Self-Reflection and Its Uses

As I mentioned in a past post, I like to daydream and wonder about the universe and all the crazy stuff that’s in it. This often leads to thinking about something very important: Me! I really enjoy a good session of introspection and self-reflecting, especially at the end of the day when I am getting ready for bed. I talk to myself in the mirror, asking myself how my day went and what I could have done better. Usually this casual dialogue with my inner self becomes very serious and soul-searching. I think about my likes and dislikes, what kind of personality I have, and whether I am doing my best to improve myself as a person. I make plans to better myself, some of which I actually go through with. At the end of a session, I always feel better about myself, more satisfied with who I am and what it actually means to be me.

This might sound really goofy and weird, but I am a firm believer that a good bout of self-reflection can work wonders on the soul. I personally use self-reflection as a way to decompress, especially if I have been dissatisfied with life lately. It helps me to address the reasons for the issue and not just the issue itself. Does that make any sense? I guess another way to put it is that you need to get to the root of a problem, especially if you find that the problem stems from you! Sometimes self-reflection can lead you to places in your soul that you don’t really want to examine closely, but facing those dark thoughts and shadowy recesses can lead to a better sense of self-worth and allows us to address issues within ourselves that we might have never realized were there.

Now, why is self-reflection important from a Gospel perspective? Well, if we aren’t aware of ourselves and our own strengths and weaknesses, there is no way that we will be able to align our will to God’s and strive to follow his commandments. We have to be aware of the reasons behind our actions, whether they are because of something within ourselves or because of an outward stimulus. We can then change ourselves, or hopefully our surroundings, to alter what our actions are.

The other day, I heard someone talking about how they were easily angered and that they “just couldn’t help it.” I have a strong belief that anyone can change and that someone’s personality can be changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. God, as our loving Heavenly Father, wants us to become better people. This can only take place through change and change can only occur in our soul if we allow the Atonement of Christ to work through us. My invitation for everybody today is to do a little soul-searching and find something you can work on to turn your heart towards God and allow yourself to be changed a little by the Atonement. Become a better person by striving to change some part of yourself today! Pray to have opportunities to change and God will provide them.

The Great Physician – Mark Ch 2

I haven’t read the Bible in a while, so I decided to start reading it again, starting with the New Testament because I love reading about the Savior’s life. Yesterday, as I was reading in the book of Mark, I came across a wonderful nugget of wisdom. In Mark Chapter 2, verses 15-17, it says:

15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

My message today is about the Great Physician, Jesus Christ. During His time on Earth, Jesus performed many miracles, including healing the blind, curing lepers, and raising people from the dead. While these were great works, they only showed a small portion of His power and authority. His ultimate purpose for coming to Earth and living the life of a mortal man was to perform the Atonement, to suffer and die for our sins and provide a way for us to overcome our shortcomings as imperfect beings. Like the scripture in Mark states, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” As we are all imperfect, we have been called to repentance. I personally find great comfort in the fact that Jesus would sit down to eat and drink with me even though I am a sinner.

My invitation to everyone today is to read the entire chapter of Mark 2 and think about what Jesus Christ has done for you. I testify that He truly did suffer, die, and was resurrected for every one of us. He knows every one of our pains and sorrows because he experienced them. Never forget that while you are going through a difficult trial in your life, Jesus Christ understands what you are going through. Take comfort in His infinite love and know that He wants you to be happy and to be the best that you can be. His hand is always stretched out for us, all we have to do is take it.