Monthly Archives: June 2014

Lie #8: Comparing Ourselves to Others

​It is not beneficial in any way to compare yourself to someone else. To allow ourselves to believe this is to believe a lie. In fact, comparing causes us to believe something inherently false about ourselves. If we are not as good, as smart, as capable, as strong, as powerful, etc. as someone else, we must be the opposite of those things. Focusing on what we are not and what we do not have sends us into a downward spiral to nowhere good. Focusing on what we want, however, can be helpful. Saying something like the following can lead us somewhere good: “Jane is so thoughtful and kind. I never hear her say an unkind word. I want to be more like that.” Or “John has such an awesome grasp of that concept. I would like to learn more about that so that I can sound like I know what I’m talking about, like he does.” Saying something that urges us to do better is good. Putting ourselves down because we don’t feel like we measure up is not helpful at all. This is what I want to address in this post. It sort of goes along with the last post about worthlessness because if we’re comparing and wishing to be something we’re not and don’t feel like we can ever be, we’re feeling pretty worthless, and we’re most likely telling ourselves that we’re not thrilled about who we are.

This is another tool of the devil’s. He doesn’t like himself, so he would love for us to feel worthless and useless. He is successful if he can get us to feel it at our very core, to really believe that we are nothing. “…And [men] are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:27) “And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind.” (2 Nephi 2:18)

Let me speculate about how this all began with a personal experience. Recently I learned of a deep and subconscious belief that I was just not good enough—not good enough for a husband and children, for a good job, for my own home, and for many other blessings I had thought I was entitled to. Consciously I wondered why I wasn’t getting these things, while all the time there was this subconscious belief that I really didn’t deserve them. I wondered where this came from. What would cause me to believe this about myself? With the assistance of an insightful friend, we determined that in the beginning, when all of us were with our Father, God, when the plan for this earth life was being formulated and taking shape, I looked at our older brother, Jesus Christ, and I compared myself to him, and not in a good way. After all, he could do anything. He was the smartest, the wisest, the most kind, had the best ideas, was willing to sacrifice everything he was for me and expect no reward. He was the ideal person, and we all needed an ideal person—someone to admire and emulate. The thing I did wrong was to think that I could never measure up to him, and therefore what could I possibly bring to the table? And of course I believe that Lucifer, or one of his followers, was right there to back up that thought, to convince me that I was probably right, and so why try? I could never be Jesus. I could never be a Savior. I believe that that thought got stuck there in my heart. It got stuck in my core belief system, so no matter how hard I tried to emulate him and do what he wanted me to do, I would never be quite as good. One can take a look at my life and see how that belief has absolutely not helped me and has instead kept me stuck. Until I learned the truth.

The truth is this: I will never be Jesus, but I am not meant to be. He came to earth to fulfill his mission and I came to fulfill mine, and they are not the same. “Truly, we may each be an instrument in the hands of God. Happily, we need not all be the same kind of instrument. Just as the instruments in an orchestra differ in size, shape, and sound, we too are different from one another. We have different talents and inclinations, but just as the French horn cannot duplicate the sound of the piccolo, neither is it necessary for us to all serve the Lord in the same way.” (Mary Ellen Smoot, “We Are Instruments in the Hands of God”) Jesus Christ’s mission was huge. He was an example for each of us, and we are to follow him. Mine is maybe not as huge, but in my realm of influence I can have just as much impact. The truth is that you and I have our own special gifts and abilities and missions to perform while we are here. The Savior cannot be everywhere all at once, helping everyone who needs help, guiding and instructing and doing everything that needs to be done among all of the people of the earth. I imagine him saying what President Gordon Hinckley said on one occasion: “Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere…All of us in the pursuit of our duty touch the lives of others…You have as great an opportunity for satisfaction in the performance of your duty as I do in mine. The progress of this work will be determined by our joint efforts. Whatever your calling, it is as fraught with the same kind of opportunity to accomplish good as is mine. What is really important is that this is the work of the Master. Our work is to go about doing good as did He.” (here’s the link) The Lord himself said this, to you and to me: “Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees. And if thou art faithful unto the end thou shalt have a crown of immortality, and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared in the house of my Father.” (Doctrine and Covenants 81:5-6)

I don’t have to be Jesus, but I do need to strive to be like him. If I want to be like him I will have to do what he did. I don’t have to do exactly as he did, but I have to be obedient as he was, and fulfill the mission I came here to perform. I like to think I’m on that path.

Lie #7: You are Worthless

One of the most effective weapons the enemy of our souls uses against us is the lie that we are worthless. If the devil can convince us that we really aren’t worth anything, that everything we try will fail, that every good idea we have won’t really work, our efforts aren’t really going to do any good, and that God doesn’t really love and support us because we really aren’t worth it, he has done his job well. If we believe this about ourselves, it will be true. We won’t care what we do and what happens to us. To me, this lie is the single most effective weapon because it is the root of all that we believe about ourselves.

The truth is, you are of infinite worth. If you’re a member of the LDS church you may have heard that phrase a lot, so it may not mean that much to you. You may have heard it but you’re not sure you believe it. You may not have really thought about what it means. Infinite means having no boundaries or limits. Again, and this is a theme with me: it’s all in how you see yourself. Try looking through a different lens.

“…see yourself as a precious child of a loving Father in Heaven. Our children with confidence sing, ‘I am a child of God, and he has sent me here.’ Little children feel and know what perhaps you have forgotten. You are the beloved son or daughter of Heavenly Father, created ‘in his own image,’ and of immense value—so much so that Jesus Christ gave His life for you. God the Father is merciful and has infinite love for you despite your faults. Only the voice of Satan will cause you to feel of no value. In contrast, the Holy Ghost will cause you to feel ‘godly sorrow’ unto repentance in a manner that fills you with hope of positive change. When you feel worthless, ‘remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.’ Refrain from repeatedly thinking or saying negative words about yourself—there is a clear difference between humility and humiliation. Identify and use your unique talents rather than dwelling on your weaknesses.” (Anthony D Perkins, “The Great and Wonderful Love”)

I have always loved stories of superheroes—Spiderman, Batman, The Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, Captain America, The Matrix series. My favorite is Superman. Many of us like these stories about the average guy discovering he has superpowers and then using his powers to help people. We can relate to these stories. Consider Superman. He is born on another world, to super-human parents who send him to another planet to save his life. With him they send clues that will help him understand who he really is and what he can really do. As he grows and gains experience, he discovers his gifts: super-human strength, x-ray vision, the ability to fly. Then he uses his gifts to save and help people. He changes his identity because he knows he’s something special, something more than just Clark Kent. He spends his life fighting evil and standing for good.

I think we like these stories because they represent each of us. Each of us is a superhero—an incredible super-spirit disguised as a human being. Each of us has gifts and talents and abilities we are discovering every day, and each of us is trying to use those gifts to make our world a better place. Each of us has a duty to use what we have been given to make a difference and to help each other.

Please don’t listen to the lie that you are less than what you know you are. You are infinitely more. You are the spirit child of the God who created the universe. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” You have unique gifts that no one else has, and you are here for a reason. You have a unique mission to perform, even if you may not know what it is yet.

Please don’t let labels get in your way. Don’t label yourself and don’t let others label you. You are not defined by your job, what you look like, your preferences or how much money you have. When everything is stripped away, you are still you, a child of God, a superhero in disguise.

Superman-animated-series-by-demmac-on-deviantart

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Lie #6: Life is hard.

Life can be hard, it’s true. Nobody has an easy life. Even that girl in high school who seemed to have it all—the Barbie doll looks, the car, the money, the boyfriend—even she had problems. The reason why I believe that “life is hard” is a lie is because it’s the wrong thing to tell ourselves. Why should we label our whole life experience as hard when it doesn’t have to be? I do believe that life can have its difficult moments. I think we’ve all experienced difficulties that would make us agree that some of life is not easy. We need challenging experiences in order to understand opposition and to learn and grow. But life does not have to be a struggle. Life can be good. The truth is, it’s all in how we look at it.

Most of us believe in struggle, and it’s no wonder, since our lives began with struggle. “Birth itself leaves an imprint of pain and struggle…The birth process sets us up to believe that life is hard and that you have to struggle to survive.” (from Carol Tuttle’s Remembering Wholeness—she’s written all about this if you want to learn more…)

“…men are, that they might have joy.” (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:27) Your perception is your reality. If you believe life has to be a struggle, you are putting that energy out there and you will be validated. You will receive reasons to struggle. But if you believe, like God does, that you are here to experience joy and peace and fulfillment, you will send out that energy to the Universe and that is what you will receive. I’m not saying there won’t be hard things, difficult moments, situations to endure and learning experiences. Learning and experience are why we are here. But you can look at them in an old energy of struggle and pain, or you can look at them in a new way, believing that you can meet your challenges effortlessly and gracefully. You can look at them as a way of knowing what you don’t want, so that you have a better understanding about what you do want, and you can use your energy to create that.

I believe that the key to learning how to do this is to understand that you are not in it alone. God, your creator, your higher power, Source—whatever you want to call him—does not want you to struggle and have pain. He simply wants you to learn to turn to him. He can show you how to have joy. You were designed for joy.

Dallin Oaks, an apostle in the LDS church, wrote: “Our Creator wants us to be happy in this life. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “happiness is the object and design of our existence.” The things of the earth were created for our happiness. Modern revelation tells us that ‘all things which come of the earth … are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart.’ Even on the Sabbath, a day of worship, the Lord expects us to have ‘a glad heart and a cheerful countenance.’ A [Book of Mormon] prophet has called the gospel plan ‘the great plan of happiness.’”

How do we change our perception? My healing journey has taught me to “consider the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God” (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 2:41). The more negative I began to let go of in my life, the more positive and good began to come to me. Without the negative, I wanted to be good. I wanted to make better choices for myself. Underneath all of the negative that wasn’t me, I found the real me. And the real me wanted joy. I can now say that I am happy most of the time. When I start experiencing struggle, I have the ability to turn it around by changing the way I see it.

Even a child has the ability to identify a negative feeling, understand why they are feeling it, and make a choice to feel something different. It really is that uncomplicated. So make a choice now to be happy. Make a choice to allow life to become more joyful for you. You have the power to choose.

The following comes from an article in the Huffington Post: Bronnie Ware, author of The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying and a palliative care nurse who spent years working with elderly people on their deathbeds, noticed a common theme that came up repeatedly among her patients at the end of their lives: They regretted not “letting” themselves be happy. She writes: “Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again … Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.”

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Lie #5: Allergies

Everyone seems to suffer from some kind of “allergy.” It may be hayfever, a physical response to weeds or plants, intolerance to specific foods or groups of foods, or reactions to the ingredients of personal care products or medications. Allergens seem to try to invade our bodies any way they can—through what we ingest, what we breathe or what is absorbed through our skin. I have identified “allergies” as the lie in this instance because I think they mask what is really happening when our bodies react to some kind of enemy outside of us.

Consider for a moment that the allergen is not the invading enemy, but simply a catalyst that is meant to help us understand something that is already happening inside of our bodies. Our physical bodies are reacting to this substance—whether it is peanut butter, penicillin or poplar trees—not because something is inherently wrong with the substance, but because our bodies need to get our attention about something else.

Those who are familiar with energy work understand that any physical ailment represents a deeper problem—one that is usually either emotional or spiritual. Dr Bradley Nelson, author and chiropractic doctor, explained it this way: “When you feel emotion, it is not just a feeling inside you. You actually emanate the energy of that emotion. You may not be able to see it, but it has a direct impact on your health. It can not only cause emotional pain, but physical pain. Hanging onto emotions blocks your energy, holding it back like a dam, cutting off your organs from the healthy flow of vital energy they need. Emotions that stay trapped in your body can make you sick and cause you tremendous physical pain.” Even medical doctors who are not energy healers understand that emotions and pain are connected. Dr David Hanscom, orthopedic surgeon and a contributor to The Doctor Blog, writes about the close connection between emotional and physical pain: “…knowing what our patients are experiencing emotionally can be essential: Researchers have published hundreds of papers documenting the connection between pain and anxiety or depression. ‘Neurons that fire together, wire together,’ the saying goes. The areas of the brain that interpret physical and emotional distress are located in close proximity to each other, and I have indeed noticed that as long as the anxiety and anger pathways are hyperactive, there is a high probability that the associated pain pathways will remain so as well.”

If physical pain is a manifestation of emotional pain, isn’t it safe to say that any kind of physical reaction to an “allergen” can be emotionally related as well? Author Louise Hay, in many of her books, including You Can Heal Your Life, asserts that common food or environmental allergies are only a mask for what one is really allergic to. So you have an allergy. What are you really allergic to? What’s really going on under that physical reaction?

I used to have difficulty eating tomatoes. I loved them but they would cause canker sores in my mouth. I couldn’t drink milk because it would cause my stomach to hurt. Many would label these food allergies. The world would suggest that I just stop eating these foods, but once I learned about energy healing, I took some time to investigate what I was really allergic to. As a young child, when this negative reaction to tomatoes began, there were some emotional issues I had with my family situation. This “allergy” to the chaotic situation in my home caused my body to react to tomatoes. They were something I loved, just like my family was something I loved. Subconsciously I chose to avoid tomatoes because I really wanted to run away from the situation at home.

The milk allergy turned out to be something different. When I was young my family didn’t have a lot of money. At dinnertime, we children were limited to a half glass of milk with dinner. That was the only milk we were allowed because it was expensive. My childlike reaction to this situation was to tell myself I was undeserving of milk, that it was a precious commodity and I didn’t really deserve any. When I drank it later in life, my body would reject it. I have since cleared both of these childhood issues, and I can eat tomatoes and drink milk without a problem.

Seasonal allergies, or hayfever, have the same emotional root. If you have seasonal allergies, consider what else you might be “allergic” to: do you like where you live, are there environments in your life you wish would be different, are there people or situations you wish you could run away from? Look deeper into your past. The answer is there.

Seasonal and food allergies can be miserable. Springtime and chocolate ice cream were meant to be enjoyed, not dreaded and avoided. Your body should be able to handle gluten and red die #5. You have a choice in the matter. It’s your body. You can continue buying medication to suppress symptoms (thus masking the real problem) or avoid healthy foods like wheat, fruit and vegetables, or you can do some investigating and eliminate the “allergy” completely.

In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole and complete.
I recognize my body as a good friend. Each cell in my body has a divine intelligence.
I listen to what it tells me, and I know its advice is valid. I am always safe, divinely protected and guided.
I choose to be healthy and free. All is well in my world.
(From Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life)

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Lie #4: The earth cannot sustain us.

We hear these kinds of statements everywhere:

“The earth’s resources are being depleted every day.”
“Man uses more natural resources than the earth can provide.”
“Water is scarce; nutrients in the earth’s soil are almost gone.”
“Fossil fuels and mineral resources are being used at rapid rates and are not renewable.”

There are cries of famine and drought and extinction everywhere. While I do not dispute that mankind is using more of the earth’s natural resources than they did in the past, I submit to you that we live on a planet that was meant to sustain us. “For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.” (Doctrine and Covenants 104:17)

The universe offers us abundance. “Behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.” (Doctrine and Covenants 49:19) If we focus on scarcity, that is what we will expect and receive. That doesn’t mean that we can waste and use more than we need. We are expected to be good stewards over what we have been given. “…we are in charge of our own world, being the Lord’s agents over that which He has entrusted to us.” But this earth was created to support and sustain and keep us alive, until our work is finished.

When I learned that I had bought into the lies about the earth not being able to sustain me, and I accepted the truth, that she was created to give nourishment to my body, I felt her pain. I felt I needed to apologize for believing those lies all of my life. That might sound weird, but I have come to know that the earth has an energy. She is alive and thriving. To believe that she is dying is to believe that mankind is dying and that God doesn’t care to support us. The earth needs our belief that she is there to support us so that she can. I have a new relationship with the earth now. We are partners in sustaining and supporting each other. I treat her with respect and accept her bounty, and she provides me with whatever I need.

I couldn’t have said it better than Marcus Nash: “…we have been provided this beautiful and bountiful world, teeming with life and resources to bless and strengthen and enliven mankind, and we are to use them joyfully—but we must do so as careful, grateful stewards over God’s handiwork. We are to use these resources with judgment, gratitude, prudence, and with an eye to bless our fellow man and woman and those of future generations, and in that way help Him to accomplish His purpose to help humankind progress, improve, and receive His blessings in time and eternity.” (Click here for the full article.)

Please join me in believing that the earth is an energy, a spirit, and that she exists to support the children of the great Creator, who also created her. Maybe the best that we can do is to simply be grateful. Our earth is an amazing gift. When one is given a gift, one should rightfully express gratitude for it, and ask what can be given in return. Robin Kimmerer, Professor of Environmental Biology at SUNY, said this: “As human people, most recently evolved here, we lack the gifts of our companion species, of nitrogen fixation, pollination, and 3000-mile migrations under magnetic guidance. We can’t even photosynthesize. But we carry gifts of our own, which the Earth urgently needs. Among the most potent of these is gratitude.”

I am grateful to the earth, for its beauty, its majesty, and for its unselfish purpose of providing me exactly what I need, in just the right amounts.

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