my life some recent and some not so much. It helped lift my spirits. It wasn't but 2 or 3 days later that I came across the actual scripture while reading one night in Nephi that reads, "How is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us?" Thank you for that gentle chastisement, Heavenly Father, via Nephi. Perhaps the best way for me to ease my mind, feel at peace and relinquish my white knuckle grip on control is to remember. How often those words are repeated in the scriptures and how often we still forget.

That scripture plays out in my mind several times a day now. It's what gives me hope and helps me to know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. It keeps me from embarking on the downward spiral into self pity, negativism and misery. I am not a miserable person. In fact, I like to think I am a rather cheerful person, but I do get stressed out perhaps more than some people. Blame it on being a control freak, a worry wart, or any other lame excuses. The truth is I have a hard time letting go of the reins. I am always trying everything I can possibly think of to make sure my horse doesn't go galloping off into oblivion, sometimes to a fault. Letting go of the reins and trusting that the horse will go where it is supposed to go is one of my biggest challenges. But that doesn't mean I have to let that weary me. Gratitude is a cure for selfishness and pity. And today I choose to be grateful.

8 comments:

Kjelstrom Family said...

Beautifully said! I need to remember this too! Thank you for putting it down into words. Love you lots Nikks!

sam said...

oops. I think I commented the same thing twice. I thought the first time didn't work so I wrote it all over again but then, after I hit submit the second time, I noticed you have comment moderation turned on.
Ok, I'm done :)

sam said...

I was seriously JUST TODAY talking about this very same thing with my therapy supervisor at work. I was telling her how earlier in the week I started going down that self-pity landslide and how I then start seeing things in very black/white terms and am irrationally negative in my thinking. I told her that the way I tried to dig myself out of it was through gratitude. And it's true. Chas calls me his little stress ball. And that is also true. I've always struggled with being a worry wart and can't stand it when things feel out of my control. Gratitude truly is the key.
I think the whole purpose of this comment is to let you know we are kindred spirits also...sisters-in-law ;)

The Smiths said...

So true! I remember when things were difficult with my family when I was growing up and my mom telling me - "there's no such thing as a perfect family." As I got older I realized that this was oh so true and much the same with individuals.

Emily P said...

I was thinking of you and missing you, but it was too late to call, so I came to your blog. It's ironic. I was just saying to someone today that I feel like I alternate between two states lately: frenzied and frazzled. This post brought peace to my heart. Love you!

Mercedes said...

thank you nikki. i have felt much the same way in recent months and i really appreciated reading how a grateful heart is helping you cope. thanks for inspiring me!

familia Bybaran said...

Great post Nikki. And very well said. I felt like Elder Holland's blessing was right on on Sunday when he blessed us not to worry. I have been doing that a lot lately and it's gotten in my way spiritually. I feel like he was speaking right to me (and you too, apparently) when he said those words. Thanks for reminding me to be grateful.

Sarah L. said...

Nikki!!! I have missed you so and your mussings:))) I love reading this post. You always have a gift of saying what is in your mind just right. I am very excited for you to have #2. Do you know what it is??? I finally decided I could have #3 and now I am rethinking the whole thing:)) jk. It's just been a very hard pregnancy. But as you reminded me, I will choose to be grateful too:)) love ya
sarah