Monday, June 20, 2016

IDK Inertia

Sometimes we find ourselves drifting in inertia without meaningful goals, desires, or purpose.  If asked about what we want to do with our time, our energy, our life, we answer idk.

A possible cause for this kind of state is that we just don’t know ourselves well enough yet to know what we want out of all that is available.  We don’t know what we’d be willing to fight for, to sacrifice for, or even to give our life for.  We need more time to experience different sorts of people, values, and occupations in order to determine which ones we like the best. 

When we were children, we most likely didn’t know what type of person we would marry, what college we’d go to, what values we’d profess our allegiance to, and what occupation we’d like to spend our lives training for and serving in.  We may have formed some thoughts about what we wanted to be when we grew up but those desires were probably not as powerful as they eventually became.

As children, there were other more immediate choices that most likely consumed our thoughts like choosing our friends, the way we were going to spend the day, if we were going to do our homework and chores or not, which skills we chose to develop, if we would eat the food our parents prepared for us or not, and what and who we were going to listen to, watch, or read. 

It’s through our interactions with others and with the physical world around us that we begin to identify our core desires.  That is, it is through our experiences that we develop our meaningful goals, desires, and purpose.  So if we have very little desire concerning a certain area of our life, it may be that we need more time and experience in it.  We don’t have to rush ourselves to make choices we’re not ready to make.  Having patience with ourselves and others as we all grow up is key to identifying real, true, core, meaningful desires that are so deep in our heart that we would give our life to obtain them.

I guess I would have to add here that adversity is another big part of our experience.  I think it’s one of the most common influences over our desires.  We often go into a certain field of study in hopes of reducing adversity for our family, community, and world.

As desires become more intense, we are motivated to make the sacrifices required of us in order to pursue our choices.  Desires have a way of growing more intense over time until we finally are forced by one thing or another to make a firm decision.  I think that’s what growing up is all about.  Because of adversity and death we can’t float around forever in inertia.

The other top influence over our desires is admiration.  When we take the time to admire the qualities and characteristics in the people around us, instead of feeling envious towards them, we find out who and what we want to become.

I believe that the more we are able to get to know our Savior Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost, the more we understand ourselves and what we want to become.  In fact when we notice who and what we admire, it is usually because we feel an increase in the intensity of the Spirit when we interact with that person.  That feeling testifies of Christ and at the same time is testifying of us.  We saw the value in them and what they did.  Others may not have, but we did.  That describes who we are.

Often times the reason we don’t have a meaningful enough desire is that there are so many to choose from and we are conflicted between them.  All of the choices look good to us.  We’re not ready to make a choice because choosing one requires us to sacrifice all the others.  We’re talking about conflicting desires here.  That means we can’t obtain more than one of them because we don’t have the time or energy to obtain them both.  These are desires like educational pathway, choice of occupation, marriage partner, or place of residence.  We may be able to do them subsequently but not at the same time.

Being able to tell when multiple desires are compatible and when they are conflicting comes with study and experience.  If we find ourselves not being able to choose between two or more desires that we have been trying to obtain for quite some time and feeling like our progression towards results is not fast enough, we most likely need to make a choice between them.  We need to sacrifice all the rest for one choice.