Monday, July 5, 2010

I Sought for the Blessings

For some time now I have been trying to be more selfless than my norm. In this effort, one of the things I changed was instead of asking God for personal blessings, I began to only ask for blessings for others.

Still, I suppose I continued to ask for things for myself, but in a deliberately round-about way that would emphasize my role as friend, son, and priesthood holder instead of a blessings sponge. For example, instead of praying for a good day, I would pray for a good day so that I might be cheerful with others and brighten their day as well. Praying this way made me realize how much I'd gotten into the habit of petitioning for blessings I wanted, rather than seeing how I might positively influence others' lives. This new attitude felt like a very healthy way to live.

Imagine my surprise then in a very recent communique with Heavenly Father that He expressed to me how much He wanted me to be happy. I guess I'd missed out on some valuable insight somewhere. Acting on that valuable bit of information, I gathered the guts to try to find a bit of happiness that same day. (No regrets, by the way.)

But as I go on, my question is this: How do we go about both being selfless, and also seeking happiness in our own lives as well? Where's the balance, or is there a synergy between the two I haven't put my finger on yet? Some things seem self-serving on the face of them, but still absolutely the right thing to do or strive for.


  1. "Happiness is having what you want, and wanting what you have." Josh Bullings

    You don't know me, I'm Taci's little sister from Utah. I just happened to catch your post and wanted to let you know I struggle with this most days. What I do know is that I find happiness for me and others when I serve. I "lose my life" so to speak in the service of others. Whether it's my husband, my kids, my family, or taking 5 minutes a day to relax. This past Sunday was for me I think. I have never enjoyed Fast and Testimony meeting as much as this last Sunday. My heart was full and overflowing with love for my Savior and His plan for me.

    Good luck and God bless on your journey to find balance. It's well worth it and to be honest, it's an everyday thing for me.

  2. The gospel includes an (expandable) set of what may seem to be paradoxes. "He that loses his life shall find it" and "tis better to give than receive", etc. I just came from Ann's funeral where they talked about her being the Compasionate Service Leader - from a wheelchair, and now much those who served her were blessed by the opportunity to serve.

  3. I think loosing yourself in service is important. However, in order to be your best self you must take care of your own basic needs. For example, when you are on an airplane they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first. In this analogy your oxygen mask may be time for your self, time for your relationship with God and time for a hobby you find fulfilling. The more physically emotionally and spiritually fit you are the better able you are to serve.
    I also have a motto when it comes to service. "Do not do for other what they can do for themselves." I think there is a line when service can become enabling in which case you are actually doing the person more harm than good. I deal with this a lot working with people with disabilities. As soon as you start feeling resentful about service you should ask yourself if you need to take time for yourself or if you are being a doormat. Not my most organized posting but I hope it was helpful.