Mar 25, 2010

The Secret, and Positive Thinking

I started thinking the other day about how I haven't written in a while. Not really. I mean, I posted a poem, but that has nothing to do with me and my life. I realized that it is not for lack of things going on in my life that I have not been writing... it is for lack of GOOD things going on. I've had sort of a hard life for the last little while. It is sort of like driving on the road right after the snow all melts away, but before the potholes have been filled for the summer. You know what I'm talking about? Its bumpy and rough. But I don't really feel like bringing up all that gross negative stuff. Life is what it is. Bad things do sometimes happen. But man, I also receive a lot of blessings, and I need to think about those positive things.

Which leads me to my real topic of discussion here: positive thinking. I had a conversation with a friend about positive thinking the other night. He was talking about how believing in something and thinking positively helps you to succeed. He was basically saying that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. It reminded me of The Secret. Hailey, if you're reading this, I know what you're thinking: "Don't bring up The Secret with Sister Nielsen. Its a bad idea." And its true. I hate the idea of The Secret. The idea that you can control the world around you simply by thinking positively; That you can have everything you want if you believe it enough. Its just silly. When I tried to explain this to my friend (as well as when I discussed it with Hailey) I was viewed as a complete pessimist. I've tried to advocate realism instead of pessimism, but no one buys that. Anyway, I DO think it is realism. It may SEEM pessimistic-- to think that most of the time I have no control over whether or not I will get what I want. But I just don't see it that way. Here's why: I think that the Lord is in control. Not me. And not anyone else. And you know what? I prefer it that way. The reason for this, is that though I THINK I know what will make me happy in life, in reality I'm totally clueless. But God knows. And I love Him for helping me to figure this out time and time again.

An example from life:
I used to love a boy. I loved him for eight consecutive years of my life. I wanted to marry him. That is what I wanted, what I thought would be best for me. Said boy, if he reads this, will most likely know who he is. I suppose that might be a little awkward, considering the fact that he is now married. But I don't mind. I'm trying to make a point here. And the point is that I could've thought positively about marrying that boy day and night, night and day for all eight of those years, believing with all my heart that I would marry that boy, and it still wouldn't have happened. But that is because it was not what the Lord wanted. And more than that, the Lord knew it was not what I needed, even if it was what I wanted. What I needed was to serve a mission and to meet so many amazing people and to teach the gospel and to make new friends and to build my testimony stronger than it had ever been. And that is what I REALLY wanted. I just didn't know it before.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that your desires never align with the blessings that God wishes to give you. That would just be silly. And that is why I do continue to hope and dream and wish for things. That is why I even continue to pray for the things I want, and ask God if it is His will that I be given them. Because sometimes it is. But when it's not, it's not, and that has nothing to do with how firmly I believed it before. Does that make sense at all? In other words, I can sit here all day, and continue wishing that the boy I love now-- the one that I have loved for over a year-- will recognize that we should be together and come sweep me off my feet and finally marry me. But it might never happen. It might not be what the boy wishes, and it might not be what the Lord wants for me. And you know what? That will hurt. It will hurt a lot. But in the end, it will work out the best way. Isn't that funny? In the end? In THE END it will be fine, but NOW it hurts. Even if you think positively. Even if you believe it won't hurt. Even if you plead with the Lord to make it work out. It hurts when it doesn't. But the hurt is a trial and trials make you grow. So even if you COULD positive-think it away, it wouldn't be what you REALLY wanted in the end, because it wouldn't help you to grow to your full potential.

And now I feel like I'm getting long-winded. Probably because I am. However I want to just add one last thought, and this is a quote by C.S. Lewis: "When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy." True. So though I love this guy more than I can imagine loving anyone else, if it isn't supposed to work out, I am currently wanting something which will, in fact, not make me happy.

Well, it's 2 am. My brain has stopped functioning. But suffice it to say, that though I believe that positivity gives you a zest for life and extra energy, I don't believe that it gives you things that you want simply because you want them.
That's all. The end. All I have to say for right now.

Mar 9, 2010

The Epic... Or my attempt at it

So I wrote this poem for a class a couple of years ago. We were supposed to write our own version of the founding of America. Then, for my British Literature class, we read Paradise Lost, so I decided to re-vamp the poem. I went through the whole thing and changed it into iambic pentameter.... sort of. We'll see how good I did. Here goes:

This is a tale of a freedom begotten
Of ardent yearning for and a devotion
To love of God in a reign of tyranny,
Both in politics and in religion
Across the world; people massacred for
Their vehement ideals. Religious powers
Eyed each other with seething suspicion:
Popes excommunicating their rivals,
Attempts to eclipse arduous warfare
Running rampant. God on His throne sat high
Atop the high acropolis of the
Celestial world, regarding His most
Beloved creations With decisiveness,
His Eldest Son at His right hand, Who held
The scepter of power, in prep’ration
To carry out His Father’s glorious plan.
The time has commenced, said He to the Son;
They sat in still reverence to await the day
Of restitution of all truths to men
In the one land which was chosen before
The god of time began ruling over
The children of earth. In the beginning,
Truths were spread and buried deep Within the
Soil of this hallowed land, because it was
So loved by God; Mysteries, which lay in wait
Of the righteous who would toil with fervor
To bring them to the surface. The Son’s face
Shone with resplendent joy; He began whisp’ring
Directions to those faithful ones, in whose
Humble hearts a candle of vigor and
Unsullied hope burned, piercing the seeming
Stanch darkness. Both Father and Son took great
Compassion upon those Puritans, forced
To pay homage to a mortal monarch
Who sits upon his upraised throne of
Theological icons, proclaiming
Himself a god, driven by power and
Conquest, in defiance of the Heaven:
Heading a corrupted tree of vile fruits.
Blooming in the midst of this chaos,
The faithful Puritans felt the strong Truth
Segregate them from all the abounding
Heresy, shedding Christ’s pure light on them.
O, that Mighty God of mercy! He had
Prepared a way for them to be led to
That Eden afore blessed ever to be free;
Outlined a most perfect departure
And voyage. They adhered to the beckon
Of their God, those faithful ones, whose ragged
Pockets held near-empty purses. Now the
Brave Mayflower, being so humble
Sets sail on waters of pacific
Placidness toward the western sky.
Alas, the Devil in all of his fury
At the miracle now set in motion,
Thrashed about upon the dark sea
Violently; terrible winds and waves rose.
The children of this pilgrimage cried out
Why hast Thou forsaken us, O Dear Lord?
The young, fragile boat groaned and it trembled,
Whilst torrents of waves heaved themselves on it
In fury, the sea ravaged the small craft.
The Father, o’erlooked His precious children
But stayed His hand from alleviation
That Ever-Wise God! He wished them to grow,
Their strength to confront the vast array of
unyielding trials He knows they will face,
They, and their children, in setting the stones
Of the nation, in the future, they’d build.
The raging waters surged brute’ly against
The haggard boat. A beam then crashed down
Onto the ship’s deck—grabbed hold of a man,
And the poor soul was lost to the mad waves;
Then in sudden speed, God’s mercy swept in,
Forcing strong Neptune to flee, to retreat.
The Mayflower’s crew then lost their despair
Determination replaced all their fears
They pressed forward t’ward their great destiny,
Abandoning all thoughts of turning back.
Upon at last reaching their sweet refuge
The blessed people found rapture and beauty,
A land whose sweet radiance filled thier joy,
Which God’s hand had guided them safely to.
The splendorous shores cried out like sirens
Promising pleasure to all who embarked
But Ah, God’s beloved, children of light,
Refused the temptation to rush on land
Knowing imperative work still remained.
For God led them here with a plan in mind,
A great purpose which they would not let die.
Remaining upon the fetid vessel
Which had imprisoned them already for
Many long, pitiful nights and long days,
And they prayed to that Being, who in His grace
Had brought them safely to His most choice land,
They prayed for a law, and that law was giv’n,
Then a marvelous compact they drafted:
A cov’nant man to God, God to man,
And strong pacts they made to one another
Which they all vowed solemnly to live by.
Father and Son, Creators of the World,
Sat quiet and still, together again,
Gazing over the vast expanse of time,
Upon the children who would follow forth
One generation after another,
Each finding his own role in Heaven’s plan
A group of wise men, soon drawn together
In the bold cause of freedom and love
A cause to unite that infant country
Into a nation of grandeur and power,
By the combining of all of its laws
The righteous and just, all under our God;
Strong men who stood fighting against evil,
Tyrannic, oppression, a mother land
Whose hand gripped the people with harsh contempt;
And a subsequent man, who in this midst,
Governed by statutes of Heaven, would soon
Restore all the pure and the simple truths
Of Powers, Kingdoms, and Glories of God
Not just to this land, but to the whole earth,
Expanding across all the lands and seas.
And those first children, all then unaware
Of the magnificent future ahead,
They began plowing and churning the soil,
Rich with the vital minerals of truth with great care,
These had been spread by their Father above
So many eons before they arrived;
Prosperous civilization began
To be sown in the rich, new foundation;
A nation most powerful, vied by all,
Would be reaped in the succeeding centuries:
A beacon of freedom and of refuge
To all people who’d fall on its shores,
Paying homage to One who reigns o’er all,
That Merciful God of Heaven and Earth.

I know it's long.... hopefully not DREADFULLY long. If you read the whole thing, kudos to you. You are a true friend. Or a true die-hard amateur poetry lover. Either way, thanks. :)