Cover image: “His Hand is Stretched Out Still” by Yongsung Kim, https://havenlight.com/.
When we find ourselves in a predicament or circumstance that seems unsolvable or unbearable, we may need to rethink our paradigm. Darkness and despair open us into a life that we don’t have to live. We can easily navigate a way out, if we know how…
Spiritually and Profoundly Taught
Some time ago I had a profound experience where I had to face circumstances I didn’t want to face and a scenario that I felt I couldn’t endure. I allowed my mind to descend to a very bleak place where I didn’t feel hope, because I saw no good way to change the situation.
I resolved to fast and pray to increase my clarity and understanding, and to help me get back into peace. This went on for several days. Finally, as I was sitting very still, pondering on my situation, I heard a clear voice declare, “THERE IS NO SOLUTION to this problem… (and just as I began to despair, the voice continued) …at THIS level!”
It took a while for the significance of the message to sink in. On THIS level? So, is there a solution on ANOTHER level?
I had been so low that I had no idea what level I was on and couldn’t fathom a way out. I had learned over the years, however, that good solutions are NEVER found in depression or despondency. Have you noticed that?
Changing Our Paradigm
As we raise to higher spiritual and emotional levels, we can literally sense the change in our mental environment. In Doctrine and Covenants, it tells us about the privilege we have of “growing up” in the Lord and receiving the “fullness of the Holy Ghost.”[i] This is a precious gift we can experience if we’re willing to do the work. When our resonance rises, things become clearer, more buoyant and alive. As we’re able to embrace more of the spirit, our lives become “brighter and brighter” until we come to that fullness.[ii]
So how do we raise to a higher, fuller level? What creates this change? The unequivocal answer is LIGHT! We need light to see and be “quickened” into higher, more joyous realms. How is this done?
How To Raise Your Level from Dim to Light-filled
First, we need to learn to be able to distinguish light from dark. It sounds obvious, but we don’t often feel the process of going from light to dark, we just suddenly find ourselves depressed, angry or annoyed. Notice what level are you on now? Do you feel more light or more darkness? On a scale from 1-10; (1 being deep depression and despondency, and 10 being bliss), where are you? When you observe where you are, you can increase your awareness, and begin to pilot your ascent into further light.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said:
Darkness is not an indication there is no light. Most often, it simply means, we are not in the right place to receive the light.” [iii]
We need to learn to position our mind to receive the maximum light. There’s a continual downward thrust pushing us into negativity- but it’s possible to circumvent it by the placement of our thoughts and feelings.
Realize that When You COMPLAIN – You Will REMAIN![iv]
The truth is that complaining actually keeps us stuck at a place where solutions are rarely found. Has complaining or whining ever got you to a better place emotionally? Do you feel the spirit when you are doing it? Does it give you peace? – or does it take away peace? Venting may feel good at the moment, and can initially validate our emotion, but when we linger in complaining for very long it doesn’t ennoble or lift us, and actually prohibits our progression. Is that where we really want to be?
When You PRAISE – You Will Be RAISED! [v]
Nothing will raise you faster than praising God for the good things you are experiencing at this moment. I remember reading a story of a man who was in prison in Europe many years ago, in a single cell, alone. He was given a piece of bread each day that often was either very dry or moldy. He only had one little window in the cell that was too high for him to look out. Even with all this, he sought to focus on the good things. One day, a bird flew into the window. He could see it and in order to lure it in, he donated some of the crumbs of his precious bread. The bird flew into the cell and ate the crumbs. All the while, the man was praising God for sending this bird to him. This little friendship was more important than his hunger and lifted him above his cruel surroundings.
I have noticed that even if 90% of our circumstance is bad, if we will focus on the 10% that we like (and thank God for it), after a while, it will sustain us.
What do you like about your life? We need to capture joy and delight one drop at a time. What delights you?
Make Your Mind UP: Focus on Light
Make up your mind to focus on light. We need to put ourselves in the right place to receive it by being open. Elder Uchtdorf also said,
“If we become comfortable with darkness it is unlikely our hearts will change. In order for change to take place, we need to actively let the light in.” [vi]
When we center on positive aspects of our lives and that which we truly love, we feel good. Concentrating on all the negative things going on in our lives will ALWAYS cause us to feel bad. We’re not designed to feel joy at lesser realms. We need to raise ourselves higher, and not drench ourselves with Telestial mind muck.
The scriptures tell us that in order for “our whole bodies to be filled with light” we must focus on God, and His glory.[vii] We can start thinking UP by focusing on the beauty in our surroundings: SEE the glory of God: the blue or coral sky; the magnificent trees; stunning flowers. HEAR His glory in beautiful, uplifting music. FEEL His glory in scripture or the “best books”.[viii]
When we center our thoughts on the Glory of God, we will feel lifted – ALWAYS! It’s a lifelong process to realize that we can never get real joy from any level of darkness. We’re creatures designed to feel elevated when we experience light-filled things
Fasting (For seemingly insurmountable circumstance)
As you know, fasting is a tool of power! You have all felt its increased aid, but this time, try using it in a different way. Instead of fasting while focusing on the “storm,” in your life (and asking to be relieved of it), fast to seek the presence of God. Fasting can elevate your level so you can see your situation more clearly and strong impressions will come to you as you maintain your focus on light.
If You Should Relapse
If, over time, you return to your discouraging and depressing condition, know that your thoughts and lack of light-focus took you there. Notice where your emotional level is again, (in that range between 1-10). Is it lower, the same or higher than it was before? Go through these suggestions again. Feel yourself rise once more. Now set an alarm for 30 minutes or 1 hour from now. When the alarm goes off, notice where your thoughts and feelings are. Are they still in a state of praise? It’s so easy to descend. Just one or two negative thoughts that are tied to negative emotion, and it’s like jumping off a cliff into shadows. But once you catch yourself sliding down and move your attention UP again; (stop complaining in your mind, and begin praising instead), your emotional environment will shift by degree as you continue to maintain your focus.
Live ABOVE It
Some circumstances we cannot solve. These are the situations in our lives where we have the opportunity to make a choice. We can either choose to SUFFER IN THEM or to LIVE ABOVE THEM. We have the power to change our spiritual and emotional orbits. Solutions are realized at higher planes of thought and feeling than the ones we may be on.
When we learn to maintain light within our souls, we can live above any condition, and as we do that, eventually the circumstance or discomfort from it will change for the better. Either the trial will be taken from us, or the light we receive will help us see its purpose and help us live more consistently at an elevated level. The more light we acquire and maintain, the better and more joyful our lives will feel.
What is your level of light? Is it where you want to be?
Feel Free to CONTACT Anne with your thoughts. an********@ho*****.com
[i] D & C 109:15
[ii] D&C 50:24
[iii] Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Priesthood Session, Oct. Conference 2017
[iv] Joyce Meyer maxim
[v] Joyce Meyer maxim
[vi] Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct. Conference Priesthood Session 2017
[vii] D & C 88:67
[viii] D & C 109:14