OUTLIVE; The Stigma

I have received a lot of messages and questions. I am so grateful for every person who has reached out. We are in the works of something big (hint at end) but for right now I’ll continue to write in my blog. I am going to pick a question and blog about it. This is 100% my own opinion! Hopefully I will be able to help someone out there who may have the same question. Keep on fighting! You are NOT alone!

Message:

If you don’t mind me asking how did you get back to the point where you kind of just accepted everything? How did you get to the point where you weren’t just angry about the trials God has given you? I’m currently at that point and I’m just lost I think I just hit a point where I don’t understand why God who loves us so much has to make us go through terrible things. Things that no one should have to deal with.

I think of it this way … If God made everything perfect, then what’s the point of life?! Last year at this time, I decided I wasn’t going to go to church anymore. Was I justified and did I have a reason to not go?!  Of course I was justified! It makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever how someone would want to tear someone’s life apart that bad in order to justify their own “image”. I had every reason to justify to not go but the only person that was affecting? Me!

It wasn’t until I accepted that I was letting certain people control my feelings towards God instead of owning and accepting that I make my own decisions. I am in control how I react, I control who I hang out with, I’m in control of me. I know there are a million reasons out there to justify “a divorce”. I totally get it. I, myself, never fully understood your same question: is God real? I have done everything I possibly can and this is the situation I’ve been given?! It was straight hell because these people weren’t only going after me, they were going after my loved ones.

I can honestly tell you, I wouldn’t take one single thing back with what I went through. Why?! Because it has changed my life. It has changed how I think about people. How I treat people. It has changed the way I react to certain circumstances, it has changed my perspective on life. It has made me a stronger man because I knew I outlived something really hard. It has brought me back to my roots of the simple concepts of the Gospel.

I can honestly tell you, I wouldn’t take one single thing back with what I went through. Why?! Because it has changed my life. It has changed how I think about people. How I treat people. It has changed the way I react to certain circumstances, it has changed my perspective on life. It has made me a stronger man because I knew I outlived something really hard. It has brought me back to my roots of the simple concepts of the Gospel.

I don’t know what you’re going through. I do know you are on your Journey though and you gotta find happiness and strength because that’s YOUR decision. Not anybody else’s!! It doesn’t matter what people think. I can be mad and angry and have so many justifications to not believe in God. But I had to experience all of that for myself to progress and move forward. Do I still question at times?! Of course, it’s normal to have questions. But whatever you have been through, go help and inspire others. What are the lessons you learned? What would you do differently? How am I gonna react when something crazy happens? Am I going to church because I want others to see I’m active and a good person? Or am I going to church because I want to learn for myself how to be a better/happier person?

I love the LDS church. The principles it teaches about forgiveness, treating others with love and respect, service, believing in yourself, respecting ourselves and our body. The principles teach simple concepts for us to be happy. But why is it we blame others, blame God, for how we feel. We make our own decisions, we control what we do, we control how we act. Why do members gossip and do stupid things? I firmly believe gossiping is a coping mechanism for people to live in other peoples problems. Not only that, but it hides the problems they are dealing with in their own life. Comparison.

Most importantly, when I blamed God for everything I went through, I felt I rejected everything Christ went through. He NEVER retaliated, He did nothing but serve others, He had so much pain and affliction but He stuck to the simple truths of service, love and compassion. He could have EASILY given up but didn’t. Why? Because I believe God needed him to go through what He did in order for us to put our lives into perspective a little bit.  Not only that, but to save us.

A lot of people don’t believe in God. I 100% respect that because everyone is different and has their agency. Don’t judge them, they’re on their own journey of finding happiness just as you are.

Believing in God and the teachings of Christ have helped me become happy. However you need to find happiness, DO IT! We as members of the LDS church HAVE to accept other people’s decisions. You can’t make a decision for your son, daughter, spouse, and friends. But yet, we have bred this culture of judging others, living in others problems so we can hide and justify our own problems. The stigma NEEDS to change.

The people I have respected most in my life are the ones who serve, help, love not judge, don’t gossip, and have accepted their own imperfections. They treat EVERYONE the same and respect everyone for who they are. They share what makes them happy and how they get through life. The last thing they do is force expectations and make decisions for other people.

The perception and stigma of mental health, especially in the LDS culture, NEEDS TO CHANGE. Believe because you want to become better and be in the service of others just as Christ would do it. I returned home early from my mission twice, I play basketball for the LDS church school, and I am divorced. I’ve seen it from all angles and understand the feelings/perceptions of the “stigma” that comes from “not fulfilling church responsibility” so you feel like you have let others down, yourself down, and you start questioning God. It’s normal!

The sad part of all of it are the expectations members put on their own kids. We wonder why kids don’t speak up about mental health is because “we as kids” want to impress others and be these perfect examples or something. So when we do mess up, you don’t want to let your parents down, or your friends down. You don’t want to be known as “the kid that did ….” So what’s the natural instinct? Bury it inside and let it boil until depression and anxiety kick in.

Kids need to understand that their parents just want you to succeed and be happy. But parents need to understand better what their kids are dealing with exactly and how they communicate their message across. Make it known to your kids that you love them, spend time with them so that when your son or daughter messes up, you understand why they feel the way they do and help them. Don’t be upset with them, love them and help them understand you love them no matter what and there’s nothing that they can’t overcome. Parents and kids need to work together, spend time with each other. So that when someone does mess up, YOU CAN TALK ABOUT IT! It won’t boil up inside! Vulnerability is a step to progression while susceptibility is a step towards destruction.

I have let people down, I’ve made mistakes, I gave up on life, I forgot about God, I’ve said things I’ve regretted. Then when I think back to the simple concepts of the Gospel and about Our Savior Jesus Christ… The man was absolutely perfect, but why in the world did He have to go through all the pain and affliction and hell He did? Why did He have to give his life up for doing good? Makes no sense right?! Well it does. I bet you anything he is up in Heaven just smiling down on every person saying, “You’ll get through this, you just have to believe in yourself”.

You may not understand it now, but there will become a day you will absolutely understand everything. But right now, enjoy the journey because why?

“Don’t be so hard on yourself when you find yourself dwelling on the past. Because the past is a pathway and a pathway is a journey. And a journey takes time. And time is all you have when you feel lost, so please be patient and kind, something better is on the way”

R.M Drake

Head up! Find what makes you happy. Treat others with respect. Learn from your mistakes and ask others for forgiveness if you have to. But most importantly, you have been given the name you’ve been given in this earth life and you’re in control. Circumstances and things will happen that are completely out of your control. Life sucks sometimes. But understand only YOU control how you react to it. If you ever feel lost, just start reading about Christ and put things into perspective a little bit. That’s what’s helped me regain my faith and has helped me forgive others and myself. The path may be dark at times, but find light however you need to.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus

God Bless!