watching the miners in chile has been an incredible, emotional, eye-opening experience for me.
seeing those men come out of the ground and see their families - after spending 69-something days under tons of rock, not being able to see the sun, to smell the grass, to feel the wind - with their good attitudes and faith intact. how i wish i could be more like that. (i've been crying all day! :))
watching this process has led me to do some soul-searching and attitude-adjusting.
i've been so focused lately on me, on the things that i want (and the things that i don't have). i've needed to see this to realize how skewed my perspective has become. with just me to worry about, i've lost focus on the people and things in my life who deserve more from me. i haven't spent months literally under ground, but i feel like i've been spending days underneath a weight of worries and trivialities and problems (so-called) that in reality are insignificant. they only have significance because i have been giving them space in my head and thoughts to fuel the fire.
i loved the talk President Monson gave in conference about gratitude. one line that has stuck with me since then seems especially poignant today -
"We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings.
Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, 'He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.'
... Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings."
i've been experiencing a perfect storm or circumstances and timing this week - general conference playing on my ipod, spending time with my loved ones, watching those miners, preparing a relief society lesson. and that combination of things has helped me realize something:
it is so easy - dangerously, frighteningly, maddeningly, disturbingly easy - to lose focus on what is important and instead give weight to the feathery matters in our lives. and they take hold, like burrs, grabbing on and entangling themselves into daily occurrences until they are nearly impossible to extricate.
living a good life takes hard work and focus and dedication. living the gospel requires honesty with ourselves and others, and our Father in Heaven. and living a happy life on this earth is greatly benefited by an eternal perspective.
i can feel as though i am having the darkest day in history, but as soon as i turn my thoughts to the Lord i find the things that are truly insignificant retreating back to where they belong (instead of monopolizing my brainwaves.) the eternal perspective helps me to focus on what is truly important and forces the things that don't matter into the background. i'm not weighed down by the ridiculous, but instead my faith is strengthened and i am closer to seeing things as they really are.