I should tell you something about myself. I believe in absolute truth. I believe that there are some things that are just true – no matter what else you believe. Such as the sun shines, gravity is in force, and that there is a God, His Son, and the Holy Ghost. I can’t prove the last one, but I do believe that they are just as real and in force as the first two. With that said, there falls a whole line of things I believe are true – God’s word, baptism, repentance, forgiveness, need I go on? I’m sure you get the idea. Today, all the messages were full of this kind of absolute truth and I’d like to share them with you, if you’ll stay.
First, from the OA book, I got that I don’t have to give anyone the power to overcome me and my goals. Another truth. While we may do this on a regular basis, we don’t have to. It can be our choice. This also doesn’t mean that we can run all over someone else’s self or goals. It’s a fine tight walk and balance between two (or more) people and we have to be willing to speak up. Ah, another hard skill to learn, but oh so valuable.
AA’s message piggybacked off of the OA message. It is that I need to fix today so I don’t have to carry it into tomorrow. If someone steps on our toes and we don’t have the courage to speak up, then that problem will be carried forward until we do have the ability to say something. There is something in us that is resistant to defending ourselves and our truths and beliefs – you have to be true to who you are and what you believe to be true. If not, all of that regret will just pile up inside like a pressure cooker and then what?
I found myself in tears reading a story in a talk by Carole M. Stephens from the newest General Conference talks. Her talk was titled The Master Healer. In one section she related an experience of a young woman struggling with bipolar disorder. She shares the following:
Third, the Master Healer can comfort and sustain us as we experience painful “realities of mortality,”13 such as disaster, mental illness, disease, chronic pain, and death. I have recently become acquainted with a remarkable young woman named Josie who suffers from bipolar disorder. Here is just a little of her journey toward healing as she shared it with me:
“The worst of the darkness occurs on what my family and I have deemed ‘floor days.’ It begins with sensory overload and acute sensitivity and resistance to any type of sound, touch, or light. It is the apex of mental anguish. There is one day in particular that I will never forget.
“It was early in the journey, making the experience especially frightening. I can remember sobbing, tears racing down my face as I gasped for air. But even such intense suffering paled in comparison to the pain that followed as I observed panic overwhelm my mother, so desperate to help me.
“With my broken mind came her broken heart. But little did we know that despite the deepening darkness, we were just moments away from experiencing a mighty miracle.
“As a long hour continued, my mom whispered over and over and over again, ‘I would do anything to take this from you.’
“Meanwhile, the darkness intensified, and when I was convinced I could take no more, just then something marvelous occurred.
“A transcendent and wonderful power suddenly overtook my body. Then, with a ‘strength beyond my own,’ I declared to my mom with great conviction seven life-changing words in response to her repeated desire to bear my pain. I said, ‘You don’t have to; Someone already has.’”
Yesterday, as I was adding the page titled “My Illness” at the top of this blog, I couldn’t help but remember in vivid detail my “closet days.” That feeling of being so overwhelmed that I couldn’t make my way out of that small, dark space or of the many, many days spent in bed because life was just too much of a sensory overload. All of the tears from people being too physically close to me or the fear of breaking down anywhere because of too much stimulation. I am grateful that I have learned some management skills to lessen those days, but there is always the fear nagging at the back of my head waiting for it to happen. Josie’s experience rang so true to me. I could feel her pain and despair. The last part of her story, “someone already has,” brings me to tears. Of course, Someone has. He has taken all of it on Himself, which means that some day, I will be free of bipolar and of the fear that comes with it, just as I will be free from my grey hair and moles. It’s just matter of fact and I have to be patient and wait and endure and hope for healing and blessings and love on the days when it’s all too much.
Going along with her statement that “Someone already has” is the brother of Jared finding himself speaking with the Lord, who is shielding Himself in a cloud. He states,
“And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.”
God cannot lie. Another absolute truth. God has not lied about any of this – that we need to resolve our issues today (“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for, the morrow shall take thought for the things of, itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34), that we need to stand up for what we believe to be true, that we will be healed and that “it is in our weakness that we experience the glory, power, and grace of God. This is how God works.” (Scott Sauls, befriend) This truth has the power to help us get through our dark days, but to also reach out and help others through theirs.