My thoughts feel more like notes this week. My studies were different than that past few, so how I recorded my thoughts about this principle definitely feel like they are reflected in these words.
The process becomes cyclical. We begin to see a pattern in behavior where we must return to earlier principles and reapply the lessons taught. We will circle back on things as we fall, sin, and make choices that are not ideal or in line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This process should become habitual, and ingrained in who we are as a person.
Repentance = to “turn again”
Are we making those little changes daily that are turning us to the Lord? Are we dialing things in where we are headed in the right direction. Even the smallest course deviation over a long journey can result in large additions to the overall distance we travel. These daily checks, inventories, and evaluations from the first nine principles will help us keep on course.
Our journey for a mighty change of heart does not result in perfection, but the realization where power truly comes from as well as our own powerlessness.
The last of Covey’s habits is sharpening the saw. We now go back and begin to refine ourselves and our abilities in each of the first nine principles.
For sustainable growth and long-term success in what we are trying to achieve, find a network of support. The growth that comes through painful experiences together. I run long distance relays, and have built relationships and friendships through these painful moments. The way what we learn in this program can be sustainable and truly life-changing comes from the ability to hold ourselves accountable, and having those around us that will hold us accountable. These people can speak hard truths to us, and we will not be offended. We will know that it comes from the right place, and will be better together because of that.
Bring it back to diapers, I haven’t liked every conversation that my wife and I have had about diapers. I haven’t agreed or understood things that she has said about me or asked about me and my affinity to wear diapers, but I know she is asking for the best of reasons. While it has not been ideal or paradisaical, it has been a growing experience. We must listen to ourselves, we must listen to our spouses, we cannot do it alone. We need the Savior, we need a strong personal foundation, and at least for me, I know I will need my wife. She is my best.
We must find the tools in our lives to help us battle against the addictions and issues in our lives. When we have tools and people in our lives to help us mitigate the frequency or intensity of the cravings or addictive moments we will find that there will be a larger space between our moments of weakness. We become stronger in the moments between. Not that the thing itself has changed, but our ability has increased (to somewhat quote Ralph Waldo Emerson).
“That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased. ”Ralph Waldo Emerson