Lessons Learned

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It was another difficult weekend. I thought a lot, cried a lot, hurt a lot. I also learned a lot or at least received a lot of encouragement and inspiration from friends and leaders of my religion. One of the things I was reminded of was that we can do hard things. This has been my theme for many years now. I believe I first started saying it after I gave natural childbirth over ten years ago. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, but also the most empowering. You give natural childbirth and you feel like you can do anything! I learned from that experience that I could do hard things. Now, that doesn’t always mean I’ll do them well, but I can do them. And so can you.

Another thing I was reminded of was that we choose how to respond to the challenges we face in life. I absolutely believe this, but I also know that we, as humans, are not emotionless, robotic beings. Emotions are real and not something we can just shut down with the flip of a switch. If it’s okay for us to feel happiness, joy, love, excitement then it is also okay for us to feel sadness, despair, disappointment, depression, anger, hurt. I had a couple of people tell me that we aren’t meant to be alone. That’s how I was feeling this past weekend—that I was meant to be alone. One friend reminded me that that isn’t God’s way, which is abundantly clear by the fact that we are all on this earth together. We weren’t meant to walk this life alone. We were meant to be with each other. We were meant to affect each other. And we do, which is why it is so important that we take care with the choices that we make—because those choices can have far-reaching consequences. Yes, we can absolutely choose how to respond to the choices others make that may affect us, but I’m not sure we have control over the initial emotion we feel. Another friend reminded me that it’s okay to feel hurt and disappointed for awhile. Those sorts of feelings mean we have opened up ourselves and our hearts. We have to have open hearts to feel the good, too.

So, lessons learned? It’s okay to have emotions, the good and the bad. It’s important to think about the choices we make. That doesn’t mean we’ll always make the right ones. I know I’ve made way more than my share of wrong choices, but we need to try to remember that what we do affects others. And we can do hard things. It may not be easy, but we can do it—we just have to carry on, have hope and keep going.

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