Sunday, June 11, 2017

Things



On not/being photogenic:

I rarely have my picture taken and think I really look good in it. That's ok. I've learned that when I look back in pictures I tend to like them much more than at the time they were taken. I usually think something like, "oh man, my hair looked great then" or "I wish I was that skinny now."

One thing I have been trying in the past year or so in that moment when the flash goes off is focusing on just being happy. Soaking in whatever event I'm at or activity or place or the people I'm with. I don't worry about things (that I know nothing about) like getting my light right or angles or who even knows.. stuff people who know how to take great pictures know. That way, when I look at the pictures later I can't help but like them because I know for a fact that I was happy when that photo was taken and that's all that really matters to me.


On sacrifice:

I don't really believe that there is such a thing. Ok, not exactly true. I'm talking about sacrifice in the context of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As the hymn goes: sacrifice brings forth the blessings in heaven. So mathematically: sacrifice + sacrifice + sacrifice = abundance of blessings. Where sacrifice is usually thought of as losing something or giving something up, the accumulation of losing and giving up equal a great gain? That doesn't make any sense. Which is why I don't believe that what we often call "sacrifice" is that at all.

For example - I served a full time mission for 18 months. I can't tell you how many people I've heard refer to serving a mission as sacrificing 18 months to 2 years of a person's life. I absolutely disagree with that. I did not sacrifice anything. I chose to spend my time doing something that I knew would be both difficult and yet help me grow immensely as a person. It was a choice I made of how to spend my time. Just like going to college, or working, or hair school, or doing an internship, or a study abroad is a choice a person makes. I also didn't have to choose between going on a mission and doing other things with my life. I was able to do both. I graduated from college, served a mission, got married, had kids... etc.

So anyway, its an odd little thing of mine, not technically believing in sacrifice. I believe in choosing the right, following the promptings of the Spirit, keeping the commandments and our covenants. I believe that those things lead to great blessings, both spiritual and temporal, from God, even if they are "blessings in heaven" not realized in this life. But I don't think I'm giving up anything by living my life the way I do. I am only gaining.


On sacrifice, and food:

I'm doing my 3rd Whole30. It is a 30 day elimination diet often used to identify food sensitivities. It also promotes weight loss. During a round of Whole30 we eat moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables, some fruit, plenty of healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds, and healthy oils. We eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable, or better yet no ingredients listed at all because they're whole and unprocessed.

On a Whole30 we don't eat any added sugar of any kind, grains, legumes such as all beans including soy or any soy derivatives, dairy, or certain food additives like MSG, carrageenan, or sulfites.

So, at this point I have done this a couple of times before. I know pretty well what I can and can't eat. The grocery store doesn't intimidate or distract me. I went in to grab a few things and I had this really cool realization/feeling. As I went directly to the produce section to grab a few vegetables, then to the meat section for some ground beef, and then into just 1 aisle for a can of crushed tomatoes - I felt this overwhelming relief that I didn't have to buy ANYTHING ELSE. In a typical american grocery store filled with aisles and aisles of garbage being marketed as food I felt ultimate food freedom. Because I had made a decision before even entering the store that I was only eating Whole30 compliant foods, I didn't have to buy any of the hundreds of chips and cookies and snacks, or even the "healthy" foods like yogurt and juice and cereal. My experience was none other than again, ultimate food freedom.

Now every person I talk to about this diet is pretty shocked at all the things I "can't" eat. And I'll admit that it's not easy and I have had insane sugar and carb cravings at times. I have even started a Whole30 and quit before the end because I wanted to eat non-compliant foods (while on vacation specifically). But this goes right along with my thoughts about sacrifice - I'm not sacrificing eating cake and pizza and oh my goodness I already need to stop because those words are making my mouth water.. but, I am choosing to eat only Whole30 compliant foods and in return I am going to benefit by being healthier, having more energy, feeling better, losing weight, sleeping better, etc.

The experience in the store was analogous for me to the experience of life and choosing (not sacrificing) what to do in our lives. There are as many choices in life as there are items in a grocery store. Just as I appreciate the ultimate food freedom that comes from choosing the straight and narrow path of what foods to eat.. I very much appreciate the ultimate life freedom that comes from only making choices that are compliant with my promises to God as a disciple of Christ and covenant keeping member of His church. There are those who would say that because I "can't" participate in certain life choices I am not free. Again, I can. I just choose not to. And my freedom comes from choosing what will ultimately bring me the greatest joy.


On joy:

I am in the best place I've ever been in in my entire life. I'm not the best at everything I've ever done ever right now. And of course theres always more one can do to improve. I just mean - I am in awe of what I have been blessed with and where it has lead me.


Over and out. Linds.


















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