Thursday, October 29, 2009

No Place Like Home

I love "The Wizard of Oz"!

Growing up, I would always look forward to the annual television broadcast! I would watch in wonder as Dorthy would brave her way through the storm and dreamily sing of a land beyond the rainbow. The story spoke to my childlike imagination, and no child can deny the awesomeness of stepping out of a black and white world, and into a magical land of color!

Though I enjoyed the story and adventure, I didn't really understand the message of the story!

You see, I have had a certain tendency to live somewhere other than the present. For most of my life, I have either been stuck in the past, or anticipating, and sometimes worrying about the future. This has made it really hard for me to enjoy what is actually, presently, going on in my life. I have always felt like I WOULD be happier if this or that had not happened or I WILL be happier when such and such finally happens. This way of thinking left me grasping for happiness "somewhere over the rainbow" so to speak. Fortunately the last couple of years I have learned some important things about this life:

#1 Life is what we make it! We can create the life we desire by focusing our thoughts and energy on what we want. Not on what we don't want. Life is too short to worry so much!! Just be grateful for what you have in this moment and trust that God will provide. It requires faith and a good attitude, but we can create the life of our dreams!

#2 Life is all about love! I am learning that the entire purpose of everything we do in this life is to teach us how to love. It doesn't seem that way when we look around us and see so much contention, judgement, intolerance and defensiveness. We need to remember that there is only one enemy, and he is the antithesis of love. He seeks to destroy relationships, so don't let him convince you that anyone else is an enemy. Let the grudges go, and don't let yourself be offended so easily. Choose to love everyone around you. If we don't learn this....we have entirely missed the boat.

#3 Life should be a constant demonstration of gratitude! The Lord gives us everything we have! Even if we don't have all we desire, we must acknowledge that all we have comes from him! Show gratitude in the way you speak. In the way you treat yourself and others, and show gratitude in the way you take care of the things you have! We often choose to participate in "complaining relationships". We like to one-up each other on how miserable or unfortunate our lives are, or we simply like the pity we receive when we have a lot to complain about. Every time I have joined in this kind of talk, I have walked away feeling empty and down. I have finally realized that I may be offending my generous Father in Heaven by speaking so negatively about my life. A life that he has clearly blessed me with! I am working really hard to break that habit. I want him to know how much I love him and appreciate every gift he gives.

For the record, I haven't perfected any of these, but the point is, I have realized that what I am looking for is right inside of me! I have the power, because of the atonement, to choose what my experience will be. When weakness rears it's familiar head, I can calmly say....tomorrow will be better. I have the hope that it will be.

In the end, when Dorothy discovers that all she ever wanted was hidden in her ordinary life, she longs to go home to the people who love and cherish her. She finally realizes that happiness isn't found anywhere outside of ourselves. I love the message.....There's no place like home!

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