Mar 15, 2014

Let discouragement harden your determination

I've been feeling discouraged lately.  Not overwhelmingly so, but just enough to cause me to feel disappointment, sadness, and frustration.  Really, it's been in two areas, but it just so happens that these areas are my two passions, which may be why this discouragement is so disheartening.

First, I haven't been able to attend a temple session in entirely too long for me, upwards of three weeks now.  It hasn't been without trying.  I planned on attending each week this month, but each time something came up:  illness, stolen wallet, and no childcare.  It's no one's fault (except the thief that robbed me), but it's been enough to keep me from the place I most desire to be.  Without that consistent influx of service and light, I find myself feeling more overwhelmed by even the tiniest of things.  My thoughts and words have drifted to negativity, and I don't like it.  Things that didn't bother me last week are now grinding on my mind and heart; it seems like the mental and spiritual fortitude I'm usually blessed with is failing.  And that's when I realized these thoughts and feelings are an attack on my self-worth.  This discouragement was trying to harden my heart.

Secondly, I haven't been running consistently.  This is my own fault.  The prior feelings of discouragement have led to me feeling unmotivated and lethargic.  This has a direct impact on my fitness regimen.  Though some setbacks have occurred, no childcare and epic dust storms, I just used it as an excuse to skip my runs and dwell on the negative feelings that come with this discouragement.  Running is my stress reliever and one of the ways I use to define my success of each day.  Without it, negativity seems to surround me.  Yet again, discouragement was bringing me down.

My daughter, however, fills my life with so much love that this discouragement was more of an annoyance than an all-encompassing dungeon.  She is truly the light of my life and I've found her smile can fix everything.  It was at one of my more disheartening days that she ran up to me with a bookmark.  Background information on this, my Grandma Taylor prints out quotes, laminates them, and sends them to me with every card and letter she writes.  They are always uplifting, positive, and inspirational words of wisdom delivered by the most amazing people.  The words on this bookmark were exactly what I needed to see at this exact time.  Not only did the words heal the discouragement that was plaguing my soul the past few weeks, but this quote comes from an incredible man:  my Grandpa Taylor, who passed away some time ago.  I always was close to him, so when I read his words, it felt like he was speaking them to me at that same time.  He said this when he was 26 years old:

I needed to turn all this discouragement around and use it to fuel my determination.  Instead of focusing on all the reasons why I'm not at the temple or out running, I'm going to arrange another day to do a temple session and I'm going to make plans with a running buddy so I will go out and run.  Instead of feeling sad and frustrated, I feel energized and determined.  Today will be a successful day!  I will be productive, I will be happy, and I will be uplifted.  It's never too late to turn a day around.  I think the most important lesson I learned from this though, is that family is always there for me.  Through my beautiful sweet daughter, my grandfather's wisdom and love was delivered straight to my heart to set me on a better path.

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