Over the past 10 years my weaknesses have held daily meetings to discuss how best to torment and torture me.
Worry, anxiety and fear chaired this committee - they read the minutes of the last meeting on how to provide worry, anxiety and fear into my life - then they read the agenda for the next meeting which was how best to provide worry, anxiety and fear into my life.
And I let these meetings occur, in fact, I facilitated their ability to meet. I provided room for their meetings.
And then I stopped. With a lot of help, I stopped.
Like some cosmic exterminator I wiped them out. " I gave them room no more" to torment and torture me. It required an intervention from a good friend - I am convinced was sent by God - who came in the form of an incredible therapist Valerie Dimick, who first had to convince me it was possible to live without fear and worry and then set about to teach me how.
Long ago my husband and I built a house. We were warned this would not go well, that couples fought and even separated over the building of a house. I knew one woman who divorced her husband and ran off with the contractor! But we didn't have personal problems when we built the house. We focused on building the house. It was a great way to tackle such a huge project but we did that unconsciously. We built the house on faith...faith that although we knew we didn't have the expertise to do this project, we just would do our best and trust it would work out. No lie we made a lot of mistakes. For instance we completely forgot to order interior doors for the entire house, but things worked out, we never considered it wouldn't. We got into our house and have lived here for the past 22 years. I didn't realize it at the time but as we built the house we were being taught a valuable pattern. We didn't focus on each other weaknesses, we focused on the end result which was building a house and how to get that accomplished. I was too busy, or too young to realize what was being taught. A pattern of focusing on the big picture and not on the pebbles that get stuck in our shoe.
Because I was unaware of what was being shown to me I followed a different pattern with some very negative outcomes when faced with another big event in my life.
When the recession hit all my basic fears emerged. An entire childhood of abandonment came to light. Safety issues hit me from every direction and I became the most worried, most anxious, most fearful person you would ever meet.
Luckily a friend noticed it and guided me toward help. I was not going to see this on my own because I was so steeped in fear. Help came in the form of a therapist named Valerie Dimick. Valerie introduced tools into my life to combat the daily...hourly... attacks my mind would conjure up. And I started to get better.
It's all choice isn't it? After all I had gone through far worse things in my life. But for some reason complete financial ruin was my Waterloo. I saw no way out...no possible remedy of any kind.To explain hopelessness is impossible. I can't. But looking back now I do see that my problem was where I placed the focus...entirely on me. MY life is a mess, MY life shouldn't have turned out this way, MY life....MY life....MY life. When we focus on ourselves, of course, we will be depressed.
Weaknesses are part of our DNA. That is very simple. but here is the best part, those weaknesses? Can be our best friend. Weaknesses can be made strengths. I believe God gave us weakness in order for us to be strong. Not to punish us....but to give us strength.
Here is the best quote ever on strengths and weaknesses I have read. It is by Thomas S. Monson
"God Left us the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of unfinished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation."
So I have a weakness of fear and worry....but I have a determination to combat it and to make it a strength. Maybe just the confession of my path will comfort someone who thinks they are alone. And when you feel that way it is easy to stay miserable. Accept that many people have your same weakness, hell, embrace that! Support groups are formed for that very reason.
And then travel with me as we find ways to make our weaknesses strengths...whatever that might be.