progression and change.

As humans, I feel we can all be walking contradictions.

We say we are too busy when we actually don't want to engage or put ourselves out there.
We say we want to have love in our lives when we push it away.
We say we want to change when we don't welcome it or act upon something.
We say we believe something when we don't actively try to live it.

For a few years now, I have been trying to work diligently towards some life goals of mine. However, some of them are completely out of my hands. When 2013 rolled around, I set a long list of goals that can keep me preoccupied or help me while I wait for these other life goals. As I have said previously, it's hard to accept that these things are out of my control when I am one who likes to have a plan. I have been trying to have a happy heart about this (one of my goals), but the past five days have brought on a lot of "poor me" thoughts, sparked by various conversations and happenings. And that's okay, but I need to let out some steam before I can move on.

Being a Mormon in Utah, I'm being judged differently and especially for not having reached certain milestones typical of girls my age (21)--marriage or serving a full-time mission. In fact, 90% of my friends are at those points in their lives. I think that is marvelous and so awesome, but they don't get why I'm not at that point and they don't seem to get that as much as I would like to progress, these things are not in my control. "Why don't you date more?" "Why don't you just go on a mission?"  

I was even told a few weeks ago, "Your life is perfect and you don't have any trials, so don't act like you understand."

Actually, it's safe to say we all have trials and no one's life is perfect. My mom said to me yesterday, "No one knows your quiet struggles or trials. No one knows your heart. Only the Lord knows those things and you know that He is guiding you. That's the best knowledge to have."

 And I feel like at times, my inner struggles and trials get pushed aside or overlooked. Because my peers, teachers, or family think "she's really okay" or "she's a rock".  I feel like my other goals and worthy accomplishments are seen as nothing at times, because I haven't reached those other worthy goals. I think we all need some validation at some point and I'm tired being a pushover. Constantly thanking others and trying to help others out, without reciprocity. I'm not trying to say I am only looking for the reciprocal when I do something; I am far far far from perfect and there are many areas I need to work on and improve. In fact, I should NEVER expect reciprocity, because I need to be better in so many ways. I read Brooke's post about success, working hard, and a sense of entitlement. I think that's what I'm getting at...I know it's important to keep working hard, regardless of the attitudes of those around you. I can get frustrated with those attitudes, but I can't control or change them. I can control being walked on. I can control what I say. I can control how I feel about my own accomplishments. As nice as it would be to have validation, I need to resolve to work harder to improve myself.

Then, of course, all I have been thinking of the past few days was this talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf,

Even the title is a reminder to us to resolve to have no regrets in our lives.

Here are some of my favorite passages from it:

"My dear brothers and sisters, my dear friends! We are all mortal. I hope this does not come as a surprise to anyone.

None of us will be on earth very long. We have a number of precious years which, in the eternal perspective, barely amount to the blink of an eye.

And then we depart. Our spirits “are taken home to that God who gave [us] life.”1 We lay our bodies down and leave behind the things of this world as we move to the next realm of our existence.

When we are young, it seems that we will live forever. We think there is a limitless supply of sunrises waiting just beyond the horizon, and the future looks to us like an unbroken road stretching endlessly before us.
However, the older we get, the more we tend to look back and marvel at how short that road really is. We wonder how the years could have passed so quickly. And we begin to think about the choices we made and the things we have done. In the process, we remember many sweet moments that give warmth to our souls and joy to our hearts. But we also remember the regrets—the things we wish we could go back and change.

...Men in particular sang this universal lament: they “deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the [daily] treadmill of … work.” Many had lost out on choice memories that come from spending time with family and friends. They missed developing a deep connection with those who meant the most to them.
Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life.

Is it?

I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished.

I can’t see it.

Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time.

In our day it is easy to merely pretend to spend time with others. With the click of a mouse, we can “connect” with thousands of “friends” without ever having to face a single one of them. Technology can be a wonderful thing, and it is very useful when we cannot be near our loved ones. My wife and I live far away from precious family members; we know how that is. However, I believe that we are not headed in the right direction, individually and as a society, when we connect with family or friends mostly by reposting humorous pictures, forwarding trivial things, or linking our loved ones to sites on the Internet. I suppose there is a place for this kind of activity, but how much time are we willing to spend on it? If we fail to give our best personal self and undivided time to those who are truly important to us, one day we will regret it.

Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together, and cultivating treasured memories.

...Our Heavenly Father sees our real potential. He knows things about us that we do not know ourselves. He prompts us during our lifetime to fulfill the measure of our creation, to live a good life, and to return to His presence.

Why, then, do we devote so much of our time and energy to things that are so fleeting, so inconsequential, and so superficial? Do we refuse to see the folly in the pursuit of the trivial and transient?

Would it not be wiser for us to “lay up for [ourselves] treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”?

How do we do this? By following the example of the Savior, by incorporating His teachings in our daily lives, by truly loving God and our fellowman.

We certainly cannot do this with a dragging-our-feet, staring-at-our-watch, complaining-as-we-go approach to discipleship.

When it comes to living the gospel, we should not be like the boy who dipped his toe in the water and then claimed he went swimming. As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we are capable of so much more. For that, good intentions are not enough. We must do. Even more important, we must become what Heavenly Father wants us to be.

...We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.”

Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.

Perhaps we should be looking less with our eyes and more with our hearts. I love the quote: “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”

To avoid some of the deepest regrets of life, it would be wise to make some resolutions today. Therefore, let us:
  • Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
  • Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
  • Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances
...The path toward fulfilling our divine destiny as sons and daughters of God is an eternal one. My dear brothers and sisters, dear friends, we must begin to walk that eternal path today; we cannot take for granted one single day. ..."

I don't want to say too much more, because as always, President Uchtdorf says it perfectly. But I think we need to remember at this time in our lives especially that we aren't going to live forever. Foster your family relationships and friendships. You never know when you'll need these friends down the road in life and it's harder to rebuild bridges you are starting to burn. Move forward and act when you feel something is right. You never know if you will get that feeling again or when you will need to know how to act in faith again. Be interested in others. Let them know you care. Strive to be a better person and change daily.those are my resolves and I hope because of that, I will have less regrets and less "poor-me" days.
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