I’ve been thinking about this phrase, specifically from a religious perspective. As a person with relatively strong religious affiliation and beliefs, God has promised that as we exercise a belief in Him, our weaknesses will be made turned to strengths.
The scripture in question here is found in the Book of Ether, in the Book of Mormon, chapter 12 verses 27 and 28.
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
28 Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.
Now, it may seem obvious to most but not really to me why our weak things will be made strong. Is it because God will strengthen our weaknesses because He wants us to become stronger and more able to fulfill His will? Does He want us to work on our weaknesses and thereby being able to have our weak things become strong? There is also a preclusion that if are to be made strong, we must also be humble enough to have the desire to go to God for to strengthen us. Being humble enough to seek after God to strengthen our weaknesses shows our faith and devotion to Him.
It’s hard to comprehend how we can turn our weaknesses into strengths, because we are unable to understand a lot of how God works and his many mysteries. One thing that I am sure of is that our purpose is to learn and grow in this life. We will experience hardships and find things we might not be able to do at first. Like I’ve said before many things do require work and effort, to practice and to get better at. I think that’s precisely what God wants for us, to work, improve different aspects of our live. However He wants us to always remember where our abilities, strengths and talents come from.
I think this is why I need to finish a blog in a single sitting, because I lost my train of thought from yesterday when I was blogging. Good job brain, good job! Well I guess it something does come back up I’ll amend this blog but for now, I guess that’s the end of that.
Life is pretty interesting most of the time. Everyday there will be choices we must make. The daily choices we make can have consequences both good and bad. One interesting thing about this is, we can’t ever fully see the scope of how far reaching our choices are. In an ideal world we try our best to make the choices we feel are best for us, but in all situations and circumstances we aren’t always able to choose the outcomes we’d like.
All our actions rely a lot on faith. We go to school in hopes that we can gain an education that will help us be employed. We work so that we can earn money to hopefully provide a better life for us and those around us. We follow laws in hopes that order in society will bring peace (this one is a bit of stretch). I blog in hopes that something I say will have an impact on someone out there, even if the reach of my posts are maybe a handful of people or less.
I sometimes wonder what my life would be like had a went to a different school growing up. Would I be the way I am now? Was I shaped by the friends I had at my school? If I had different friends would I be a completely different person? Or would nothing change because that’s just the way I am? These are sort of the larger ripples of life choices that we can’t really see the effects of, because they become so immersive that you just won’t know.
The ripples of choice that I was thinking about was more along the lines of random acts of kindness, that while we might not be able to see any effects from, sometimes do come back to us in some way shape or form. I have heard countless stories and accounts of individuals who have changed their lives completely because of one single act of kindness from someone in their lives. This change they enacted in their own lives prompted them to be more kind or generous to others, and the cycle goes on from there. I can’t recall a specific example of when my actions had a great and lasting impact, or rather I can’t think of times when I had a positive impact on people. I can think of a time when my negative actions towards a friend had a positive impact on his life and the lives of those he encountered. I was such a jerk as a child.
So one of my best friends growing up is an immigrant to Canada. When he first moved here, he was a portly child, and we affectionately called him fat all the time. He enjoyed eating KFC as a child in Hong Kong where he was from. He wasn’t all that athletic but enjoyed playing with us. We were friends but kids are mean creatures who don’t usually feel remorse for their actions. Over the course of several years we would pick on him, but because of my beliefs and the way we grew up we had developed a stronger friendship through religion. It was apparent when we were between the ages of 12-14 that he wasn’t as athletic as the rest of us. We would tease him about it but we accepted him for who he was. He was always strong in character and attitude, and still is to this day. He turned all the teasing we had done towards him in high school in to positive energy. He began to work out more to become stronger physically, by the middle of high school he was on his high school football team as a lineman. The habits he developed in high school made him really enjoy working out, something that he does professionally now as a physical trainer for performance athletes in a gym he co-owns. He attributes his desire to working out to us picking on him as a child. This isn’t the best example but it’s the only one that comes to mind right now, and it does illustrate how our actions can change people. We chose to be mean as children (some might think it’s inherent in children to be mean) and it caused him to change his life path and be where he is now. For the record he wanted to be a cop for the longest time even up until he was in university, and we are still best friends to this day.
While we can do our best to mitigate any extreme negative consequences, the reality of the matter is that our lives aren’t that simple. All we can do is do our best, treat others with kindness and hope that in the end all will be well, as it usually is, all it takes is time. Something that is precious and undervalued for it’s worth, but that’s another topic for another time.
So as stated in my last post, I would be continuing with my commentary on what it takes in life to be motivated and to succeed. Granted I am in no position to speak from my own experience yet, but it is something that I can speak on because of the people I know in my life who are successful through their example. So with that disclaimer, I’ll continue to share my commentary. As discouragement is like a slow burning candle surrounded by kindling and dry wood all around, if left unattended could turn into a fiery inferno of depression. It needs to be kept in check and to be monitored and taken care of in order to not let it get out of hand.
Overcoming discouragement requires one to have support, from people around them, but going just being relying on those around you is having the humility to reach out to those around for support. This is one that I struggle with a lot when I am in these situations. I bring this up because often those who are in a state of discouragement are often a few steps away from depression. Which is another entirely different beast to tackle on it’s own. Why I bring up reaching out to your support network isn’t to burden them for “support” but to acknowledge and recognize your problem through admission. Admitting to someone else that you have a problem is hard. It also shows a willingness to change and a willingness to be open to suggestions as to how to improve.
The last thing I have to say about this for now, as there still are a lot of things I can say about this is and one could write a lot and lot about this subject but I am not the expert to do as such. Anyways the last thing that I wasn’t to suggest is to try to celebrate the small successes to remain as optimistic as possible. Having a positive outlook is one of the strongest things you can do to stay motivated through discouragement. Being able to see and have an end goal can be the drive to help get over the overwhelming wall that discouragement brings. Knowing that the path isn’t easy is always hard but also knowing that there will be better things in the future can help to motivate through discouraging times.
I’m clearly rambling at this point so I think I’ll end this here. Let me know in the comments below what helps encourage and motivate you when you’re discouraged.