Thursday, May 4, 2017
A Letter to my Children and a Reminder to Myself
I originally wrote the first draft of this in an answer to a question posted by a friend on a social media site. She was preparing to speak to a large group of young women and asked what any of us who read her post would say. Here's a refined and updated version of my response with more heart, soul and purpose than I could put into it while trying to fit it to a secular audience.
Our world passes out A LOT of scripts, be discerning and CHOOSE who you are and what you'll be. Forget the archetypes always seen in movies and books, and be who you are. Beware of anyone selling you a victim story, a story that paints you and those you relate most to as having been "put in a place or position" rather than always having a choice in what you do and the role you play. You are a son or daughter of God, He loves you and designed you for greatness.
You are both a spiritual and physical being. You were born enough because you were created in your mother's womb by a living and loving God and your spiritual ancestry is His. You were born fulfilled. What you learn, what you achieve, what you give and receive is an added bonus to the infinite value and worth you have always had and always will.
Always remember you are a child of God and manifest that in your appearance, achievements and goals, don't ever let anyone convince you that in order to fulfill yourself you must do as they say. You have the ability through your divine parentage to become a Heavenly Parent. All that God does and all that He is falls under the heading of Father. Don't believe the lie that success and fulfillment come from money, wealth, or recognition (even in a spiritually driven business) or that those types of success will make up for time missing from building an eternal family. Your primary purpose is to be like your Heavenly Father, the rest is just bonus and could become a distraction from your primary purpose.
Live in faith and listen for Heavenly Father's voice as he guides you with gentle persuasion, truth, and love unfeigned. Pay attention, if it is forbidden in scripture turn from it. If you can't see the reason something is forbidden, seek the truth by turning to God and seeking His answers. Don't mistake pain, resentment, fear, or shame for a guiding voice, do recognize that all such voices are voices of destruction and follow the voice of the Holy Ghost as it speaks peace, joy, and love to your soul.
Only you and Heavenly Father have a vote in your self-esteem, don't ever let anyone tell you how to feel about yourself. Learn to give people a place in your heart without giving them a seat on your jury. Listen and learn from those who criticize, measuring it against the voice of your Heavenly Father; don't soak it up like a sponge, but don't reject it without evaluation either.
Love with your whole heart. Expect to be treated well and accept nothing less and give nothing less, chose to be with those you can love wholeheartedly, and be kind to the rest and keep a safe distance. Be honest about how you feel and who you are at all times and those who see your divine radiance will be drawn to you. Be okay with letting go of those who don't see your divine nature and individual worth.
It's okay to make mistakes, it's part of the journey, yet don't be afraid to learn from the mistakes of others either. The Savior died so that the mistakes you made could become lessons instead of failures; He created the space for redemption. Be merciful and graceful to others, but allow yourself to see the pain their choices may cause and not make those same choices yourself. Don't listen to all the advice you're given, but don't be afraid to seek it when you need it.
Stand confidently in your eternal identity as a Child of God, but don't pretend to know everything and you'll learn a lot more a lot faster. Credibility doesn't come from never having questions, rather it comes from speaking with confidence about what you know and honestly seeking answers to what you don't. Base your confidence on truth and righteousness, rather than appearing smart, but don't be afraid to appear smart either.
Remember you have the power to chose what thoughts stay and what thoughts go, and by so doing to chose what you continue to feel. God has given you agency and you are free to chose whom you will follow. Feelings may come up that may lead you to pain and despair, but you don't have to keep them around by feeding them with fearful or hateful thoughts. Gratitude is a wonderful tool for overcoming persistent negativity.
Good things are meant for you and happiness is part of your purpose for living, allow yourself the gift of happiness by choosing to find the good, releasing the bad, and living in truth. “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 255–56) Our purpose here is to have joy, the scriptures have given us the guidelines for finding the greatest joy. (If God forbids it it leads away from joy, no matter what anyone else says.)
A pattern of continual turning to God (repentance) guarantees success; the only way to fail is to give up. Keep taking steps, it works. The worste thing that could happen sometimes does, and then you realize you are stronger than you thought: you are as strong as God knows you are not as strong as you think you are. So keep going back to Him and you'll keep moving onward.
You are a child of God: you are enough. You were born amazing and have the power to manifest more of your divine nature as you gain more tools for production, expression, and dispensation (giving freely). Stand firmly in the ground of your divine nature as you walk through life in the path of your purpose. Seek to become a good companion and parent; discipline yourself, educate yourself, cling ever closer to God, rely on the atonement for forgiving, strengthening, and being forgiven, seek for what is right not what is easy, and find the solutions that are right instead of the person who is right.
God's love can find you in the deepest pit or the largest abyss and His light can guide you home. He is ALWAYS reaching out for you. I love you always, no matter what, and He loves even better than me, so you have no reason to fear.
Posted by Liz King Bradley at 10:41 PM