There are things about ourselves that we can change, but then there are others that we should not change.

If we are all the same, the world would not be as fun.

Look around at the strangers around you. Yes, some are a little scary, some really do not understand you, some you envy. Remember this, they all were babies once. They were children as well who grew up to be who they are now. They may know something that is amazing. They may do something that astounds you, or confuses you or hurts you. Keep in mind that they are all children of Heavenly Father just as you and I are.

Now, I am sure that there are parts of you that you want to change about yourself… your hair color(ok, mine has begun that stage of glowing whiteness that I am not sure of myself), your weight(I could lose some myself, but does that change who I really am?), your height (yes, I wish I was just a little shorter so that I would not be looking down when I talk with some guys) but in the long run, these issues are not important to who you are or to the one who loves or will love you. What we can change about ourselves is our view of life and our hearts.

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the sums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”

When you become angry, you will find that it is difficult to control yourself. You are hurt and it is unfair. Pride becomes strong and you cannot say “I’m sorry” (I find that I have had to say that a lot with my kids!). These are problems that are of the heart. This becomes the time to look within ourselves and ask “Why?” Why do I hurt? Why am I angry? Why can I not let this go?

I have spent many recent years learning because instead of just getting angry, I begin asking why. Then I ask “What can I do to change this feeling?” I find that when I am sincere in my asking, I then make the change within my heart with much prayer and fasting and the help of our Lord. I find that the next time that this issue comes up, I do not react the same way again. I have a change of my heart. I feel lighter, I have more energy, I am happier. Now, it is not easy, but if you notice, I ask for the Lord’s help to get through the feeling and make a change. I am not perfect and there are times when a feeling sneaks up on me that I am not ready for, but that is when I realize that I still have a long ways to go and now that I have the tools to do it, I can change that feeling as well.

When a person walks into a relationship, they carry emotional baggage, habits and attitudes. Each person has this, so if you feel that you do not, please look into the mirror a little deeper. I know that I am bold and forward and that many good people are uncomfortable about that. I have always wanted to be the quiet wonderful lady who can be soft-spoken and can create miracles with just a wave of her hand. I even know of a few who are like that and wish I could be like them. Then when I look at myself, I find that I am happier just being myself. I do not like to play games, I sometimes shock and make my friends uncomfortable (with a good intention) and with much faith, good things happen because of this.

I have a number of my friends who are getting married just because I made them uncomfortable. They stepped out of their comfort zone and found that someone else that I made uncomfortable was there for them. I am joyful for my friends because they found someone they can be happy with. They saw things from a different view and they like it.

In my first marriage, I found that my husband had a number of walls around his heart. In my young heart, I believed that love would conquer all and that his walls would come down in time and that he would be the perfect man. I believed that I could help him change. Ummmmm…. that did not happen. His walls did come down, but not with my help. They all dropped at the same time and it was not with love. He did change, but for the worse.

Therefore, from personal experience, I learned that the only person I can change in my life is myself. I cannot change anyone else, not even my children. I do have the ability to see other perspectives and in doing so, give opportunities for change and hope that it can happen, but I cannot do it for someone else.

Remember the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink”? I believe that this pertains to changes of the heart as well. This is not going to be easy! Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but the power to do has increased.” Do not give up. You are not alone in this.

President Spencer W. Kimball stated, “In abandoning evil, transforming lives, changing personalities, molding characters or remolding them, we need the help of the Lord, and we may be assured of it if we do our part. The man who leans heavily upon his Lord becomes the master of self and can accomplish anything he sets out to do, whether it be to secure the brass plates, build a ship, overcome a habit, or conquer a deep-seated transgression.” We are in this together. We have the ability to change ourselves.

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