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Fether

Insight from Man’s Search for Meaning

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I haven’t finished the book yet, but I had this insight in a portion of the book I read this morming

 

The common logic behind suicide is “there is nothing more to expect from life except pain” (I recognize this is a gross over simplification, I am not trying to reduce feelings of suicide to just this) When we switch the internal dialogue and ask “what does life expect of me”, it offers further strength. It turns you from a victim into a hero. 

 

This reminds me of a man I went to church with. He shared with us in a meeting that he felt that the church had given him everything it could. He has read the scriptures through multiple time, had learned the lessons found in serving a mission, and was married in the temple. He felt lost, there there was nothing left for him to gain from being a member. Over the next few months we watched through the eyes of his wife and daughter, who had grown close to my wife, him leave the church and get a divorce. It wasn’t till later that I made the connection of what had happened. 

 

In Luke 22:32, Christ says to Peter “when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Doctrine and Covenants 84:106 reads “And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also.” There are two phases we go through when we find a passion or something that gives us meaning. First, there is this expectation that we will be converted. Secondly, we are expected to take that knowledge and give it to others, to strengthen them. Men and women are not content in selfishness, nor in feeling like a victim. Only in realizing life’s and God’s (the Universe’s, Ala’s, future you, Flying Spaghetti Monster’s or any other higher meaning you find) expectation for you can we pull ourselves out of that despair. It takes a higher view of ourselves and a desire to help those around us. 

 

The difference between (1) feeling crushed by the world because we are falling short and failing, and (2) feeling energized by the struggles of life and striving to grow so we can be the rock for others who are struggling is simple. It takes realizing who your truly are and what future roles God (or whatever higher being you believe in) has in store for you.

 

Though it is a simple shift, it can be hard. Like sitting on a dining chair on tile floor. You want to shift the chair, but it is stuck on a lip. Sometimes you have to get off of the chair completely to get that small shift you want.

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4 hours ago, Fether said:

Like sitting on a dining chair on tile floor. You want to shift the chair, but it is stuck on a lip. Sometimes you have to get off of the chair completely to get that small shift you want

My wife tells me that she fell in love with me on one of our first dates.  We were at a restaurant and the table was covered with butcher paper.  When I sat down the butcher paper was in my lap and I noticed that the table was unsteady because the table leg on my left side was too short (it wobbled and tilted as pressure was applied).  So I tore off the excess butcher paper folded it a couple times and shoved it under the short leg.

She kinda looked at me in awe and I shrugged. 

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On 7/23/2021 at 11:08 AM, Fether said:

The difference between (1) feeling crushed by the world because we are falling short and failing, and (2) feeling energized by the struggles of life and striving to grow so we can be the rock for others who are struggling is simple. It takes realizing who your truly are and what future roles God (or whatever higher being you believe in) has in store for you.

In real life, there's something known as "Caregiver's Fatigue". This is a situation where a person puts so much of their time, energy, and focus into caring for others that they have very little left for themselves or those around them. 

I actually have a deformity because of this. My maternal grandmother had Alzheimer's, and my parents were so busy taking care of the paperwork and legal materials *in addition to* going to the nursing home to make sure she was taken care of that I couldn't get them to understand that the assorted aches and pains I kept feeling were more than "growing pains" or my "not [being] used to physical activity". It turns out that the aches and pains were scoliosis, and by the time I was an adult and in a position to actually get myself to a doctor on my own accord a pretty bad case had set in. It actually got to my hips and legs because of how long my spine was curved, and I'm now looking at multiple rounds of surgery to correct it. 

Situations like this, where a person is completely drained or where someone's efforts to care for others left them uncared for, are when #2 turns into #1 and people start walking some very dark paths. 

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2 hours ago, Ironhold said:

Situations like this, where a person is completely drained or where someone's efforts to care for others left them uncared for, are when #2 turns into #1 and people start walking some very dark paths. 

I agree completely. Hence the preface “once thou art converted” and “if any man be strong”. It suggests a capability to do so and that one has already taken care of themselves

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3 hours ago, Fether said:

I agree completely. Hence the preface “once thou art converted” and “if any man be strong”. It suggests a capability to do so and that one has already taken care of themselves

It also means that Peter, the Lord's senior apostle who was already commissioned by him and who had great authority in his Church and greater authority to come, was nevertheless not yet converted. I find this amazing.

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45 minutes ago, Vort said:

It also means that Peter, the Lord's senior apostle who was already commissioned by him and who had great authority in his Church and greater authority to come, was nevertheless not yet converted. I find this amazing.

I was thinking about this too. Despite this lack of conversion, Christ was still more than willing to leave it all in his hands.

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37 minutes ago, Fether said:

I was thinking about this too. Despite this lack of conversion, Christ was still more than willing to leave it all in his hands.

The Lord saw that at some point Simon would be converted, and thus admonished him that, when that time came, he was to strengthen his brethren.

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