Sometimes the renewal we need requires us to dig deeper.
When my computer doesn’t work right, I try restarting it. If the problem persists, I look for a virus. If I find one early enough, I remove the offending file. However, if the virus has corrupted the operating system, I first have to reformat the hard drive and then reboot. This operation replaces everything, erasing all my data and then restoring fresh code as though the machine were brand new.
In a similar manner, many of us singles need to reformat and reboot ourselves. Our operating system is filled with so much bad code — misperceptions, faulty beliefs, cultural perspectives, and other influences based upon erroneous ideas, defunct ways of thinking, failed paradigms — that we cannot live life effectively.
If your life operating system is corrupted, then your life will leave you frustrated or depressed (and very often both). But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Get to the root
Mark Twain once said, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” You must consider that some of what you have always thought was true may in fact be false. Otherwise, you can’t depend on your eyes to see the whole problem, especially if the root of your problem lies in an erroneous belief.
In 1833, the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph, “And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God” (D&C 98:11).
That is exactly what reformatting is, taking out all that is bad and replacing it only with good. And that bad is not just in what you say and do. It is also in how you think and perceive the world around you.
Now if you're thinking you don't need this because you've been keeping the standards of the Church and honoring your covenants and all that good stuff, I got two words for you.
If you don’t reformat and reboot yourself, I guarantee you will simply follow the programming contained in your habits and keep having the life you have now.
Why do I say that? Your brain is biologically hardwired to follow instructions, much like a computer. Most of your beliefs, erroneous or not, operate in the background. You act on them without thinking about or realizing what you're really doing.
If you don’t have the life you want, then you need to change what you're doing. Period. Insanity is expecting to get different results while doing the same things over and over again. And doing things differently means thinking differently, both about yourself and the world around you.
That means reformatting and rebooting yourself.
If you can’t see the way out of a life filled with despair and anguish, it's not because there's no way out. There is a way out. So if you can’t see the way out, it must be because erroneous ideas unduly influence how you're seeing the world . That’s why you first have to understand how false ideas cloud your vision. That’s why you have to reformat and reboot.
Peaches are not apples
If you want to eat apples, then planting peach trees is not the best idea. Not that there's anything wrong with peaches. They make great pie and cobbler, and peaches are excellent with pepperoni on pizza! But peaches aren’t apples, so if you want to eat apples, plant apple seeds.
That truth may seem obvious, but few singles actually apply it to their lives. When we find our lives are not the apples we wanted, we rarely ask, “What seeds did we plant?” Far too often we instead play the victim and assign blame outside ourselves.
But if we dug deep enough within our own selves, we would see our habits are so riddled with bad instructions that left alone those habits will continue to deliver us undesired results, just like a computer operating on faulty source code.
The way to fix yourself is the way to fix that computer. You need to reformat and reboot.
You need new instructions — more effective habits — so that you'll automatically choose to act in ways that lead to the life you want without thinking about it.
How do you do that? Well, that’s what next week is for! :)
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show and podcast 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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