Friday, January 9, 2015

so basically spirituality has taken a back seat

I'm one of those people Brooke mentioned that lumps spirituality with religion. I was born and raised LDS (learn about the LDS faith here) and, for the most part, have enjoyed my experience with the LDS church and its people. It has taught me skills and helped me cultivate values that have largely guided me in a direction I want my life to go. Honestly, everything good I have in life I can attribute to my being raised LDS. I think most people struggle with their values and beliefs at some point, and I've had a few small bouts of that, but I would consider myself to have a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and everything that comes with it.

The months of focusing on authenticity opened the floodgates of many memories of negative experiences and all the feelings that come with them. I consider myself a strong individual who has handled many difficult situations with grace, putting my faith and trust in my Heavenly Father to make sure everything was happening for my good. I've taken advantage of Jesus Christ's Atonement to seek forgiveness of my wrong doings as well as to overcome weaknesses and feelings of doubt, insecurity, confusion, and lack of self-worth. However, I've spent the last three years avoiding something that has affected me much deeper and more strongly than I ever realized. That specific situation, combined with my personal and family history, has torn my feelings of self-worth and self-confidence to shreds. I was once a confident, outgoing introvert with a love for serving and teaching others. I loved to make those I love happy. I took many challenges head on and possessed a strength I cannot describe. Things that were difficult for me I either learned to accept or dealt with them until they were no longer difficult. I easily moved on from things that did not work out, knowing that something better was in my future. I did not doubt where my self-worth came from, whose daughter I truly was, and that everything in my life was "for a reason". I had a bright spark and love for life.

Fast forward to today. While I still love serving and teaching others, I no longer feel confident in my abilities to do so. I try my hardest to make others happy, but it's difficult to do when I'm not happy myself. I shy away from new challenges because I feel like I have enough on my plate. I let myself get consumed and overwhelmed with the simplest of tasks. I no longer possess the self-esteem of a woman who does not care what others think of her; instead, I constantly strive to meet others' standards of happiness and perfection, regardless of the cost. I feel weak and incapable. I'm missing my Katrina spark. I doubt myself and my abilities every single day, I question my self-worth, I no longer know that better things are ahead, and I don't understand why my life has taken certain paths. I'm no longer the woman I was, and it kills me to admit that.

Last week, my husband asked me when I've felt happiest and most like myself and I'm so glad he did! Every summer from high school graduation to my wedding was spent teaching teenagers about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the LDS church. Every day was spent in authentic and honest prayer, feasting on the scriptures, fasting for ourselves and others, participating in uplifting activities, and teaching lessons focused on Jesus Christ and His mission. The entire time I was surrounded by loving, accepting, enthusiastic friends who all had the same goal--to teach others the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. My entire focus was on Christ and how to make it back to Him.

I'm still filtering through the last three years to pinpoint exactly when, where, and why the changes in my demeanor took place. I have a feeling it's going to be quite the process. I'm enlisting outside help and trying my darnedest to open up so I can receive the help I so desperately need. I'm terrified of what the next few months have in store, but I'm also ecstatic to figure myself and my issues out. I'm thrilled to move on. I'm exhilarated to feel like me again, to get my Katrina spark back. Posts may be lacking, but know that blossoming is not.


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