Monday, November 5, 2012

A novel about self-mastery.

Six weeks ago I realized my life wasn't headed in the direction I wanted to go.  The impetus to all of this was a meeting we had at church about the LDS Church's addiction recovery program.  It resonated with me.  I was touched by the stories of healing through the power of Jesus Christ's atonement.  This program is amazing.  I had a passing thought that if Jesus were on the earth again, he'd be in the thick of this program, loving, supporting, helping, encouraging, all those who are striving to overcome addictions, large or small.  This program is all about changing hearts.  The humility of those who can openly admit that they've lost control of their lives and are seeking to change overwhelmed me.  There is no pretense, no duplicity.  I wasn't struggling with addictions like alcoholism, pornography, drugs, etc., but I had areas in my life where I felt I'd lost control.  I wanted to overcome them, to rediscover self-mastery again.  And I felt motivated to change.

Lately I'd been doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, which felt great...until it didn't.  Until I realized that I wasn't growing or changing or stretching in any way.  In fact, I felt quite the opposite of GREAT.  Indulging in every personal whim is not a recipe for happiness.  Life feels out of control.  I felt weak.  Weak is a weird word in this context, but it fits.  I wan't exerting effort to become better, to master myself.  My main problem was how I was using my time.

I set a few goals...or maybe it's more like one goal with little appendages: I would NOT turn on the computer until the house was straightened (this is a daily job at our house), morning dishes done, vacuumed the main living areas, exercising complete (sometimes it happens, sometimes not, but I don't beat myself up over it), scripture study complete, dressed and ready for the day, Sam fed and clothed.  Basically, first things first.  Things that most of you are probably already doing FIRST.  (Heh, I'm the nerd here.)

The computer was my issue.  I'd hop on to do a blog post or check my email or see what people were up to on facebook, or google my latest question or, or, or....  Since our computer is in the kitchen, it's always there, tempting me to waste a minute here or there on some inconsequential issue.  And I'd often pull up a chair out of boredom because it was easy.  It's easy to sit in front of a computer and waste time.  And everything else suffered.  At the end of the day I'd have regret over all the things I could've done, should've done--that I had ample time for--but didn't.  

Some would say, "Oh, Lanette, you're being too hard on yourself."  I'm not.  I really feel that every person can FEEL when his life isn't as it should be, when he needs to change or adjust something. 

I've stayed on track, met my goal, these past several weeks and it feels so good and empowering to be in control of myself again.  It's fulfilling to get done what's needful.  And although I'm not as busy running from here to there doing things (that made me feel important because I was busy), at the end of the day I know I've done the things that are MOST important, the things that satisfy my soul.  

I know this statement is true: "When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or fall out of our lives."  I've been trying to put God first and He is showing me the things in my life that I don't really need.  And when I let go of un-needful things, he fills me up enough that I don't feel a loss at letting go.

I feel peace.  Peace with God, peace with myself, and peace with my family.  Peace is so underrated in the world today, or I should say, peace is something everybody wants but many don't know how to find.  

I think that real peace comes from following God and learning how he communicates with you personally.  And that often involves sacrifice, self-discipline, love, and hard work.

So, while I've been getting back on track, my posts haven't been as consistent.  I'm getting there.  I'll have this all figured out soon.  Thanks for sticking with me...and double thanks if you made it this far :).


Candy said...

I love that plan. I'm going to try and do that too. Too much computer is one of my weaknesses too. Running my sewing business on Etsy is a NEED I feel, because I have sales and orders and customers to keep up on. But I would LOVE to have my exercise, scripture reading, shower, breakfast picked up, etc. before I start.

Help me! I want to be your neighbor so we can support each other.

Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Lanette said...

Candy, I would DIE to be your neighbor...seriously. You inspire me, and I wish I was cool like you. You're probably laughing at that...laugh all you want...that's what a cool person would do :).

Marilou said...

That spoke to me. Thanks for sharing.

Cylee Pressley said...

Why can't all us Fernley girls live close again? You guys are amazing and I love reading about your lives.

Lanette, you are so sweet and the fact that you never give up and are always trying to improve is inspirational. I add my prayers your way to help you overcome. Fight the good fight!

RaeLynn said...

Totally needed to read this today! I'm currently not working (had a nervous breakdown and quit my Cole is in school all day and Danny is at work all day. I've enjoyed spending the extra time reading my scriptures, exercising and all that but I'm getting lazy in so many other things. I have GOT to do something meaningful with my life. So, I've started looking for a part-time job. Full time was way too much and that's why I got stressed and kind of broke. But part time is perfect and it'll get me out of the house. I just need to not be so picky...thanks for sharing Lanette. :) I wish *I* was your neighbor too, for what its worth :)

Alison said...

Thank you Lanette! This rang true to my soul too. I needed it! Love you!

Lanette said...

Thank heavens there's hope for us all. And I think it's so powerful when women band together to strengthen each other. Thanks for your comments.

What would we do without dear friends? It'd be a lonely sort of world.

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