“Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t”

I KNOW that every fourth Sunday I have meetings starting at 8am at the church.  I prepared for it, I went to bed early, even though I couldn’t sleep, and Lulu kept me up even more than she usually does.  I showered chose what I was going to wear–including accessories, the night before, and set my alarm for 7am.  I woke up at 8:30.  Crap.  The last five minutes of my first meeting were really good, though.

I talked briefly with my Bishop, and he complemented me on what I had done in my capacity as the Temple Committee Co-Chair, I thanked him, then commented that I should be doing more.   He just smiled at me and said, “Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t.”  Later, he repeated that over the pulpit to the Ward, and added “and you will be happy.”

Happiness tends to be a fleeting thing for me.  For everyone I suppose.  The depression makes happiness harder to come by, and it doesn’t stay as long as it would for a normal person.  But Bishop’s comments made me think: focusing of shortcomings and failures, as well as thinking about what we can’t do is a surefire way to become depressed.

I was feeling anxious during Sacrament Meeting, and would have slipped out to go home, except I had to teach the Temple Prep class in Sunday School.  So I pulled out a piece of paper, and started making a list of the things that I can do. It included things like temple and volunteer work, helping my family, gardening in my little patio garden, and taking care of the dogs.  There wasn’t anything too big or amazing, but it was a nice little exercise.

While I was writing this, a few other things came into my head–writing, and artwork.  My writing has gotten better over the past few months–I always knew I could write, but have felt self-conscious about what I’ve put out.  This blog has helped me overcome some of those feelings, and my writing has improved for it.   My artwork–painting, drawing and photography, might not be that great, but I can do it.  And with practice, those things will get better.

I have an eye for layout and design.  I can create wonderful things that catch people’s eyes, and that they enjoy.  I can cook and bake, I can sing, just not well, I can memorize songs and scripture and poetry.  I can be happy.

Really.

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