Owning your life is one of the most important things you can do to maximize joy in life. When you own your life, you accept responsibility for your life. That attitude frees you to move forward and enjoy your journey.
But much joy in our journey depends also on our approach. Habits inconsistent with our desired destination will stymie our progress.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Start with this question: Do you want to be single forever, or do you want to be married forever?
This seemingly simple question can easily deceive. Many of us are our own worst obstacle to our desired life, and we don’t even know it. To turn that around, we must first increase our awareness. After all, you can’t eliminate ineffective habits without recognizing them.
We naturally assume our approach to anything needs no adjustment. But that assumption doesn’t hold when you’re approach doesn’t deliver results. Insanity is expecting different results while doing the same things — and thinking the same way.
Many singles have a list of desired qualities in a companion. Defining your destination can help you know when you’ve arrived. But it can also hold you back from ever arriving. That’s especially true if the items on your list really aren’t that important.
I’ve heard all sorts of excuses (and that’s really all they are — excuses) for why a potential companion won’t work. Said person is too short or too tall, too poor or too rich, too fat or too thin, on and on and on.
When we don’t stop to question our approach, excuses transform us into our biggest obstacle.
For example, you may want someone wealthy to rescue you from financial burden. That’s completely understandable. But rejecting potential companions who can’t send your financial problems packing with the stroke of a pen or the swipe of a card but who could otherwise be very good for you is just keeping you single. Do you want to be single forever, or do you want to be married forever?
Don't limit your possibilities
Yet that's exactly what many singles do. We rationalize that opportunities aren’t worth taking if they don’t get us the end we want. And we want to protect ourselves from being hurt. So we apply stringent filters at the start of the process. And we thereby eliminate many worthy and wonderful companions from our consideration.
Do you want to be single forever? If so, keep doing what you’re doing. For most of us, that seems to be working pretty well. But if you want to be married forever — and a forever marriage presumes you’re married to the right type of person — then you need to change not just your actions but also your thinking.
When the Savior arrived in this world, He didn’t appear as many expected. Yet He was still the most pivotal person on the planet. The Prophet Joseph didn’t match what many people expected a prophet to be. Yet he was still called to restore the gospel. In our search for eternal companionship, should we not also consider that said person might not appear as we expect?
And if we accept that idea, should we not then consider that perhaps our filters on the front end of the road to temple marriage might be too stringent or unnecessary?
Do you want to be single forever? Or do you want to be married forever?
No one wants to be hurt. But you have to risk pain to get the relationship you want.
If you want to be single forever, go ahead and keep protecting yourself from any emotional risk. That’s pretty effective at keeping people single. But if you want to be married forever, you need to accept the possibility of pain. And you need to question your approach. Only then will you step out of your own way so that the life you want can come to 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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