Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Being an Enlightened Villain

Since Sunday I have had thoughts mulling in my mind. I suppose when you and your loved ones are sick and you are tending to fevers and such that is all you can do.

I wanted to sit here and write,
yet my neck could only hold my head up
for short moments.

Sundays meetings were beautiful, peaceful, and full of promise.
Promise of hard work to come, promise of expectation, and of blessing when those expectations had been put to hard work and were well done.

I felt it no wonder that I have not set my goals and sights for 2010 yet. I have needed the time to ponder, reflect, reminisce, before I knew what I was to do with my strength this coming year.

I have always heard where much is given much is expected. It seems every blessing I have ever had has those words. I read them in the scriptures, I hear them in my mind daily. I look around and know it to be true, much is expected from me. All my experiences, good and bad, have been given to me to nurture a being that would respond to all circumstances with hope, strength; countenance of compassion and courage. And yet so often I fail, and forget, and wallow.

I have been focusing on my inadequacy, and vulnerability, and insecurity for so long. I recognize where I squander away what I have been given in hopelessness. Where I have sought for sorrow, and allowed the adversary to infiltrate my mind.

I have let what others say about me hurt me.
Why do their opinions matter so much?
Why do I want to be liked so much?
Where is my confidence?

I realized at this moment that I am putting too much into what others think, or what I think they think, and not enough in the confidence of Our Heavenly Father and our Savior.

So, in my dual reflection of the year gone, and year to come I found a simple grace:
Why am I trying to re-write the book?
What is there to do besides what has already been written?

The scriptures are my guide, the Proclamation to the Family is my road map, The Commandments are my sights, and my quest is to become like Him.

So, for 2010, I am going to compare myself to none but Him.
I am going to want for nothing but the kind of life He would have me live.
And foremost I am going to Forgive my mistakes as I make them, and not harbor feelings of inadequacy, and insecurity, for He has made me adequate and secure and strong.

With Jeremy and me being sick we have watched a few of his favorite movies the past couple of days. I have held his little fevered body for warmth in my own chilled skin. Such simple comfort.

We watched [I mostly slept through]
Kung Fu Panda.

I was awake enough to hear this,
and its meaning
shook my soul.

"Obeying your master
is not weakness."

I have been reading a lot and came across this:

President David O. McKay taught:

"No man can sincerely resolve to apply to his daily life the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth without sensing a change in his own nature."

To choose Christ is to choose to be changed.

...we can be better than we are,
that we can change...

The quest to become
more like
our Lord and Savior
---to be spiritually attentive,
more personally sensitive,
more tender and gracious ---
ought to be the righteous desire
of every Latter-day Saint.

What, then, can I do?

President Monson said the greatest lesson we can learn is
What is important,
and What is not.

We should "fill our days with what matters most."

For me, that is Family,
and to do what is best for them
I need to resolve to have
more Christ-like attributes
in my own countenance.

A few random times I have
heard that I am a bad lady,
a villain,
disliked by some,
not good enough for others.

I have let these comments get to me,
like a bad seed,
and grow pain and sorrow in my heart.

I have let myself wonder at what I have done to
have such a bad rap,
what makes a person not see
another persons real heart.

I suppose it could be that I have put up
a wall,
protected myself from being to vulnerable,

Or maybe I have just been naive.
Thinking that I was everyone's friend,
and never really knowing how others saw me.

I don't know,
but I know that the knowledge
of their hatred
has held me back lately,
it has hurt.

It has made me vulnerable,
and insecure,
and caused feelings of lonesomeness.

The real question is why do I care
what a random few think of me.
Why can't I focus on the many others
who buoy me up,
cheer me on,
and strengthen me in their Love.


Yesterday with Jeremy
I watched Shrek the Third.

I have never really watched it.
I didn't like the second one,
thought it was terrible for young kids
so I made a judgment and
wrote the third one off as well.

Not feeling well I thought I could
just sleep through it and
be none the worse for wear.

I was wrong.

It wasn't as bad,
in fact,
I found some enlightenment
in the final
chapter of the movie.

There is a war going on,
between good and [supposed] evil.

The good guys and the bad guys pitted against one another.

I realized watching this that there is something really really wrong with our world that we categorize ourselves and others as good and bad.

What is wrong with us
that we can't just love
and let love,
live and let live;
and accept one another
as Christ would have us????

At this point of the movie the villains have
decided to band together and take over
Happily Ever After.

Shrek finally SCREAMS:

[This really woke me up.]

"Who really thinKs we need to settle things this way?"

Artie [who is suppose the be King Arthur, as a youngster] says:
"You are telling me you
want to be villains your whole life?

the villains respond:

"But we are villains"

The villains are all the bad guys from the fairy tales,
and Disney created movies;
ie, Ghepetto, Hook, The Wicked Witches,
Big Bad Wolf, etc...

"Didn't you ever want to be something else?"

Here the Talking Tree responds:

"It's hard to come by an
honest days work when
the whole world is against you."


"Okay, fair enough.
I'm not a talking tree, but you know,
a good friend of mine
once told me that just because
people treat you like a villain, or an ogre,
or just some loser,
doesn't mean you are one.

The thing that matters most is what you
think of yourself.

If there is something you want
or someone you really want to be
then the only person
standing in your way is you.

Each of you is standing in your own way!"

At this point the villains throw down their weapons.
Except for the Handsome Prince.

There is always a Handsome Prince or
Beautiful Princess who believe
they are the exception to the rule.

You know these people in your own lives,
they will never look outside of their own
reflection of selfishness to
see that there is goodness in anyone but themselves.

The sad part is these are the people
who truly are the most insecure,
and vulnerable,
and the people we most need to be loved.

Anyhow, the Handsome Prince
"This was suppose to be my
Happily Ever After."

To which Shrek replies:

"Well, I guess you better keep looking,
because I am not giving up mine."

Why did all this matter to me?

I suppose the answer to that is still growing inside me right now.
But it did strike a chord of reflection.
I have been so worried about what others think of me
that I am setting aside my Happily Ever After for the sake of worry. Ridiculous.
Why worry so much about what someone else thinks of you?

Why worry about what they think when they may have never been
a talking tree, or _______________ [fill in the blank, whoever you are, they haven't been YOU].

So how do I go about this transformation, changing my perspective, and being consciously compassionate, even for those who would throw me away, or judge me, or assume they know something about me.

I suppose that it could be as simple as having the courage to really really become more Christ-like. The Church News states of transformation this way:

"No doubt we can pursue the path of Christ-likeness for much of the way through persistence. But it becomes painfully apparent after a while that sheer grit and will power can only do so much; that dogged determination has its limits; and that doubling and tripling our efforts may well prove in the long run to be both physically exhausting and spiritually counterproductive.

Our Lord and Redeemer has called upon us to come unto Him, to become yoked to Him, and to experience the refreshing respite that derives from surrender to him (Matthew 11:28-30). He has, through Simon Peter, invited us all to 'Cast all your care upon him; for her careth for you' (1 Peter 5:7).

Well, of course He cares for us; He loves us, perfectly.

More poignantly, however, is the sweet promise that if we lay our burdens at His feet He will care for us; that is, if we can learn to trust Him, rely upon Him, and have complete confidence in Him (we call this the state of being Faith), He will do the worrying, the fretting, and the caring for us.

In the words of the great defender of the Christian Faith, C. S. Lewis, we keep trying but we are 'trying in a new way, a less worried way.'

In my own quest for peace this year I set my sights, as an Enlightened Villain, on having more Faith, Hope, Charity/Love, Virtue, Knowledge, Patience, Humility, Diligence, and Obedience.; on trying to be these things in a new way, a less worried way.

If there is something you want
or someone you really want to be
then the only person
standing in your way is you.

I commit to get out of my way
and become what I really want,
become who I really desire to be. ♥


Liz said...

Beauty along with the YUCK!
Love you and you will do it. You do all you set your mind to.
Love you

LeShel said...

so much truth! love this.. i think i'll print it off and add it to my scriptures.

Stephanie said...

Thank you so much for your sweet thoughts. It was so funny to read something and empathize in a very personal way with so much of what you've said. I think you're amazing and hope to be as courageous and influential as you are. Thank you for the words of encouragement and for the great reminder that I so needed right now. <3

my happiness!

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“You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experiences.” ~Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley


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