1. I have, of late, been pondering the consequences of a hardened heart and more specifically how to soften a heart, hopefully with the minimum amount of pain. Is such a thing even possible?
2. It takes really no effort for a heart to harden, yet for one to be softened, mine anyway, usually involves a whole humility smackdown.
3. If I am aware my heart is hard, does that mean I'm on the right track? Because, isn't awareness or acknowledgment of a problem the first step?
The lesson in Relief Society today was really quite good. It was on spiritual gifts and there was much discussion and a few thoughts that had not occurred to me:
1. If one is a giver all the time, it is easy to get angry and resentful and one's sense of worth can really take a beating. For example, a girl mentioned how she had a group of friends that she realized never called her...she was the one calling them.
She finally decided to quit calling them. After 3 months, one noticed.
2. If one is a receiver all the time it can make you arrogant and eventually abusive.
I also relate.
One comes to expect things with no effort or recriprocation of their own. There is no gratitude if one receives and never gives. ( I think often children are like this, just by nature of being children.)
3. Gifts and talents are given to be shared. I have often thought that art is meaningless if it is never put out to be viewed. It can be the most incredible painting in the world but it has no value if no one has ever seen it.
a. I guess gifts and talents are like that. Someone can be a great singer but if no one hears it, of what worth is it?
The BIG insight:
We read in (mumble mumble) Corintians....(I'll look it up later, I can't remember right now,) about the body of the church. The foot can say, "I am not the eye," but it is still part of the body. Individual components are themselves...and comprise the body. If we were all one thing, we wouldn't be a whole. "If we were all the eye, how would we smell?"
It's a pretty simple concept...maybe designed to give everyone a sense of belonging and unity and worth...but it was really effective in my case.
I have been twisting in the proverbial wind about belonging. I have told people that in many respects I have been feeling like Jane Goodall watching the chimpanzees since my goals in my ward (and church,) are very different than everyone elses...and do I really belong?
An old analogy I've used fits. "I feel like a "Brix Blox" in a bucket of Legos." I look like everyone else...in theory I should work like everyone else...but I don't quite...fit.
Reading this today though made me realize that even if I am unsure of where or what I am in the "body," Heavenly Father is aware and has made room for me to fit. If I don't fit...it's my choice...but with the simple virtue of being a human being and thus a daughter of God... there is a place for me.
So the question is:
Was the lesson simply really good...or was it good because I have been working at softening my heart? Have I missed out in past lessons because I sat there, unteachable, because of my heart heart?
Is is a combination of both?