Somehow it seems like the tide of discouragement always comes back into shore. The battle against its waves never stops.
Many LDS singles experience discouragement when confronting the idea that they're somehow deficient because they're single. If you believe this, I’m here to tell you that you're not.
That idea is so inconsistent with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that we should ship it out of town on the next truck, bus, train, ship, or plane, whichever one leaves first. This insidious belief will rob you of your power to own your life the longer you entertain it, so don’t!
Make conscious choices
Normal human beings compare themselves with others. Certainly Western culture encourages this comparison by insisting that only those on top are truly validated. And our own LDS subculture prizes temple marriage as a rite of passage. The perceived sum of these influences can easily convince anyone that being single means being substandard.
You don’t have to feel that way. You can overcome your challenges more easily when you make conscious choices about what you do and especially about how you think.
Change your reality with your focus
Yes, it bears repeating. Your focus becomes your reality. When you focus on what you don't have, you'll always feel like you just don’t measure up. And if you focus on that message long enough, you'll lose all hope of ever being accepted. Enter depression stage right.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ tells us a very different story. Christ would not have suffered all that He did for “substandard.” He suffered for all because all are worth redeeming. That includes you.
Don't just follow the herd
It’s easy to follow the herd and just think the way everyone else does. But simply following the herd doesn’t usually lead to a life of joy and fulfillment.
Making conscious choices, on the other hand, usually will. When you consciously choose not just what you do but also how you think, you empower yourself to escape a life lived on autopilot and embrace one filled with true joy and meaning.
Being single is simply a status, just like being tall or short or having blue or brown eyes. It has meaning just like any other status but only the meaning that you ascribe to it.
Associating singleness with deficiency has meaning only because you think they go together. Change the way you think about it, and everything associated with it will change also. When you adopt new and different ways of seeing your world, your whole world becomes new and different.
Do what you can wherever you are
You may not have made all the covenants that you want to make. But you don’t have to focus so much on the one you haven’t made that you depreciate the others.
You can strive to make additional covenants with God while still being grateful for the ones you have made already. You can look for opportunities to acquire a new status while taking advantage of the ones your current status offers you.
You can focus on owning your life. You can embrace a reality filled with real purpose and meaning, irrespective of what anyone may say.
Some of the most admired exemplars of faithfulness did exactly that. I’ll tell you about one of them next week. Oh, and here’s the best part: He provided one of the most widely celebrated examples of faithfulness while he was single. See you next week.
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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