This existence is not about learning to accept reality; but rather remembering your power to create it. — Michael Cummings
Years ago, I had a coworker who had a defeatist attitude. He had a lovely wife, a good job, and played in a band outside of work, but he was never happy. Nothing was ever good enough for him. He was never good enough. His life was never good enough. His job didn’t satisfy him. Even the band became a chore to him.
Since this coworker took his lunch break about the time I took mine, we often were in the break room together. I tried to be friends with him and to help him. I tried to show him the good side of his life and to make him smile. Nothing ever worked. I told him one day that if he was truly that unhappy with his life, he should think about how he could change it for the better. He ignored me. He was content in accepting his fate at this horrible life he had dreamed up to wallow in—even though he had many blessings. He was so wrapped up in his own doldrums, he couldn’t see those blessings.
This talented young man had the power to create his own wonderful reality. Yet, he chose to accept the status quo that made him so unhappy. It was sad to watch him deteriorate into a person nobody wanted to work with or be around. He alienated his coworkers. I tried for a long time to help him, but after a while it became such a depressing situation for me that I began to take my lunch to the park instead of eating in the break room so that happiness wasn’t drained from me. He became so at odds with people at work that it wasn’t long until he got into some trouble and was fired.
I’ve thought about this young man often. It is such a tragedy when we don’t see the potential in ourselves to make our lives better. We are all children of God. We have divine nature. God gave us the power to create something beautiful in our own lives. What a shame it is when we waste the potential given to us.
[I]f you trust the Lord and obey Him, His hand shall be over you, He will help you achieve the great potential He sees in you, and He will help you to see the end from the beginning (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, See the End from the Beginning, Apr. 2006 General Conference).
If my friend at work had been able to trust in the Lord, his life may have been very different. Since he was not able to see the potential that Heavenly Father saw in him, he was not able to progress on any level. Heavenly Father wants us to succeed, and He is there to help. If only we would just ask.
The atonement of Jesus Christ is there to heal not only our sins, but our pain. The atonement only works, however, if we reach out to Christ. He can help carry the pain and see our eternal and divine potential. It is there for the asking. We create our own reality by looking up, reaching out, and using the atonement of Jesus Christ.
How do we learn to look up? Life can be hard, and sometimes we all get pulled down. If we continue to keep our vision focused on all things eternal, we will not lose the power to change our reality into something better that is worthy of our divinity as children of God. If we read the scriptures every single day—even if only a few verses—it will help us to keep looking up.
We must express gratitude to our Heavenly Father for all our blessings. As we count our blessings, we will be drawn to look up. The reality that we want to create is our eternal home with our families. As we make progress in our attempts to create that reality, it is amazing how it affects our happiness in the here and now. Heavenly Father’s plan is a plan of happiness. Our Father does not want us to be in the doldrums. He wants us to enjoy our amazing adventure here on earth. He is there to help us in everything we do.
In order to look up, we need to pray—I mean really pray—not just words that bounce off the ceiling. In my opinion, talking to God one on one is the ultimate of spiritual experiences. Have real conversations with Him. Listen for His responses and for the inspiration that will come to you if you are truly in tune with the Spirit. Don’t accept the reality of this earthly life; seek always for the light and knowledge to create your own eternal reality.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.