Monday, March 20, 2006

Agency equals Power (and Magic!)

I was chatting with two different women from our ward this afternoon (at 2 different times) about the situation we all face. Both are aware of the stats and both admitted to me that [they] felt like [they] were a part of the problem. I needed to explain my frustration is not with people who need help...whatever kind of help it may be; my frustration comes from those who continually beg for help and then argue why they cannot use what it is that has been given them. (Mental illness, retardation and other medical/physical conditions are obviously situations where one's abilities are not capable of total independance. This discussion is for those who have certain ability.)

Example: If my body is lacking fuel it begins to tell me in ways that should not be ignored. If I feed my body- the signals for fuel stop. When the tank gets low again I must feed it or the growling becomes loud and annoying and eventually destructive to my health. This is normal.

If my mind is lacking a chemical it begins to send messages that also cannot be ignored. Doctors prescribe medications to fill the lack and my mind stops sending messages. If or when the chemical is lacking again, more signals will be sent or the mind begins to growl loudly, I can be annoying, and eventually the lack of chemical will cause destructive health problems. Taking prescription medications is just fine as long as you keep to the doctors orders.

If my Spirit is lacking there are also signs that can be detected. We have been taught how to feed the Spirit. This too, is a constant maintenance that must be monitored or our Spirit begins to fade, we become too loud to hear it and eventually without proper fuel, the lack of Spirit in our life allows destructive situations. This is part of an eternal plan, use it or lose it.

If someone has provided food for me to take, I should eat it. If I am supposed to take medications, I should do so properly, I should read my scriptures daily.

When I approach someone and beg them for advice, I should try to be receptive to that which they counsel me. I should not counter every tool of help with an excuse for non-use of that tool. I need to understand that although some people do not share all their past woes or histories, they may have indeed experienced particular hardships, trials, addictions, whatever... and that I am not the only person to have this burden or trial.

I need to understand that throughout life there will always be hurdles to overcome and that I alone have control over what I think and do with my life. Others may influence me, but the entire responsibility along with all the rewards and consequences are mine alone to reap.

I get to choose how I will respond to every situation in my life.

The first woman I talked with is one of the folks that has a pattern of finding fault with everyone and every situation... including herself; and also has perfected the art of deflection. No matter what you give her to help her out she finds a reason why it will not work for her. There is always an excuse. She remains continually unhappy although she is healthy and has a beautiful family and home; much beyond what most women her age and circumstance have.

The second woman is on anti-depression medications and has been for several years. She is bright, happy, and productive. She provides generously for her own family and others. She contributes to the church and it's auxiliaries and is a compassionate leader. She does, however feel weird that she is on meds and "not normal". The fact is -she is more normal than the first gal who refuses to accept her life. The first gal is constantly on the look out for someone who has it better than she, easier than she, more than she. The result is the first gal is constantly unhappy.

The difference between these two women is that the first gives all of her power away while the second recognizes her power and uses it wisely. The second, while clinically depressed, chooses to feed her brain what it lacks and then chooses to "live, work, and do." She chooses to be happy even when her brain is telling her it is almost impossible. She chooses to believe she has the power to change her stars; to make her life the way she wants it to be.

The first gives her power to whomever is around at the moment. Without her power she cannot choose for herself, others choose how she will feel, think, live. "Prudence made me feel ugly!" "Brutus said we were dull!" She is niether ugly nor dull, but gives others her power and accepts what they tell her.

Satan's plan was for us to give him our power. He would get to choose for us. We wouldn't need to be bothered or depressed. We probably would not have had as many sicknesses or bills to pay. Perhaps all of our children would have been lovely and intelligent. But the Saviour preferred to allow us to be depressed, in debt and not as pretty as the other girls. He also allowed us to choose how we would respond when someone made an ugly remark, when our brain lacked a chemical, or when we see our children do better than we ever expected. We get to choose.

In the end that is a key. I can choose to feed what needs to be fed and accept my trials. I can choose to stick to the plan or I can choose to give my power to one who demanded it in the beginning. As for me, I guess on earth I am a rebel. I choose to choose. I choose to be happy.

Sandra's seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll.
Laurie danced with withches once,
Charlie found some goblin's gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Suzy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I've had to make myself.
Magic -by Shel Silverstein

add to sk*rt


holli jo said...

S'mee, I'm almost in tears reading this. It's so what I needed to hear right now. Thank you--THANK YOU for sharing.

s'mee said...

Holli Jo, Thanks, I am mostly just venting, but I am glad you liked it.

Lisa M. said...

I love Shel Silversien.


I too find it very difficult to help those, who when it really boils down to it, Don't want to be helped. They say they do, they may even think it... but by rebuffing every single suggestion or answer to their cry, the deflect all hope for a change.

Even though, I have worn those shoes at times, I still find it hard to be surrounded by those. Its like beating yourself against a wall, trying to provide avenues or opprotunities for advancment or change...and answer cries of help, with out a willing heart on the otherside.

Its complex and gut wrenching.

I'm sorry for your wards plight.

I was reading about the time of settlement for my area. The town I live in, was settled by typical pioneer men and women.

There seemed to be two major families crop up in the early days. Eventually there was a large split in though over water rights. A ward divided by anger, depression, gossip, harsh words.. and a the community was in shambles.

Eventually the"brothern" from Salt Lake, came... and the presided in a meeting and actually TOOK away.. the blessing of the "sacrament". THe ward spent six long months with out the weekly communion with Heavenly Father, and carried their sins and transgressions with them.

I have read six or seven versions of the story now.. from various different historians and journals. IT seemed taht this "removal" was quite a blessing in itself, and eventually peace was restored.

I think it must have been hard, being a pioneer. Harder than I could ever even imagine. But what a great experience it must have been to be made so aware and to crave, that weekly confirmation.

I do think though, that in times of life and death and great strife, all those other seemingly important things.. because less and less important.

Ohkay, I don't have a point and I am totally rambling.

Sorry for the long, disorted tread jack.

s'mee said...

Lisa, Shel rocks the Casbah! And about your "rambling" it was totally on track and interesting to boot. I can not imagine being in a place where the sacracment has been removed entirely...yikes!

Another little tidbit about the ward: About 5 years prior to the ward restructure and boder reallignments, the ward right next to ours went through some HAIRY stuff... really scary stuff. A Bishop was removed, yada yada. That ward pretty much blended into our ward.(We got about 75% of that ward membership and kept about 30% of our original membership) It changed the dynamics, but there is still those same people with the same underlying issues to deal with.

There, a genuine ramble and rant. lol anyway, Lisa,you are the bomb and you always teach me something I need to know. thanks