It is easy for me to get stuck in a downward spiral of fear, anxiety, worry and isolation. I get stuck mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Because of the constant strong negative emotions I cannot hear or feel impressions of the spirit or feel God’s love. I start feeling alone and lost and afraid.
Through support groups I am learning more about the atonement of Jesus Christ and how to use the atonement in my life in practical, hands on ways. I am learning to let my negative emotions go. I am learning to share myself with others and to listen to others. At support meetings I often hear others talk about the same things I am feeling. When I can choose to go to meetings and not stay isolated I know that I am not alone. I am learning to trust God and to feel peace and joy.
With the help of the steps and principles, I am learning to use in my life, I don’t ever have to stay stuck or in a downward spiral ever again. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ I can be forever learning and growing. I feel so blessed to have found support groups and want to share this treasure with others around me!
Fear is one of my weaknesses. If I’m not careful it can consume me and overtake my life. I have fear about what others think of me. I am scared of the future and the bad things that could happen. Sometimes I am anxious about what my loved ones are doing when I’m not with them. I worry that I won’t do a good job in my responsibilities. Often I am scared that I’ll mess up. I have lots of fears.
The other day I was reading, “…perfect love casteth out all fear” (Book of Mormon, Moroni 8:16). How can love cast out fear? Maybe love is the opposite and they cannot exist at the same time.
I’ve noticed that if I occupy my mind with good music, a physical activity or just about anything, the anxiety will go away for a while. If I do something for others then I feel good about myself and my love for others increases and my fears stay away longer. I can work on being a true disciple of Jesus Christ and pray for the gift of charity (see Book of Mormon, Moroni 7:48). I can overcome my fears and replace fear with love.
I would be happy if my husband changed, stopped doing that or started doing this. I’d be happy if my son was home. I would feel better if I had my own house. I’d be happy if my children were bigger. I’ll be waiting forever to be happy if my happiness depends on other people, places or things.
My happiness does not depend on someone or something else. My misery is not dependent on someone or something else either. If things are going wrong, maybe it’s because of how I’m reacting to them or my attitude toward them. When my loved one reacts and says something angrily, and stalks out to the garage, should my day be ruined? If my loved one is ignoring me and not communicating should I be unhappy?
Happiness is within me. I can work out changes in my own thinking patterns. I can evaluate my day and make changes tomorrow. When I run things by a trusted friend I can see different ways I can act. I can have a more hopeful outlook and remember “No situation is truly hopeless”. I can evaluate my own behavior and make amends quickly if needed. When I do something to take care of myself I feel happier. Maybe I could go for a walk, visit with a friend, take a bubble bath or practice a new skill. I can be gentle with myself and others and “stop taking things personally”. I can be happy. 🙂
Expectations cause frustration.
One subtle source of my frustrations is expecting things of others. Some of my expectations I easily recognize. Other expectations I don’t even realize I have until someone fails to meet them.
Sometimes I say “They knew what I expected!” But, that may be precisely why they acted the way they did. The saying “Expectations are pre-meditated resentments” helps me to realize that I need to let go of my expectation and let others live their own lives. Besides letting others live without the added guilt of my expectation, I get to live with less frustration, anger and resentment.
As I realize that I often fail to live up to others expectation I can let go of my own expectation more easily. I can have added peace as I give up expectation and relax into acceptance.