I love Christmas. Christmas represents cheer. Christmas represents kindness and the best in all of us. And Christmas represents hope — hope that we’re not forsaken, hope that our tomorrow can be better than our today or yesterday, hope that redemption can be ours.
I grew up with “If you don’t believe, you won’t receive.” And I’ve posted on this blog about an experience I had with my father and believing. It’s as true the rest of the year as it is during Christmas.
Many singles, however, aren’t very believing — at any time of the year. They think years of negative experiences mean they’ll never have their righteous desires. And during those years of negative living, they developed habits that hold them back from embracing the wonderful life God gave them.
Others will believe you
My life is overflowing with bad experiences that “prove” how no one would ever want me. Through the years I kept telling myself how my experiences were evidence that I could never have what I really wanted.
This negative self-talk became a habit that held me back from embracing my life. Instead of living with joy regardless of my circumstances, I lived a life held captive by circumstances. Because others didn’t seem to believe I deserved eternal companionship, neither did I.
But I can’t really blame them. They took their cues from me. My words, my body language, and my actions all broadcast my lack of belief in myself. Others received these messages I sent and decided I knew something they didn’t. So they used their agency against me.
Note the role of habit here. I embraced negative self-talk out of habit. The messages I sent to others about myself were habitual. And when others used their agency against me, I habitually told myself I had more evidence to “prove” how the blessings I desired would never be mine.
Playing out these habits year after year didn’t make me any less single. Only when I began to believe — really, truly believe — did things begin to turn around for me.
Free yourself with belief
Many singles today feel just as trapped as I once felt when my negative habits of depending on the choices of others determined the quality of my life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can’t decide for others, but we can influence what others decide about us by consciously choosing first to believe we’re worth believing in.
If you don’t really believe, then you won’t really receive. That’s because most people in most situations make decisions about you from the information you feed them. When you don’t really believe you’re worth believing in, you broadcast a message that says, “Don’t invest in me!”
But when you truly believe in yourself, your broadcast says, “I’m well worth getting to know better!” True, people still decide for themselves, but you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you broadcast any less-than-positive messages about yourself.
Of course, the changes I’m talking about here are more than superficial. That’s why my upcoming book is entitled You’re Not Digging Deep Enough. Most of us don’t dig deep enough. You can’t just subscribe to a positive message feed on social media sites and then spread those messages in your networks. You have to believe so powerfully that you could generate those types of messages. And that’s easy to do when you really, truly believe.
I like the third Indiana Jones movie best. There’s just so much to love in that third installment.
Take this scene, for example. Indy is faced with a desperate choice: Help his enemy Donovan obtain the Holy Grail or watch his father die. We should all ask ourselves the question Donovan presents. It’s time to ask ourselves what we believe.
Wake up! It’s time to own your life. It’s time to replace less effective habits with more effective ones. It’s time to start enjoying life regardless of your circumstances. Christmas is a season of belief. It’s time to believe.
We all believe the worth of souls is great (see D&C 18:10). But do you believe — really, truly believe — that the worth of your soul is great? The message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ has always been one of belief because Jesus Christ is the ultimate reason for belief.
If you really, truly believe the restored gospel, then it’s time you embrace that belief. There’s no going through the motions here. Only when I owned my life and really, truly began to believe did I begin to experience joy in life independent of my circumstances.
So own your life. No matter what you may have experienced, you still hold the power of agency. Choose to believe, and let the true joy of living unfold for you.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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