Friday, January 30, 2015

Quiet Thoughts of the Heart - 1

I am told again and again that if you want to get thoughts out of your head, the best way to do it is to write it down. I've always been better with describing things with the written word, but I'm not sure how well one can effectively put feelings onto a page, virtual or not. It has not been an easy week, not in the least. I made it to Friday but I'm ready to just crawl into bed and go into hibernation until summer, to avoid any and all responsibilities and thoughts.

I lost touch with a really good friend earlier this week. There is much more to that but first and foremost, he has always been a friend. The reasons it was done were good reasons and will remain as such. A voice had been whispering to me for the last while that it was coming, that I needed to brace myself and ready for it. So I tried. But when it happened, it hurt a lot more than I thought it would. Much more. How do you take three years of habit, of continually speaking to someone, and then just put it behind you? Not think about it and focus on other things? I keep trying to look at things from his point of view and I understand what happened, but it hasn't done too much with making things easier. No more familiar messages, no more of that annoyance when you haven't responded for a while and he sends multiple messages in a row wanting to know where you are. I had expected it to happen, but I hadn't expected all that would follow it.

I've started up an Institute class (LDS religious class for those that don't know) and I've managed to make two out of four classes so far. Not a great record but considering I haven't gone to Institute since college, I'm quite proud of myself. The lessons that were taught have been great, things that I really needed to hear. I am very glad that I started it, yet when I looked around the room the other night, I couldn't help but feel so very much out of place. People were talking and mingling, friends sitting next to one another. It was a happy atmosphere, people were looking forward to being with friends and having fun at Institute. I was sitting on the end of a table and though there were people sitting in front of me and behind me, there were two empty chairs next to me. Maybe it was the stresses of the week that were running through my mind, but the feelings of invisibility and loneliness really reared up again. I didn't have the usual friends to talk to, there was nothing to look forward to that night.

This is where people would start asking, well why don't you socialize? Start making the effort and talk to people. And let me be the first to say, I do try. I may not speak up, but I try to mingle and be around people. And each time, I'm shortly on the move again after the people encounter other friends and wander away. Although I saw a friend that I hadn't seen in years, I soon wanted nothing more than to leave the building, to get out before anyone might see the distress that I had been trying to hide all night. The lesson was wonderful, the teacher is very engaging and I love the way he gets up and teaches. It was just a struggle to sit through class that night, especially when you're in a room filled with people but you feel invisible, like you're not even there.

I constantly ask myself if it is something that I am doing wrong. Is my style wrong? Do I look so different from other girls in the area that I intimidate others or give off the wrong impression? If I didn't dye my hair such red colors, if I didn't organize and decorate my outfits like I normally do, would I fit in easier? Would people be more willing to talk to me at church if I styled my outfits more like what others wear? I recently colored my hair but struggled with the fear of having it noticed by people here. If people already avoid me enough out in public, how much worse would it get with a vibrant hair color?

The lesson of that Institute class was about being able to produce enough faith to trust God over all things, including your thoughts, feelings and experiences. To believe and exercise the belief that despite what is going on, that God knows what is best and has provided a way. I am trying to exercise that faith, trying to figure out what it is that I am supposed to be learning in this time of trial. It's not easy, losing friends, feeling lost in a sea of faces and as if what should be a part of you is gone, like you never had it in the first place.

I am trying my best to keep my head up. Like Elder Scott said back in 2009, "I never complain, I never ask why, but instead ask what it is that I am supposed to learn from this." I don't want to complain, I don't want to spend my prayers asking why, asking what I did to deserve any of this. It is all just a moment in eternity, a small speck of time. I will get over it, I will be stronger from all of this. I don't know how long it will take to get through, I don't know how long I will be hurting from this. But I will do all that I can to exercise my faith that God knows what is best. So instead of asking, I will spend my prayers in thanks. And whatever it is I am to learn from this, I will attempt to learn with a humble spirit and gratitude. For it is true when it is said that God knows what is best, and he will bless you in more ways than you can possibly imagine. All you have to do is have faith, humility and gratitude. The rest will follow.

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