Sunday, July 13, 2008

First Aid

I teach the 14 and 15 year old girls at church. This week the assigned lesson is on overcoming sorrow, opposition, and disappointment. I know. How timely huh? The teacher usually gets more out of any lesson than the students so this one is well timed for me. 

In the lesson there are suggestions for overcoming sorrow and disappointment taken from a talk by Elder Benson in Oct. 1974. He lists 12 tactics one can use to help overcome sorrow. In the lesson, we are suggested to remind the girls that "many problems may require only one or two of these solutions."

As a visual for my lesson, I am likening emotional pain and sorrow to physical injury. I have taken a first aid kit I have at home and labeled the contents with the 12 tactics. The tools correspond in some way to their label. For instance, "Friends" are on the band aids because good ones stick to you and they come in a variety with different friends being better for different kinds of injury. Here is a photo of some of the contents of my first aid kit.
As I was labeling last night, I thought how I had used ALL of these tactics recently. Many of them I have to use over and over and over again. Some wounds are more severe than even a fully stocked first aid kit can cure but when it is all you have ... At least many of these like service, fasting, prayer, work, and friends provide temporary relief while the body heals itself.

This has been a difficult weekend.  Since that last interview I have not been doing well at living in the present. My mind has been going too much to the past. I need to be more strict with my mind about that. There is no good that can come from dwelling on the painful events of the past. 

I was talking to Jon last night about whether we are out of the "vaseline" stage yet (where it feels like you are living your life in a giant tub of vaseline). We both agreed we are out of the vaseline but still in a thick fog. Sometimes the fog is thicker than other times. Sometimes it even clears up for a bit. But it still returns to cloud our minds and make us feel far away.

I was thinking last night in the Temple that the veil of forgetfulness we have when we come to this world is such a blessing because I am sure if we could remember just how much we love our Heavenly parents and our older brother Jesus Christ, we would not be able to be here. It would hurt too much to be separated from them in any degree.