I get to teach the sixteen year old girls in my church every Sunday. I love it. I always love it because it helps me more than them. I know a selfish reason, but the truth. Every week when I see the topic it is always something that is relevant not only for them, but mostly for me. Yesterday in particular was a favorite lesson. The lesson was on potential! Who am I and who can I become?
I asked each of the girls to write a short little happily ever after story about themselves. I wanted them to write about a life that they would envision as there "happily ever after." I even made the two other adults present do the same thing. After everyone wrote their short stories of their imaginary/fantastic happily ever afters's.....we read them aloud to each other.
While everyone was reading I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. The girls I teach are very creative and came up with some darling, hilarious, and quite fantastic happily ever afters. I noticed the girls dreams were grandiose in nature, and the adult versions were basically....simple and more like "just get me through as unharmed as possible". Quite different perspectives.
A favorite talk of mine is titled "Happily Ever After" by Dieter f. Uchtdorf. To summarize he makes a couple of fantastic points. One, we all love happily ever afters, and we all want them for our own lives. No one really loves to think of an ideal life with a tragedy at the end. We don't love the Cinderella story because of her tragically not fitting into the glass slipper.
Second, which is the part none of us included in our "made up" stories, and is the most important. All of the happily ever after heroes/heroins we love so much have overcome adversity and trials to triumph in the end. Some are even misguided by undercover villains......(Little Red Riding Hood). However in the end, once they overcome the trial they succeed and live Happily Ever After. Pres. Uchtdorf quotes "It is the reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself , that determines how your life's story will develop."
This is a favorite quote of mine. Every day....I feel like myself and my kids are bombarded with small decisions that can influence them on a large scale. Even if we make all the right decisions there are still plenty of hard trials that happen to great people. It is our reaction to how we handle problems, and situations that determines our happiness. In the end we have control of how happy we are by how we handle all sorts of situations.
I am writing this as a reminder to myself and to my children someday when they read this....if they ever will:) I am writing this because when I write and visualize something....I become better at it!