This week has been a week; I think I can say without a doubt in my mind it has been the hardest one the whole time I've been in Brasil. Late last Sunday I was admitted into the "instacare" of Brasil because of abdominal pains; I had been out to eat Acai with my friends and thought I had food poisoning. After running tests all night and not being able to discover the source of pain, I was transferred to a hospital. Keep in mind I live in a very small city 45 minutes away from a decent sized hospital and 4 hours away from any major city. This didn't help my overwhelming anxiety to be in a place that would've never been considered a hospital in the United States; it was an experience to say the least and after 2 more days of sitting in a bed with nothing for entertainment except Brazilian TV that I didn't understand, the source of the problem had been discovered: I had a ruptured cyst that left blood in the bottom of my abdomen. Scary right.
Despite everything that happened and as scary as this week has been, it has also been a week of tender mercies, miracles, and blessings. I would like to personally thank whoever reading this prayed and fasted for my health; it has not gone unnoticed. Out of all the things to happen this week the best by far has been watching how I was never left alone both physically and spiritually. Everyday I was in the hospital there was somebody to watch over me and sit by my side. My health and welling being was not left alone in the hands of strangers either; After being released I found out one of my doctors was a member of my church. What a blessing that truly was. After receiving several blessings from my bishop I had peace and comfort to guide me through the rest of this trial if you want to put it.
I love my bishop. He is one of the most honest and kindhearted men I have ever met. After being released from the hospital there was a period of time when I thought I was going to have to come home to have the surgery to clean the blood from the bottom of my abdomen. Before making this decision I asked to recieve another blessing from my bishop. He came to my home and before starting he wanted me to read a scripture; 2 Corinthians 12-
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
After reading these scriptures and receiving a well needed blessing I realized something important I never had before. Christ's atonement is not only for our faults, short comings, and our sins. It's not just for the sole purpose of forgiveness. Christ has felt, endured, and suffered everything we have and everything we ever will feel in this life. The time I felt I was alone, the time I felt scared and afraid, I was never truly alone. Never in this life will I will ever have to be alone; Because of Christ's atonement and in order for it to be infinite and eternal, "He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone." It was required for him to feel these things, it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that Christ, "this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins." Because Jesus walked this long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His journey through mortal life brings great companionship for our little versions of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel.
As difficult and as challenging as the past few days have been I would never ask to change the things I have experienced. To learn to turn from my limitations to a God that has none is the ultimate satisfaction in this life. Jesus suffered because he loves us deeply. Bad days will always come to an end, the faith you have will always triumph, and the promises and blessings of heaven are always kept. And in that, I hope you all have the best week! I love you all so much, thank you all for everything you have given me!
I admit it, I have become the worst at keeping the schedule I set for myself when I started this thing to write on time. It's now Wednesday and we're just now getting around to writing about last week; is it okay to blame it on the fact I started school this week or are we doing the whole "no excuses it's your unfilled obligation to write" sorta deal. Either way I'm here now.
This past week was my last week of freedom due to the fact that I started school on Monday but that's not even the worst part. The week was spent at my host dads parents place because my house was infested with FLEES! If you have never had flees consider yourself blessed. They are the tiniest bugs that leave bites that make mosquitoes seem enjoyable. The bites are painful and demand to be itched, more times than not until they bleed and scar. The source of the flees is still unknown, every house on my street ended up having them and had to spray more than once to get rid of them.. Monday afternoon we were finally allowed to come home!
As part of the new year I decided to create a new focus for my writing. With my passion for lists and my adequate ability to give decent advice; I have combined the two.. A "How to.." guide if you will for different aspects of life in the form of lists. This week the idea of self identity and improvement have overwhelmingly taken over my thoughts and I figured I'd give this "How to" guide a test run.
How to be Yourself.
- Who the heck are you?
Before you can be confident in yourself, you actually have to know who you are. You need to have a sense of where you come from. You can stay busy trying to make yourself into what others want you to be, what the world wants you to be, or you can look inward. Who are you and how does that inform what you do?
- Identifying your Truth.
What makes you who you are? You may have been told that this core truth is something to fear or be ashamed of. That is NOT true. What's true is the experience you bring and the heart of the real, human person that you are.
- Who do you want to be?
We all change, so pretending otherwise is silly. Think about who you hope to grow into. That desire is as important as who you are currently, to set your intention and inform the steps you'll take now to get there.
- Loving EVERY part.
It can be hard to embrace the roots we've buried deep, but take time to inspect them. This is what has led to your outlook on life. Learn to cherish (or at least acknowledge) even your darkest parts. Those parts have made you into the person you are.
- Finding your Voice.
Maybe don't shout your secrets, but do learn to speak from that place of honesty. Try to become somebody from that place of true emotion from your experience, but without making it completely inaccessible to others. This makes you what others describe as relatable. Everybody likes to be around somebody who they can relate to.
-Building your World.
You build yourself through a combination of stories and experiences. Create new goals and points of focus that build on each other reflecting that future self you hope to be. This becomes your body of attention and ultimately apart of who you are.
-Letting others in.
Even when you love and find power in yourself, your own voice, it can be terrifying to share it with those around you. Trust that you are the exact thing that someone needs. It may take time and patience but you will find that you are exactly who you are meant to be.
You can't let people scare you. You can't go your whole life trying to please everyone else. You can't go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think. Whether it's your hair, clothes, what you have to say, how you feel, what you believe and what you do or don't have. You can't let the judgment of others stop you from being you, because if you do, you're no longer you. You're someone everyone else wants you to be.
I've learned through actually applying the listed advice that sometimes you have to lose who you were to find out who you are. No amount of security and confirmation from others is worth the suffering of a mediocre life of conformity chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.
Encontre quem você é. Tenha um bom descanso da semana. Eu te amo!