19 April 2010

Unwilling to Believe

The problem with engaging in honest introspection is that you discover things you are appalled are there. Like pulling out the stove to clean behind it and seeing a disgusting, unsanitary mess that makes you wonder if HazMat ought to be notified immediately ("clean up on aisle 7 please!").

Today I learned two related and very unnerving truths about myself through the harrowing challenges of the day and subsequent pondering about today's events.

  1. Although I try to believe, I am unwilling to do so when I have convinced myself that something is "impossible" and that I am "deceiving myself" to think any other outcome could be plausible. No amount of reasoning from others--even when my heart recognizes it as truth--will help me see otherwise; the discouragement and hopelessness causes me to be deaf and blind. SIGH.
  2. I cannot seem to change my mind set to believe that Heavenly Father would help me in my personal life, in things that I want and bring to Him in prayer. I can believe that if He commands me to do something, either explicitly in a priesthood blessing or by giving me a strong impression to do something I normally wouldn't do on my own--e.g. buy a house that forces me to commute (I loathe commuting)--that He will provide the way for it to be accomplished. However, if there is something I desire, then I automatically think that Heavenly Father would not help me--I guess because I've convinced myself that what I want is automatically wrong.

I don't know how to change these things about myself. I've had too many experiences being wrong, most recently a four-year-long ordeal that caused me to lose all confidence I had in myself and my ability to discern promptings correctly. I stayed with the situation for four years because I felt peace about it when I prayed, and I had received many, many assurances that things would work out. I assumed that "working out" meant something different than what actually happened: what the Lord had in mind was to work me out of that relationship so He could heal me. I didn't understand it at the time (I still don't fully comprehend it), but what the Lord had in mind was best for me. If things had worked out the way I had envisioned them, I would probably be miserable now and stuck in a situation that would pull me away from Heavenly Father instead of bringing me closer to Him.

Although I can see the blessings of and wisdom in what the Lord did for me in leading me out of that situation, there is still an emotional scar that reminds me how "wrong" I was--wrong because I interpreted the peace to mean something that was not so. Now I doubt my ability to interpret peace or understand promptings I receive; I don't trust myself to be "right" when for four years I thought I was "right" but I was actually "wrong."

Will I ever be "right" again? Will I ever be able to forgive myself for being human and allow myself another chance, to learn from my experience and allow Heavenly Father to bless me? Or will I confine myself forever to the prison of self-protection and survival--not allowing myself another chance to risk and fail (or succeed!)?

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