This week, my post feels more like notes put together. Most likely because it really is. This is more a stream of consciousness as I read through the principle. Please excuse how disjointed I feel my thoughts are this week.
The Instagram generation, instant gratification, and appearing to be too perfect. We create a keeping up with the Jones’ picture in our minds that is unrealistic. We were doing the Instagram thing on Sundays at Church before there was Instagram. This is often self-imposed, we are doing it to ourselves.
Why is it so hard for us to be willing to admit our own struggles? I have been much more open with my wife this year about being open and honest about my struggles, and I feel it has improved my life overall. Perhaps that is what I was looking for in all of my questions this week amidst the scriptures. I kept reading scriptures that told me to publicly confess my sins. This struck me a bit because it is not something we often see from the pulpit. The content within this principle then gave me perspective on who that is, and what does public confession constitute.
The moment and opportunity I was able to discuss, share, and confide diapers to my wife I began to feel differently about them. Vocalizing the words for the first time that I had an affinity for them, and that “I want to wear diapers” helped me begin to actually understand that it meant to me. It didn’t feel like admitting something as much as sharing. I have embraced what they do for me through these conversations and these opportunities to share with her my imperfections.
“One symptom of perfectionism is dwelling on what I didn’t get done, and never rejoicing in or appreciating what I did get done.”Colleen Harrison
Yet we are taught in Matthew 5:48 to “be thou perfect” just like our Heavenly Father. How can we live a life where we know we will never be perfect while being admonished to be perfect? I must come to the realization that I will never be perfect, while continuing to strive for perfection.
Our addictions and shameful parts of our lives are where Satan is able to hide/reside. Sharing them, getting them out, minimizes and removes those places where he can fester in our hearts and minds.
We have an unwritten rule of “standards” that come with activity in the Church, and we feel pressured to live up to these standards that are often all to self-imposed.
- I wanted to qualify
- I wanted to fit in
- I wanted to be worthy
- I wanted to be accepted.
I read these two things as two different mindsets. Two are focused on being worthy of the Spirit, and two are worrying about being part of a group of people, where people like me.
2 Nephi 9:34 – Wo unto the liar. Are we mainly lying to ourselves? After being honest with God we must be able to be honest with ourselves. After that we are encouraged in step five to be completely honest with someone else. I have found my wife to be that person. We work very hard to be honest with each other about everything, even when it is hard, even when it hurts.
Step five feels like where we are truly turning the corner to recovery and change.
“Living in solitary confinement of self-imposed darkness.” It is in this place the author describes where I spent decades of my life wandering in my own mind about diapers. Trying to figure my own self out, and the repeated occurrences of desire to wear a diaper. Shame would melt over me as I would succumb to the internal dialogue.
“Let no man publish his own righteousness” I feel like we do this on a daily basis. We live in a world of social media, and our righteousness is constantly on display. How different would social media be if we shared and posted our trials and our weaknesses? We instill a perfect culture that everyone else is trying to compare and live up to. We typically only share the best of ourselves, and that creates a difficult culture to lift each other up.
It was described that the Prophets of old have a singular desire to not be portrayed on pedestals, but rather on their knees. I hope we all can strive to be more like this. We all like praise, we all like being recognized. It is part of being human. It feels good to be seen, but where does our heart truly reside? How do we want to truly be remembered? It should be through our humility and observance where our power really comes from.
The author makes a comment during the principle about having a desire to be honest and humble, rather than appear to be perfect. I think this is a noble statement, and something for us to consider and to live by. The earlier we can let get of the conception of complete perfection in this life, and we turn our focus to where our heart is the sooner we will be able to truly live the Gospel and take advantage of the Atonement. When I was able to let go (for the most part, still working on it) of the shame associated with diapers, and turn my focus on the benefit and positive influence they could be in my life I was able to be happy in diapers and not ashamed when I would see myself in the mirror wearing one.
1 John 2:8 sums up this turn in our perspective and attitude.