Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No, You Can't!

Recently, I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure—mostly, from myself and the highly misguided society from which I originate—to be and do everything.

I often hear the following dialogue in my head:

Me: I want to play sports.
Highly Misguided Society from Which I Originate (HMSFWIO): Okay.

Me: I want to be a great scholar and spend all my days in the library.

Me: I want to be the perfect Mormon and never make any mistakes. Not ever.
HMSFWIO: Jesus did it. We don’t foresee any major issues with you achieving a similar level.

Me: I want to get a perfect score on the GRE.
HMSFWIO: You’re smart. So despite your shortcomings in the testing department, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Me: I will do well in all of my language studies.
HMSFWIO: You betchya.

Me: I will maintain healthy and balanced relationships with every person I meet, and I will never take a single soul for granted, because I will always have the energy to be my best in every moment of the day.
HMSFWIO: Naturally.

Me: I will always treat myself well, and I will never be sad no matter how lonely I get.
HMSFWIO: Of course.

Me: I can be and do everything.
HMSFWIO: In the words of Obama, “Yes, you can.”

Have you ever heard such an obscene load of bull in your entire life?

I submit you have not.

I’m not saying I can’t be the things I need to be. I’m saying I need to stop focusing on the things I don’t need to be. I think that’s one of Satan’s favorite lies with me. He’ll show me the possibilities, and then he trips me up in the greedy details. If I can have one piece of pie, why can’t I have ten? He's sneaky. It’s hard for me to accept that’s not the way it works.

Here are a couple of good reminder scriptures.

“Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength….Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea that you many conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work” (D&C 10: 4-5).


“And see that all things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order” (Mosiah 4:27).

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (14:27).