Anyways...i've had this dream two nights in a row, and now I am battling against the fears that I have as a result. Fear. The word makes me shudder. Not because i'm afraid of heights or spiders, but because I know how much damage fear can cause. Fear is a tool used by the adversary...and it's a disfunction that we learn from the world and from our own parents. I am in no way belittling my parents...they did the best they could raising me and their best was pretty darn good! But they were not perfect parents and neither am I. My wonderful parents had a lot of fears! (they will admit to all of this and happily teach what they know) I got to inherit those fears through example...so now I need to battle the fears that I have ingrained within me as well as the fears that the devil sends my way. (this is true for everybody) Most of these fears are based around my husband, my relationship with my husband and my performance as a wife. First of all...these fears are ridiculous. My husband and I have a beautiful relationship with normal hardships that we have decided will never threaten our marriage. We struggle, but we are both committed to being married 100%. So why do I let these dreams elicit such fear and insecurity in me? Well, the answer is in the sentence. "Insecurity in me" There are a few talks and articles that I am starting to live my life by and right now...they all seem to center around my own self-esteem (or self-respect) and being kind to myself...so that way I have more to give to those around me and more ammunition to use to fight against fear. When I am neglecting myself, I have very limited resources. Let me just share a quick quote by a prophet in the LDS church.
"A lovely mother in a nearby community wrote this to me, “I love America, I love my husband, I love my children, I love my God, and why is this possible? Because I truly love myself.”
Such are the fruits of self-respect. Conversely, when one does not have that love for himself of which this sister speaks, other consequences can be expected to follow. He ceases to love life. Or if he marries, he has lost his love for his wife and children—no love of home or respect for the country in which he lives, and eventually he has lost his love of God. Rebellion in the land, disorder and the lack of love in the family, children disobedient to parents, loss of contact with God, all because that person has lost all respect for himself." -Harold B. Lee; Understanding Who We Are Brings Self-Respect
This was the last message Harold B. Lee shared before his death 2 months later. And I don't think that was coincidental. I believe that our loving, and merciful Heavenly Father...knowing that Pres. Lee's time was soon to come...inspired his servant to teach us one of the most important things we can learn. Love for one's self. This isn't conceit or arrogance, it's simply a respect and regard for ourselves that the majority of individuals seems to be lacking.
So how does all this self-respect talk tie into the personally brutal dreams I have? Well...the thing is, these dreams aren't even bad dreams. They just queue into my fears and insecurities in such a brilliant way that it's very difficult for me to recover. Now...i've done an experiment in the past...I took care of myself! Wow...can you imagine? I was kind to myself, patient when I made mistakes, had individual enjoyment each day for no reason other than to enjoy, did positive affirmations each night in front of the mirror, etc. And guess what happened to me when I had these dreams amidst all that goodness? I PREVAILED! I was able to bounce back quickly, analyze the dreams with a detached eye (meaning I didn't let fear overrun my reason) and I could take action and act on the things I had learned! This is the power that self-respect can give us! I won't even mention how much more effective I was as a wife, mother and person...because that could be construed as bragging. And I would never brag....ahem.
So it comes down to this...please, world...and especially the members of the LDS church, who seem to be extraordinarily hard on themselves...please, for pete's sake, stop being so dang hard on yourselves and get a healthy dose of Self-Respect! Christ didn't beat himself down...he didn't neglect himself for the sake of others (that's a whole other topic we can talk about later)...if we are to truly follow his example, then we need to get back to the work of loving ourselves! And enjoying our own righteous desires. Because i've got news for you...no matter how bad you think you are, you aren't trying to be that way. You are a spiritual being having a human experience! So go take care of yourself...it may take a lifetime to figure out how to do it effectively and consistently, but i'm pretty sure that's one of the reasons we're here.