Sister Joy Warsniak from the Downington Ward, and representing LDS Social Services, guided a discussion among all the sisters of the ward.
She asked, "What are some of the barriers to feeling God's love for us personally and towards others?" and, then followed with a question regarding what does and does not work in overcoming those barriers.
A good, at times emotional, discussion followed, with sisters candidly sharing their feelings and ideas. Most of our lessons are about the ideal, but today we talked about reality.
Here's what we remembered...Nancy: I thought it went really well and the time went too quickly. I could have stayed another hour continuing with ways to be better. I came away with quite a few things to work on. Not judging others imperfections, get to know sisters and find positive qualities instead of focusing on their negative qualities, write our feelings down in a journal instead of saying things we will later regret, using the atonement to heal our soul.
Ellen: It was good to acknowledge that living what we know, is hard. As Mary Louise said, it's where the rubber hits the road. I liked the ideas of just saying 'stop' to the negative thoughts in our head, writing our feelings and thoughts in a journal where they won't become spoken words that we can't take back, and finding healing for our hurts through the Atonement.
Jill: When we have a desire to talk to someone else about how we have been hurt by them, we should take some time to work through the emotions, when the emotions are running 100% the brain is running at 0%. We must work it out in our minds and approach the other person with the right spirit. Then, we must expect that things may not always go according to our expectations and then we must deal with the residual disappointment, awkwardness, or hurt. The best way to deal with it is by turning it over to the Savior. This is not instantaneous—it takes time, effort, faith, and patience on our part to be able to allow the pure love of Christ to reside in our hearts. The atonement heals all wounds—we have to open up our hearts to it.
Devon: When we've been hurt by someone, we have choices. We can choose to:
1) Be a "stuffer" and stuff everything inside and stew about it (which usually doesn't end well)
2) Be a doormat and let people treat you badly (which doesn't end well and isn't good for us long term)
3) Lash back and vent your emotions to the person when you are feeling 100% emotion, which leaves 0% for your brain to think with (pretty much NEVER ends well)
4) Vent about the situation/person to OTHER people and talk about someone behind their backs (doesn't end well and complicates the problem). This also is a permanent step. You can't take back what you tell other people about someone, even if you change your perspective. (I loved that she pointed that out...that words once said can't be taken back.)
5) Or, try to calm down, step back and try to get some perspective and take a new fresh look at what happened, pray about the situation, and then talk to the person who has hurt us and trying to fix the relationship OUT OF LOVE (might be better to let the other person know ahead of time so they won't feel attacked and also time can be set aside to only talk about this without others around). ***But I know this sometimes might be easier to talk about doing than actually doing!
[My insights] I think it's really important to pray right before having one of these conversations so that your words will be guided by love and the Spirit, and then try to focus on LISTENING to the other person first and let them know you are listening to what they feel. That makes it so much easier to tell them things and hope that they will be willing to also listen to you! I also liked that it was mentioned that this doesn't always fix the problem! But I believe that you have to at least put forth an honest and loving effort to try and fix a problem so that when you go to the Lord for his help, you can honestly say you have done what you can.
I thought it was a beautiful lesson. I think the lessons taught can apply to so many situations in life and the parts about using the Atonement are KEY to almost every situation we encounter when we are hurt. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did, and I thought the comments were just great.
Sisters, we'd love to hear from you. What do you remember? How do you feel about what was taught? Please comment, and I'll post them.