Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Climbing through Fear

Fear is an emotion that like many other emotions can be both helpful and detrimental. Much of that depends on the situation in which the fear exists and the control over out life we give it. I have often talked to people about fear and how we must not let it rule our lives. 
Saturday up here at Camp Bartlett Jake and I decided to go climbing on our new climbing wall. I have climbed multiple times before with no issues but almost always that was with a person belaying me. This 30 foot outdoor wall has an auto belay system. I hooked in and started climbing. When I got to the top the wind was blowing and then I froze. "How am I supposed to get down?" Jake yelled up to me, "let go of the wall and hold onto your cable." I couldn't do it. Every time I took one hand off the wall and grabbed the cable I felt the looseness of the cable. Again Jake yelled up and said it will fall for a second and then catch, you just have to hold on. This is when my internal dialogue switched to "counselor mode." I began to tell myself that I was feeling fear and that I cannot let it rule my life. I have a goal to never let irrational fear rule my life and prevent me from doing something. After a few minutes I finally took my hands off the wall and grabbed my cable. I fell for a second and just like Jake said it soon caught me and slowed my decent. I got to the ground and was shaking like a leaf. I sat down and let my nerves calm. After about five minutes I said, "okay, to prove that fear isn't running my life I need to do this again." I got up and got back on that wall. This time it was much easier because I knew for myself that the cable would catch. 

As is typical of my mind I made connections from this experience to life. There have been many times where I have begun to do something that I love to do or feel like I am supposed to do and then there comes an unexpected obstacle. I have to figure out a way to overcome that obstacle and accomplish the task. There are many times when overcoming those obstacles that I have to take a leap. I have to feel the falling sensation before the atonement or help from God or others catches me. I also thought about Jake and how he told me what I needed to do and then waited for me to do it on my own. I need to trust those people on my life who are there to help me and lean on them until I can do it on my own. Jake could not get off that wall for me, I had to do it. However, I was able to lean on Jake's knowledge and experience until I learned and experienced on my own. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lessons Learned From a Week With a 3 Year Old.

This week I have had the great privilege to be with my brother, his wife and his two beautiful little girls. One is 11 months old and the other is three years old. I have had a wonderful time, hiking, working in the yard, barbecuing and playing with the girls. Especially with the three year old, who loves to dance with me, crawl all over me, and hug me. It has been so great, my brother and sister-in-law are amazing, and the girls are so cute.

During this time my mind has been turning and I have been thinking a lot about life, parenting and kids, (what did you expect I am a psychology major). While thinking this week there are several lessons that came to mind that I want to share. (Note: not all of them directly came from things that happened this week, some where just things that being here made me think about.)

  1. Parenting is not for the faint of heart: I am exhausted! To all you moms and dads that are with your kids all day, everyday, day in and day out, kudos. I never realized how exhausting parenting can be, and I was just playing with the girls for Pete's sake. I had a little taste of not having any time to yourself. Anytime I was around the girls they wanted to play, it didn't matter if I was hot, or tired or just wanted to veg, they were there and ready to play. So way to go moms! I have definitely gained a greater appreciation for you and what you do.
  2. You need time: Time is what our world is run around. We all have the same amount of time in a day, and whether we like it or not, we get to choose how to spend it. I have learned more about making the most of where I am at the moment and making that time quality. I had times this week where the girls wanted to play and I just wanted to sit there. Then I thought, I am only here for a week, and they are going to bed in the half an hour, I need to play my heart out, then I can veg when they are sleeping. I also learned that parents need their time to be alone, or to be together as a couple without the kids. That time is precious, and it doesn't happen very much. 
  3. Be patient: I had times where I was not the happiest person with that little three year old, but I had to be patient with her. However, most of all, I had to be patient with myself. I am human and I make mistakes, and that's okay, I simply need to do my best (not someone else's best, mine) and move on.
  4. Parents are not super human: Parents are not perfect, I know for sure that I will not be the perfect father when that time comes. But that is okay. Nobody needs their parents to be super human. We will make mistakes, we will get mad and yell at our kids, we will probably want to just leave at moments and... that is OKAY!!! Parents, you might not be super human but you are super heroes, to your kids, and to me. I look up so much to my parents and to my brothers and their wives. They are all doing a fantastic job, and I hope some day I can be half as good a parent as they are. Your kids will most likely feel the same way about you as I do about my parents, but give it time, and just know, they might not ever tell you that.
  5. Love: Love, love love. I had no idea that I could love an ornery little three year old so much. Yes, she never listened to me, yes, she cried often, and yes, I LOVE her. Another note on love: she could be a stinker and cry and run off, then just a few minutes later she would run up to me and hug me, kiss me, or lean her head on me. No matter what I did, or what happened, afterwards she would always come back full of love. Oh what the world would be if we could all do that. 
I am not a perfect person, and I will not be a perfect parent, but I am so grateful for the life I live and the opportunities that I have to learn and grow. Go easy on yourself, do not get too upset at yourself when you make a mistake with your kids, just get up love them, ask God for strength and move on. You got this! I am so grateful to my amazing brother and sister-in-law for allowing me to come, and putting up with me all week. I sure love you, and of course I love those two little girls that I get to call my nieces.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

On The Path With No Destination

I woke up this morning to a beautiful day; it was about 45 degrees outside and the sun was shining. I decided to dust off the bike and go for a ride. I had about an hour and a half until my next plans so I thought I would ride out for 45 minutes on the Provo River and Murdock Canal Trails. As I was crossing over from one trail to the other I saw a group of scouts (I am assuming) taking a picture, so I stopped and offered to take the picture so that the leader could be in it as well. I asked them where they were headed, and then they asked me the same question. I told them I wasn't sure I was just riding the trail until my time was up.

As I continued riding I began to think to myself and process what I had just said. Then what to me was a profound thought came to my mind. We don't have to know the destination to know we are on the right path. It was a beautiful day and I was enjoying the relaxing ride with the amazing views around me. What more did I need? I didn't need to know where I would end up, just that I had a goal to keep going and to enjoy the ride. And enjoy the ride I did.

Then came the analogy to my life. Up until last week I had thought that I knew what I was supposed to do over the next 5 or 10 years in regards to school and a career. Since last week I have been questioning all of those plans and feel like maybe I am supposed to do something else, something quiet different from my plans. **Side note for those interested: I was planning on getting a master's in social work and being a therapist. Now I am thinking about getting a PhD in criminal psychology and working in law enforcement.** I have been really confused and am not sure what to do. Today it hit me that I do not need to know, all I need to know is that I am on right path, which I believe I am. As I continue on that path the destination will become more clear, eventually. 

Back to my ride, at one point the trail was under construction so there were signs for a detour. Although it was not the original path I had planned on, it got me to where I needed to go. I know that it is the same with our lives. Hang on, pedal your heart out, and enjoy the ride!