“We demonstrate our sincerity by taking action.”
Here we see the element of action come back that I have been looking for. The first eight principles focused on grace and how much nothing we are. Perhaps this principle will bring back the action into “faith without works is dead.”
The committee of voices that dictate our decisions. This concept was interesting to me because we do hear the echo of each person that has significant meaning in our lives while debating internally a decision with little or large ramifications. Our parents, mentors, leaders, friends, and others all have their seat at the table. Our mind speaks for them, and their impression on us speaks “their mind” in our own decision-making. Such an interesting concept that we materialize in some way the way we “know” they think, and how they would react to certain talking points. I agree with this concept because I have been there. I have wrestled with telling my parents and my spouse. So long did I turn against both of those because I knew (from the version of them in my head) how they would react. I’m not saying that is wrong either. I feel that I have a good grasp on how my parents would react to me telling them about this affinity that I carry/bear/live. The key, or the insert of agency from our side, is how much weight I give that version of their voice in my head. How much do I fight with it, and let it cause stress and pain?
Perhaps for too long I focused on the wrong thing. This past year has brought so much perspective and enlightening in my own mind that I feel that my focus is on the more important things. My personal health and well-being, my happiness. I am able to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ while embracing this part of who I am. The conversation now changes in my head. I’m not fighting with those voices. I’m learning to accept, embrace, and incorporate that part of myself in a healthy way for myself and my family. My spouse has played a key role in the success that I’ve seen in this area. While it has not been the perfectly paved road we would all like, I have grown from the bumps and turns in the road that we have experienced together.
I’m learning that Heavenly Father and his son loves me, and accept me. I now work to allow myself to love me too (all of me, even the crinkly parts). My perspective and outlook must now become how I can live peaceably, not adversarial with diapers in my life. I’m not broken, and shouldn’t focus on trying to “fix” myself. That change of mind that came in 2019 drastically modified my approach and life with diapers. While this principle talks so much about being a peacemaker with others, I found that so much of my wrestling has been internal. I had to find a way to become a peacemaker with myself, and the committee of voices that berate me from within the confines of my own mind.
“The weight of years of negative energy will be lifted from your spirit.”
This line resonated with me a lot because I battled internally for decades. I wrestled with who I am, and how horrible of a person that I was. Not having someone to verbalize that with was a huge problem. Also, for me is not one thing, but three things that all overlap, compound, and weigh me down. I spent so many hours locked inside my own mind, with my own thoughts beating me up. It even took nearly a decade of being with my wife for me to share each of them with her. Each of these sharing sessions were about four years apart. Nothing I meant to hid or force, but just how each of the three conversations organically occurred. Perhaps that is how we’ve seen the success we have. I have worked to not FORCE any of them. When it felt right to share, I did. Again, it hadn’t always been the smoothest journey, but we have handled it well together.
Now, with over a decade of marriage, my wife has allowed me to share all of my “big three” with her, and we have worked at varying levels with each of them.
Each time I shared something with her I felt the weight of negative energy lift. I have felt lighter and lighter each time we progress in these areas. Progress on both of our sides, both her accepting and understanding, as well as my own.
The journey continues, but reinforced with the strength of my growth in the last year as well as the peace that comes with bringing all of yourself to the Lord and feeling his love. I’m not perfect, and I still have days, but I will say that I am closer to being at peace with myself than I was a year ago.