Earlier this week, I pulled up the blinds on my bedroom window and was instantly met with feelings of disappointment and then discouragement. A squirrel had attacked my sunflowers. They were broken and lying on the lawn. I felt heavy-hearted and I thought, “I am so sad that this is the way my sunflower summer story ends.” Then I wanted to rush outside and chop everything down, clean it up and move on. Finally, I realized that I felt shame, like I had done something wrong by sharing my sunflowers all summer on Facebook and Instagram, and then I let them get broken by squirrels, and that I needed to run and hide.
Believing the Negative Voices in My Head
It’s so interesting when you stop and watch your thoughts in slow motion. My thoughts and feelings combined made me want to rip out all the flowers, throw them away and then run and hide. It all happened in an instant while I was staring out the window. This is how I would describe an onslaught by the adversary. With my thoughts in slow motion, I broke the entire process down. My “natural” self has a tendency to hear judgy voices in my head along with perfectionist voices, and what I call “stickler” voices that give me no allowance for doing anything less than perfectly. Once I entertain the voices of the judge, the perfectionist and the stickler, those voices get louder and more insistent. They all tell me that I’ve done something terribly wrong and now I need to hide and be ashamed. A lot of times I do listen to those voices.
They Were After The Seeds
Today, since I was thinking in slow motion, I was able to ask myself the questions that broke me free of those voices. I asked myself to STOP and look for the gift and the lessons. All summer, as I worked outside physically with the flowers, mentally I was noticing life lessons I was learning from my plants. I believe those lessons came to me from God as I worked with my hands and quieted my head. Today was just one more lesson.
I started with seeds, I planted them, watered and nourished them and watched them grow. I protected and supported them because I wanted the flowers. I love the flowers, but the plant wanted to produce seeds so they could continue to grow. That’s what the squirrel was after – the seed.
“Faith is Like a Little Seed, If Planted it Will Grow”
I have been working on developing an aspect of my faith this summer. I have been thinking about how Jesus supports me during my trials – He will not forsake me. I planted the seed and watered it by studying my scriptures and looking in them for evidence of how people were supported during their trials. The sunshine and fertilizer was prayer and meditation, followed by the support of worshipping in a community of believers. Gradually my faith grew and began to flower.
We All Have to Face Jumping Squirrels
Then came the jumping squirrels. They came just when my faith began to flower. I had some challenges and I didn’t feel love or support from Christ the way I thought I would. I wondered if I had done something wrong or if I was wrong or what had gone wrong? Then, by listening to the still small voice of the spirit in my garden, I learned I am producing seeds. If I give up and run and hide – which for me would be to stop sharing the little lessons I learn from God. If I don’t share the seeds, they die within me.
Learning to slow my thoughts and feel the feelings, and recognize the gifts in my life is something that I have learned and practiced. I’m not perfect at it, but I am willing to share what I’ve learned. I would love to speak with you and your friends in small groups, or in midweek Relief Society meetings. Reply to this email and we can figure out how to make that possible.
If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please Contact Me and we can set up a time to chat.
Hope you are having a wonderful week!