Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's All About Perspective

"An amazing thing happens when you [are] honest with yourself and start doing what you love, what makes you happy. Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You stop merely looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life with this feeling of contentment and joy. You move fluidly, steadily, calm and grateful. A veil is lifted and a whole new perspective is born." - Unknown

Perspective. It's how you see the world. It changes as you grow and learn and develop new skills. It's how you interact with others; how you react to situations. It's distancing yourself to see things clearly. It depends not only on what you look at, but also on where you look from.

I have some amazing people surrounding me up here in Cedar. I'm talking major spiritual giants. Three of them are my roommates. I really lucked out with these three beautiful girls. One of my roommates, Heather, is a Psychology major just as I am. Lets just say, we have some pretty cool conversations.
The other day, Heather and I were the only two home (Kira and Stephanie hadn't yet come home from fall break). We went to FHE together and after, we went on a nice walk around campus. Our conversation started with our amazement towards nature, continued onto church callings, and somehow went to the subject of perspectives. As psychology majors, we talked about the different ways we analyze situations and people. We spoke of feelings and how we look at the world. As most of our conversations do, we ended up talking about the gospel and our faith.
From the words of Hannah Montana, "Nobody's perfect." LDS members have, for some reason, been held to higher expectations then any other religion lately. Society expects us to be "perfect" and wouldn't we love to be! But that is so unrealistic. We do try to be as "perfect" as we possibly can. We as members strive everyday to "be like Jesus" but most days we fall short and THAT is realistic. I do, however, think that we should never use that as an excuse to stop trying.
We are often called hypocrites for failing to be perfect. Some people are very diligent about saying their prayers, reading their scriptures, and paying tithing but might struggle with attending church every Sunday. Should we really judge them for not being perfect? I guess that is your choice. But those members might find a different perspective about what is "sinning" and what is not. That's the thing about the gospel: You can fully use your agency.
Perspective can also be looked at in a more logical way. Human bodies are amazing. Each one of us was born with a brain that processes concepts so differently. I found a quote today in the lovely world of Pinterest by Edmund Wilson that says, "No two persons ever read the same book." Those few words are so deep. Sometimes I think that we figure that everyone thinks the same as we do. In truth, no one quite thinks exactly the same as we do.

I react to others very subjectively. I change the way I talk and see things depending on who they are. It's not that I change my views or lower my standards, but I try to see the other person's perspective. I learn a lot by doing this and it helps me meet their needs. I see the world in terms of feelings and actions. I find hope, humility, compassion, respect, and consideration to be charming and kind.
 But that's just my perspective.

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." - Wayne Dyer

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Lately I have been thinking a lot about change.
Isn't it crazy how well we as humans deal with change? We change everyday. Our lives change every second. We could be on one path today and another path tomorrow depending on the choices we make.
College has been a completely new experience for me. I lived the small town life for 18 years in Logandale, Nevada. I knew everyone and everyone knew me. I was related to half the town. Most people in Logandale have known me since I was a baby. They have seen the change that has happened in my life constantly. Then I moved to Cedar City, Utah, a slightly bigger college town, to attend Southern Utah University. I never imagined I would ever come to Cedar. In fact, I remember distinctly saying that I would never attend SUU. It was just too close to my small town (an hour and fourty-five minute drive). However, one day my path changed and I am so grateful that it has.
Everyday as I make my way from school to my apartment and walk underneath the trees with their beautiful changing leaves that lean over old, cracked sidewalks, and the contrast of the purple mountains in the background, I count my blessings. I have so many blessings to count! Although it was never in my plans to attend SUU, I am so incredibly grateful for this path the Lord has lead me onto.
Certain circumstances in my life changed right before I moved up to Cedar. I am not afraid to admit that those circumstances were very hard for me. My life had completely changed once again. Those circumstances left me feeling broken and alone. It didn't help that I really was alone in a new "home" and in a new town. I no longer had my family constantly around me to comfort me through my trials. There were so many moments where I would break down and cry, feeling like someone had literally just smashed all my happiness in seconds. I couldn't breath. I couldn't eat. For short periods I felt happiness and hope, but those feelings would instantly leave me. I prayed more during that first week in Cedar than I ever have in my life.
Eventually, it all got better. I had this chance to start over, to recreate myself, to be a better, more giving person. Someone who could make a change in other peoples lives through small acts. I made it a goal to focus on others and be more aware of those around me. My testimony grew so much. Even though I was hurt and broken, I somehow managed to take a step back and see all of the blessings in my life. It's all about perspective. When I needed it, the Lord sent me comfort through people. I understood what was most important in life: family, friends, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This trial I went through? It was probably the best thing that could have happened to me at this point in my life. I needed to get out of my spiritual slump. I think I settled spiritually for a little while. I wasn't doing anything wrong, but I also wasn't trying to do better. I needed to be completely independent and rely on the Lord. I needed to let pride go. I needed to learn patience and find hope. And I have.
I have found true happiness. I found the Lord again. I found myself.
Change is a wonderful thing.