Episode 82: The Abundance of Life

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Episode Summary

Our brain is programmed to notice the lack and the scarcity in our lives and all the things that have gone wrong.  Which is why we need to direct our brain on purpose to notice, instead, the utter abundance of our life and the gift it is.

In this episode of the podcast, I’m sharing three things that I am particularly grateful for right now: people who were willing to do hard things, my own willingness to believe I mattered, and the perfect setup of the earth life educational experience.  I hope these thoughts will make you notice and appreciate the abundance of your own life and the matchless goodness of God.

Episode Tools and Questions

Our brain pays attention to lack and scarcity.  And so the more we can direct it to find evidence of the abundance in our lives the better we will feel.  Give your brain the job of noticing the abundance and being grateful for your entire life.  Your actual life.  The version you are living right now without wanting it to be different in any way.

Today I am sharing some experiences have made me so grateful for three things in particular that I want to talk about today:

1. I am so thankful for people that were willing to do hard thing, that were willing to feel bad and feel lots of negative emotion so that my life could be better.

Every person who has made earth life better for me in some way by using their gifts and talents and thoughts and ideas—undoubtedly had moments where their self doubt and their insecurity and their fear wanted them not to do what they were doing.

I am so grateful that others have been willing to fail and willing to feel bad and willing to suffer—do hard things, do brave things—so that I could find answers and happiness and make the most of my earth life experience.  I feel incredibly lucky to be recipient of the product of that discomfort.

And I ask myself, what if they hadn’t been willing?  How would things be different if they hadn’t been willing to feel bad?  And it helps me see that feeling bad is just part of the process of being able to help.  

And it's only our brain telling us that it shouldn’t be hard and that we shouldn’t suffer that gets in our way.  If there are things you want to do, if there are people you want to help, if there are things you came to earth to accomplish, feeling bad is going to be part of it. And not only is that okay, but its only ever created by our brain, and when can learn to manage that we can do all those things we want to do.

2. I am grateful to myself  for daring to believe I mattered enough—that my pain mattered enough and my dreams mattered enough—to do something about them.

I was miserable in my life for many years, but what changed all of this for me was the idea that my coaches gave me:  that I wasn’t miserable because there was something wrong with me.  I was miserable because there was something right with me.  My brain was working correctly.  There was nothing wrong with me.

But to reprogram my brain and get different results, I had to matter enough to myself enough to do something about these default settings, I had to matter enough to myself to try.  I had to matter enough to myself to work to get something different.

And I am so grateful to myself for daring to believe I mattered enough.  That my pain mattered enough.  That my dreams mattered enough.  That I mattered enough.  To get the life I wanted.

That belief that I mattered enough to try, is what changed everything else for me.  

I want you to know that you matter.  Your pain matters.  Your heartache matters.  Your dreams matter.  They aren’t ridiculous.  And you aren’t wrong for having them. You’ve probably told yourself a million times (like I did), that none of it matters.  That you can’t expect more and you should just be happy.

But, you aren’t wrong for being unhappy.  You just have a human brain that is programmed specially to notice the negative about you and your life.  You aren’t ridiculous to want something else.  The highest part of you is always urging you toward your dreams, and it’s only your scared, fearful brain getting in the way, telling you can’t have what you want.  

You matter enough to get what you want.  In fact, you matter way more than that.

3. I am so grateful for the earth life experience, as it is.  

So, the earth life experience was not designed to be easy.  Tensions are high.  Conflict is intense.  Loss and grief are real.  But if they weren’t.  If they weren’t part of the plan, then there would be nothing to choose.  There wouldn’t be any skill in choosing to think, in exercising our agency.  There would be no becoming in it.

And I am so grateful for the plan of God that allows me to come to earth and learn this skill.  And for the million chances he gives me to learn it.  I am grateful for the contrast provided to me by my human brain, the opposition it provides, so that I have something to work against in order to grow my capacity to choose.

Since I can’t change the earth life experience, I have to learn to change me—and change the way I’m thinking, and change the emotion I am choosing, and change my experience of it.  I have to learn where my power to choose is because I can’t control anything else.

Episode Notes

Mentioned on the podcast:

Russell M Nelson, From Heart to Heart

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