SOS: You can talk it out
In our church, in order to go to the temple, you have to be worthy to go. Personal worthiness is determined through a biennial interview process with 2 members of your local congregational leaders (“In the mouth of two of three witnesses…”). I am always in awe of this process, because I feel the Spirit during these interviews. I admit: I’m usually a little anxious as I approach the interviews, but the Spirit during the process calms me and reaffirms that the Lord loves me and is there to strengthen me.
When I visited with a member of our stake presidency, I was touched as he prayed for me as an individual and for our family before we began our interview. Through the course of the question and answer time, I shared my thoughts and feelings about how there are times when it is hard for me to feel the Lord’s approbation in my life. I appreciated this stake presidency member’s response and understanding of that situation. One of the comments he made was that sometimes when we have self-doubts and feelings of negativity, we can go to our spouse and talk those out, and that can become as helpful as any therapy.
He spoke the truth.
My husband, Lane, has helped me learn that. Just last night I had a very hard time sleeping. I woke up at 2:20 am–after four hours of sleep–and could not go back to sleep. It was a night in a series of short nights, and I was feeling very tired, frustrated, disappointed in and negative about myself. After trying to go back to sleep (I have various methods I use that often help) for two hours, I started to cry. I went downstairs because I was too frustrated to stay in bed.
Lane followed after me. He sat down and listened as I vented. And then when he felt I might be open to discussion (i.e. treading carefully), he asked if he could say something. And then we talked through all the things I was feeling stressed and negative about.
And I was able to relax again and go back to sleep (from 6-9. Thank heavens for late church today!).
This has been repeated so many times in my married life.
Now, I recognize that I am extremely blessed to have a husband like this. But I will also say that it has been a learning process for both of us, and that as we have continued to try to talk problems out, we have both seen that as we encounter problems (and there have been many, and some major ones), with God’s help and patience, determination, and calm communication, we can get through the rough places in our paths. It might take some time. But sooner or later, the Lord wins out and so do we.
I believe this is a true principle. You can take a person like me who came from a background of not being able to talk things out to gaining the ability and conviction that you don’t have to have huge emotional drama in dealing with problems. Problems can get resolved calmly and peaceably. There might be intense emotional feelings, but you don’t have to have anger and hurtful words involved. In my mind, it’s an amazing thing. I think that if I could somehow, in someway, teach this one principle to my children, and if they could live it and apply it in their homes, and if you can grow a whole generation of people who can talk out their problems peaceably, then you can see how while world peace isn’t really going to happen, because there will always be people who don’t want to talk things out, that you can at least have peace at home and peace in your heart.
That’s worth working for.
P.S. This photo of dawn reminded me of how many nights I’ve been awake during the early dawn hours and thought of the phrase, “It is darkest right before dawn.” It’s true. It gets darker right before the sun rises. It’s just like life: our problems can sometimes be hardest just before relief comes, so we have to hang in there and keep praying, keep exercising faith. We can never give up!