It's been a long while since I've blogged on here. A long time indeed. I can admit that a large part of that was probably due to pride. I've been afraid to share what has been really going on in my life. I know that I've been wearing a mask, and not admitting to people, even my closest of friends, some of the deep struggles I have been going through.
In summary, I have been under a lot of stress. My depression seems to be wanting to come back. I've been struggling with loneliness. I've been over indulging in playing video games. I've gone to work tired and left exhausted. I've felt annoyed by my co-workers and by working. I've been struggling to stay on task. On top of it all, I haven't been diligent in my scripture studies and my prayers. I've tried reaching out to friends, but I kept thinking 'this just isn't helping'.
To make matters more complicated, I made a rather grave mistake last week. I will not go into details here (it is something rather personal). I can say that there may be far reaching consequences. I spent a good deal of the weekend feeling numbness, regret, sadness. Going to church and serving in my calling was difficult. I did manage to stay most of the 3 hour block. I left just after the sacrament had been passed. I am really uncertain what all of the consequences for my actions will be. I feel that I do have to face them head on.
Last night, after another soul wrenching feeling of despair, I realized that I needed to change some things in my life. First off, I really need to reduce the amount of video games I'm playing, especially at work. I also need to reduce my YouTube watching at work, and reduce the amount of foul language and other cruddy content I'm putting into my brain. I need to seek out wholesome activities. I want to stop feeling like all my free time is 'busy' with video games. I want to be the sort of person who can drop a video game to go to a church meeting or to interact with a friend. I want to drop the priority that they have taken in my life. Second, I want to start putting God first. I'm not entirely sure how it is going to work out.
Last, but not least, I want to try to stop stressing out so much. I remember hearing once that 'Stress comes from arguing with reality'. I know I've been doing a lot of stressing and hence, a lot of arguing with reality. Thoughts like 'I should be perfect', 'I shouldn't have any doubts about the church', 'I should have a fervent, burning testimony', 'I should want to help out other people' have not been helping me. Instead, they have been draining my energy and leaving me feeling hopeless, angry, frustrated, annoyed, or even numb. I know the root of some of those ideas are positive. There are many righteous desires in there! I think the key word that I need to eliminate from my thoughts is 'should'. Should indicates duty, obligation, or correctness. Should steals away my agency. When I say 'I should like the color green', I've mentally taken away my ability to not like the color. I do not want to use 'shouldy' thinking anymore.
Instead, I want to have a fervent testimony. I want to help out other people. I want to place God at a top priority in my life. I want to have meaningful, deep friendships with other men in my life (and possible women). I want to fully live the gospel, the true gospel. I want to let go of faulty beliefs I have around the gospel, the church, God, the Atonement, and many other things. I still want to play video games. I just want them not to be my defining feature anymore.
Like I said in a recent Facebook post, a D&D character partially helped me receive the inspiration to change my perspective on life. The character is a cleric and he worships the 'Elder' or 'Father' god. He is a firm believer in fate. If someone dies, then they were meant to die. If his healing manages to save them, they were meant to be saved. In fact, on of his most common lines is 'it was meant to be'. He is free from stressing over the past. He is free to live in the present and to make choices as he sees fit. Overall, he's one of my favorite characters to play. Well, the fact that he can pretend to be a really big dog kind of makes him fun to role play.
That aside, I love you all. I pray we can all continue on this journey called life, and can find the true joy and happiness that comes from doing what we know is good, right, and just.
My mission is to build a world of light, love, and truth.