Well, today is a new day.
I’m grateful for a new day.
I felt yesterday was going to be a good day as well, but it turned out not to be a great one.
I was on my large group conference call for bootcamp and it is has the 4 mentors on screen share video, plus a power point. Becky came in during the call to print something and saw the screen.
I didn’t think anything of it and didn’t try to hide anything, but I could tell by the look on her face that it wasn’t good. I pointed out who the mentors were and that Jon was mine. From my recollection, I’d been open and honest about the mentors, about the fact that I was glad to have a male as a mentor, and about the fact that I’d talked with each of the mentors at least once on the phone to go over specific details they had shared. I honestly didn’t feel like I’d ever tried to hide or minimize anything.
But, after the call, I came out to talk to Beck and I could tell that things weren’t good.
The day proceeded and I felt bad and wasn’t 100% sure what to do.
I tried to talk to her again before she left for her class, but that wasn’t the best timing. I called her after she left to talk about it over the phone, and that didn’t go well either. I mentioned that I had talked to both mentors at least once and that I thought I’d let her know that.
Then last night, after my call with Sean, I went in to talk to her again. She had sent me this updated boundary, which I agreed with:
If Nate needs to interact with women for business or any other reason, he needs to inform me of the interaction before it takes place, or at least within our nightly AEIOUY discussion. If he does not disclose his interactions with a woman, or hides or minimizes his interactions with women, he will need to sleep in the guest room until I feel that I understand what is going on, and have determined that it is safe for us to reconnect and continue moving forward.
I feel fine about this boundary. I want to build trust and connect with Becky emotionally. I don’t want to have experiences like yesterday.
When I came into the room last night, she said that she’d prefer I slept in the guest room. She also wanted to talk about what had happened. The talk started ok but quickly went south.
In situations like that, I feel the best thing for me to do, especially if I feel she’s getting really angry, is to leave the room. In the past, I’ve just listened, which can be helpful too. But I feel like today it will be better for me to not let that feeling continue to be with me.
I’ll think about this more and ask God what I should do in those situations.
I want to study about relationships and decided to search on LDS.org for insights. I found an article titled “A Gospel of Relationships” by Marleen Williams.
This quote stuck out to me:
Christ taught that all of the gospel laws hang on our ability to love God and others (Matthew 22: 37–40)
All of God’s laws are ultimately laws of love. Every commandment is given out of love for you and concern for your happiness. Every commandment ultimately tests your ability to love Him and your fellowman.
On the contrary, Satan wants to destroy relationships and cause contention:
Satan encourages jealousy, competition, and uncharitable judgments. These keep you from feeling close and connected to others.
God teaches you eternal progression and faith in the Atonement, while Satan teaches its counterfeit—perfectionism—which destroys your confidence in yourself and others.
I like this quote by Joseph Smith about progress in this life:
When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.
I’m trying to learn. I’m trying to grow. I’m trying to surrender my will to God’s. I recognize that I’m not perfect; that I’m broken and need His help all the time. I want His help. I want to be close to Him. I want to submit my will to His and live in recovery from my addictions and secrets.
I don’t want to minimize, to rationalize, to justify, or to hide anything. I really don’t.
I also don’t want to feel like I’m walking on egg-shells all the time and that I have to be careful to do anything that might be perceived by others as something that it’s not.
I recognize that if I’m not making efforts to connect with God on a day to day basis, my vision and direction can get cloudy and I may not be as aware as I need to be. For this reason, my main goal this week is to write, reflect, and connect with God at the start of every day, even if that means getting up earlier.
I don’t want to be bitter. I don’t want to have feelings of resentment or isolation. I want to be happy with the boat I’m in and be facing the right direction in my life. I want to build trust and live without any guile or anger or pride.
This is an interesting quote as well from the talk:
If you demand instant perfection from yourself or others, it becomes difficult to share struggles and disclose your weaknesses for fear of losing the relationship. There is then no way to provide support for each other in overcoming those weaknesses and challenges.
I don’t want to be afraid to share things that have happened with Becky. I don’t want to fear how she’ll respond if I have talked to someone with no bad intent at all. I don’t want to continue to re-live my past mistakes and terrible choices.
When you can openly discuss weaknesses and problems without fear of rejection or ridicule, you can create a “safe place” in the relationship. Having the safety to explore problems in an empathic and caring relationship facilitates the kind of self-examination that is necessary for change and growth to take place. When you can let go of perfectionism, it is easier to feel emotionally close to others. Ironically, we often love those people most whose weaknesses and struggles we know.
I really feel like this defines the relationship Becky and I have:
A relationship where you can be friends and share thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, activities, and interests with one another is more likely to stay on fire than one that can share only physical attraction.
I really like this statement too:
Taking responsibility for our own growth requires both love and faith. When we are willing to examine our lives, we become aware of our need for the Atonement. This draws us closer to Christ. As we struggle with our weaknesses, we develop empathy for how hard it is to change and we become less angry with our spouse for not being able to change as quickly as we wish.
I’m grateful for my study today. I know that I’m not perfect. I know I must always be aware and be diligent in “watching myself, and my thoughts, and my words, and my deeds, and observe the commandments of God; and continue in the faith of what I have heard concerning the coming of my Lord, even until the end of my life, or I must perish. And now, O me, remember and perish not.” (Mosiah 4:30)
I look forward to a day in recovery.