November 24, 2014

Living in a World with no Breaks.

     "I just need a break" "This weeks is exhausting" "when will it end" "Just take it away" Believe it or not, we live in a world with no breaks. When we scroll through Facebook and see the lives of others as they live a perfect life with their perfect family portrait. This perfect portrait does not display real life. We should not compare our lives with the lives of others. Others are experiencing similar pains in their own life. In the last General Conference, Elder Cook spoke about thee use of social media, " A prominent thought leader, Arthur C. Brooks, has emphasized this point. He observes that when using social media, we tend to broadcast the smiling details of our lives but not the hard times at school or work. We portray an incomplete life-- Sometimes in a self-aggrandizing or fake way. We share this life, and then we consume "almost exclusively... fake lives of [our] social media 'friends.'" Brooks asserts, "How could it not make you feel worse to spend part of your time pretending to be happier than you are, and the other part of your time seeing how much happier others seem to be than you?""
     If we live life this way, we will feel unhappy in our circumstances. Perhaps we are unhappy with our current circumstances now. During these bleak times in our lives, which makes up the majority of our life, it is easy to feel ungrateful, because there seems to be nothing to be thankful for.If we remain in this state of mind, we will become consumed. There won't be light at the end of the tunnel, because life is always hard. Our tough experiences will never stop from happening. We will not catch a break. Life is hard, so deal with it. but don't deal with it alone.
     Involve Christ. Thomsas S Monson stated "He will not always take your afflictions from you, but he will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face".  The atonement of Jesus Christ builds our faith to match our circumstance. He gives us strength beyond our own. He lifts our hearts higher than we can fathom. This life is about trusting him. How can we learn to trust him if we don't rely on his strength during our circumstances. If our circumstances were simply  dissolved, there would be no need for the strength of Christ. We do now, and always will need the strength of Christ.
     While we can't catch a break from our personal environment and surroundings, we can catch a break from our feelings of exhaustion, our feelings of fatigue, our feelings of unhappiness. True happiness does not depend on our circumstances. True happiness depends on our patience. The Apostle Paul taught about patience in his epistle to Rome  "We glory in tribulations ... knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience, and experience hope". (Rom. 5:3-4)
     This is thanksgiving time, and we all look into our past to see what we are grateful for. We look at our lives now and see what we are grateful for. But what about those times when life is bleak. Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught us the important principal of being grateful in any circumstance "It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I'm suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances -- Whatever they may be".  Thankfulness is not dependent on our circumstance. It doesn't depend on anything else. Thankfulness is a feeling that can be felt without attachment to anything. Don't wait for your circumstance to change, before you change yourself. Don't let your happiness depend on your circumstance.

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