Mother’s Day is once more around the corner. And of course I remember my own dear mother. She’s a sweet lady who’s continually given to me all of my life. I can’t help but remember her.
I also remember a “controversy” that swept through LDS singles groups on social media last year. I rarely use social media, but I remember someone showing me what people were saying. Some childless sisters were getting upset about all the attention paid to women who have born children. Their comments reflected feelings of hurt, isolation, and neglect.
Because I still rarely use social media, I can’t tell you if any similar discord exists this year. But I can tell you this episode illustrates a great truth. Half the problems we LDS singles have are all in our head. If we’d adopt more effective ways of thinking, half our problems would literally disappear.
Don’t get me wrong. Those feelings of hurt, isolation, and neglect are real. Emotions are not figments of our imagination. But those feelings stem from less effective ways of thinking about yourself and your world. Once you adopt more effective ways of thinking, many negative feelings disappear because they have nothing to drive them within you.
Watch your focus
What are these more effective ways of thinking? One of the most important is to control your focus. I feel like a broken record, but your focus becomes your reality. Change your focus, and you change your reality.
Negative emotions often attend a focus on what you lack. When you focus on what you lack, your reality becomes one of lack. And that reality doesn’t make a very happy life for anyone.
Furthermore, focus can become habitual. Because we’re designed to function out of habit, the way we were designed to function may be keeping us in a negative reality.
Of course, the reverse can also be true. When we adopt habits of positive focus, we can experience a positive reality habitually. We can have joy all along our journey regardless of the circumstances that surround us when we focus on the positive.
“Give,” said the little stream
What then should be the focus of those who feel isolated by holidays like Mother’s Day? What’s so positive about not fitting in and having it rubbed in your face?
This brings us to another aspect of more effective thinking — action. Many simply act according to how they feel. But you can also act yourself into feeling a certain way.
For example, it’s been said that, when you don’t feel like praying, you should pray until you do. By persisting in the act of praying, you adjust your focus to a new reality. Before long, your thinking starts to match that reality. And then your feelings change to match the new reality.
What actions can LDS singles take to combat feelings of lack and isolation on holidays like Mother’s Day? The opposite of lack and isolation is abundance and connection. And feelings of abundance and connection prompt us to give. Giving helps us to focus more what we have than on what we lack.
Remember who you are
It’s easy to see yourself as not fitting into a family-centered culture when you define motherhood as having born children you don’t have. But in a broader and much more meaningful sense, motherhood is about giving love to those who need it.
It’s in that sense that I remember my own mother. The love she has continually given me throughout my life is what makes our relationship meaningful to me.
The great part about this is that we all have someone to love. God has given to all of us people in our lives who need the love we have to give. When we focus on giving that love to those whom God has given us to love, we focus on what we have and what we can do, not on what we don’t have or can’t do. Our reality then becomes one of abundance.
Many of the challenges LDS singles face are simply issues of identity. You embrace a more healthy sense of identity when you adopt more effective ways of thinking. By directing your focus and action towards giving love to those whom God has given you to love, you can embrace a new identity that transcends any challenge. You can rise above any difficulty.
Who has God given you to love? Who can claim you? This Sunday, let’s all celebrate the true spirit of motherhood by giving love to those whom God has given us to love. A focus on giving love will create a reality filled with love. And that will bring us more joy in our journey.
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 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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