I often forget and fall back into old behaviors and habits. I call this “forgetting myself”.
Through support groups and the atonement of Jesus Christ, I know better ways. As I practice these better ways they become more a part of me. But, often my first reaction or inclination is my old behaviors. I’m learning not to berate myself, but to calmly stop, step back and think, and choose a better way. Then I am remembering myself.
Sometimes choosing a better way might mean I have to go to a loved one and tell them I’ve changed my mind. I used to think that if I said something I had to stick with it, but that does not support change. Giving myself permission to change my mind allows me to be true to my own goals and values. Changing takes time and I need to be patient with myself as I learn. I also need to be patient with others as they get used to my new ways of behaving.
When I remember the person I want to be I don’t forget myself or react with an angry temper. A quiet voice helps me remain calm and able to think. I can remember to not forget myself.
I don’t have to worry?
I did not realize that I don’t have to worry and be anxious about everything or that “worry is optional” before I came to support meetings. My life was worry and fear. I was truly amazed to see people, whose lives and troubles were worse than mine, laughing and smiling and enjoying life! I wanted what these people had the very first meeting I went to.
In support meetings I learned that worrying about people or things I cannot change is useless and a giant waste of time. I learned that worry is not love. Of course hearing that and doing it are two different things! I had a hard time giving up worrying. I did not know how to stop worrying.
I hear in support meetings different ways that people give up worrying. Some make a God box and write down their worry on a piece of paper and put it in the box. Some people write in a journal. Some picture themselves giving their problem to the God. Some people walk or run until they felt better. I found that picturing my Savior with outstretched hands and seeing myself placing my worries and fears into His hands helped. Sometimes I have to picture myself also crawling into His loving hands. My worry always goes away when I do this, at least for a short time. When the worry returns, I do it again. As I do this, I can live worry free for longer and longer periods of time.
I am learning that I can be happy no matter what is going on around me. “Pain in inevitable, but worry is optional”.