Today is Valentine’s Day — the day when every man with a significant other must make an expected love offering to his significant other. That could take the form of flowers or chocolate or something else — or even some combination of the above. If you’re in this category, then you know what I’m talking about.
Then there are the myriads of LDS singles who don’t have that special someone in their life. Many of these will be pining away in their lack, yearning to have what they don’t have, and frustrated that the life plan our LDS subculture gives us all hasn’t worked out for them. They focus on what they lack and the belief that they are so much less because of that lack. Because your focus always determines your reality, their reality is one of lack.
Yet not all singles associate Singles Awareness Day with negativity. These hardy souls reject defunct, old ways of thinking and adopt better ways of thinking that produce a better focus leading to a better reality. These singles focus on what they can do, what they can give, and how they can serve. They partner with the Lord in fulfilling a personal ministry. In essence, they ditch the pity party.
Envision a new reality
Some years ago I wrote what I’ve come to regard as a classic blog post on the pity party. If you have any doubt pity parties are dungeons of doom to be avoided, please read that post. You’ll find your time well spent.
More than one Singles Awareness Day has passed since I wrote that post. I can honestly say that I was emotionally stable for each of them. I never felt like crying or surrendering to a pit of despair or even The Pit of Despair of The Princess Bride fame.
In fairness I should acknowledge I had a significant other for at least one of them, and in that event I made sure to satisfy that special someone. But during the other Singles Awareness Days in which I had no significant other (like today), I felt as though the day was no different from any other.
What I’m describing is not apathy or disconnectedness. It’s a reality created by a different focus and a different way of thinking. And I’m not the only LDS single who has them.
Truly believe the gospel
Do we know something pity party advocates don’t? Assuming we’re all LDS, not really. We all know the same basic truths of the restored gospel. The difference is in what we believe.
We truly believe the Lord loves us so much He can’t wait to bless us. The Lord will play His part in realizing our desired blessings. We understand we also have a part to play, but we believe that, in addition to playing His part, the Lord will help us to play ours.
That faith allows us to let go of the frustration associated with wanting what we don’t now have. We believe Him so much that we’re willing to wait on Him.
Instead of focusing on what we lack, we focus on what we have. That focus allows us to see the tender mercies of the Lord surrounding us every day. And it allows us to feel the love of the Lord for us in every one of those tender mercies.
Embrace new ways of thinking
Truly believing the truths of the restored gospel is just the first difference in our beliefs. The second difference lies in what we believe about happiness.
Long-time audience members will recognize my definition of happiness: Happiness isn’t just doing the right things but giving your all to the right things for you. We truly believe that definition of happiness. And we demonstrate that belief by living it.
I devoted the entire radio program last week to this new way of thinking about happiness. We know happiness is a choice. And because we always have a choice regardless of our circumstances, we can always find happiness no matter what life may bring us. We don’t need to wait to be happy, and we aren’t.
No desire to host a pity party can touch us. We’ve effectively ditched the pity party.
You too can ditch the pity party, if you haven’t done so already. You can change your focus from what you lack to what you have. You can change your thinking about happiness. You can choose to trust the Lord and walk by faith.
When you do, you’ll free yourself from all the negative emotions that often attend pity parties. You’ll see that you don’t have to wait to be happy. You’ll rise towards your best self. And that will bring more joy in your journey.
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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