What DID work for me.
By josh
10/16/2006 2:11:14 PM
I wanted to write a little more in addition to the comments left on my earlier blog about "what do you do in times of need?" I think that this is where the real power of this site comes in. I was struggling, I put out a plea for help, and I got it - real people with real concern reaching out. I cannot say enough about how much I appreciate that.

I realized something during this time (well, lots of things, actually). My wife's and my temple recommend were about to expire. As the ward clerk, I knew that my wife was about to get a new calling, so I asked the executive secretary to schedule a little extra time when she was to be extended the call so that both of us could come in for a temple recommend interview at the same time. This was on Tuesday, and that is when all this recent temptation started. Opportunities to sin just seemed to abound. I don't wan't to say that I was tempted due to no fault of my own, for I had plenty of fault, but the temptations certainly increased. Yesterday my wife and I renewed our temple recommends, and it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I really didn't want to shout for joy or anything, because I still felt sorrow for feeling the way I did and the little things I should have been doing that I hadn't, and for the "breadcrumbs" I had allowed myself. After the interview and after church, I physically felt exhausted, but once the exhaustion passed, I felt like a new person - I felt like I once again had been given a new heart.

So what did sustain me? First and foremost, the Lord. I earnestly pleaded for His help and forgiveness, and I once again felt that wonderful feeling of His love being poured out upon me - in spite of how weak and foolish I am. It came, as it often has in the past, when I sat and took the time to write about my feelings and to truly set everything aside and contemplate. Sometimes feeling the spirit just comes, and sometimes, it just takes a whole lot of effort. I think the Lord wants to see if we will continue to seek it even when it doesn't come easy. Like Derek mentioned, for our own good and learning he pulls a little of His spirit away to allow us to exercise our agency a little more. I don't think He'll ever completely pull it away, nor do I think He withholds it from us when we earnestly seek it and need it. I think that consistency over time is a true judge of character and committment. I may feel wonderful today - but what about in a month, two months, a year? Like Alma asked in Alma 5 - if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, can ye feel so now? No one can maintain a spiritually euphoric state forever - this life wouldn't be much of a test that way, would it? Spiritual undulations are just part of life - it's how we react in the lows that determine our true character. I've learned that I have much work to do there.

I also maintained a policy of openness and honesty with my wife. That was hard to do. It was hard to tell her that I was having hard days - even when she didn't ask; it's extremely difficult for me to feel like I am disappointing her. However, those conversations really helped to clear the fog I felt surrounded by. I cannot say enough about how much I appreciate my wife and her understanding and support. I have had some wonderful spiritual experiences by myself, but my most powerful spiritual experiences have been felt WITH her.

This site played a big role as well. I really enjoy reading others' insights. It's a powerful irony to me to be looking at something so uplifting in my web browser instead of just the opposite. Journaling is a powerful tool for me, and this site facilitates that in a very effective way.

Lastly, I just had to have patience and endure, like "mother in zion" encouraged me to do. The Book of Mormon uses the phrase "And it came to pass" hundreds of times. And you know what? It does come to pass - on the Lord's timetable. I'd love to take bad feelings away from me instantly and never feel them again. However, if I put my trust in the Lord that when I keep doing what I know is right, even when I don't want to, that in His time (which is the exact amount of time that will be of most benefit to my learning and experience), it will come to pass.


Hard days...    
"A lot of times, I can tell if Te has had a hard day before he even says anything. He comes home looking like he's run a marathon. When he tells me about it, I'm not disappointed. I hurt for him, that he has to go through it, but I am grateful that he is fighting. The one time a couple of months ago that he had a relapse, I was sad, and it took some praying on my part to get over the feelings of hopelessness that satan tries to get me to buy into, but even then, I was so glad that he told me about it on his own. He didn't lie about it or try to hide what he had done. I'm glad you are doing better. Keep going. "
posted at 14:26:37 on October 16, 2006 by sophie
I read this and wish i had a wife that cared    
"I wish I had a wife that gave a hoot, and that I could go to and talk about my addiction, she always says, I am too busy or i have other things to do...she doesn't really care, and then that sends me back into a cycle, cause she rejects me...i hate that"
posted at 19:39:03 on May 2, 2007 by Anonymous
RE: "wish i had a wife that cared"    
"SHE DOES CARE...but you have to realize you have hurt her terribly - and she is trying to find it within herself to deal with all the emotions that you have now just thrown at her, just like you turn inward when she rejects wise she is turning inward when you go back into your cycle. maybe she is not rejecting you at all, maybe she is just trying to cope & heal."
posted at 15:32:34 on July 16, 2007 by Anonymous

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"Man has a dual nature; one, related to the earthly or animal life; the other, akin to the divine. Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions and slipping farther and farther into the realm of indulgence, or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day, nay, every hour of his life"

— David O. McKay