I have had this quote "The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in." stuck in my head all day. It was one that I could have sworn I had pinned but then I couldn't find it when I was looking for it. Don't you hate when that happens?! So I decided to do a little research to find where it came from initially (so I could make my own picture and properly credit it), and I found myself reading this fantastic talk by President Ezra Taft Benson. Can you believe this was from when I was just shy of 4 years old? I had the gift of being able to take a class from his son, who looks just like him btw, but I'm sad to say I scheduled it poorly and fell asleep frequently. I could feel the spirit strongly through his son.....but that is all so very beside the point.
I really think you should read this talk. It is really good, and very timely- even if it was given nearly 30 years ago. Here is just an excerpt that I like:
It is no secret that I think a very important part of the journey to health is a healthy relationship with Christ and having spiritual, emotional, and mental health. I absolutely believe this, have seen this, and have experienced it firsthand. However, I am not perfect. I have been rereading old entries of mine and 'examining my past' and I can so easily see and recall the times that I have let Satan have the upper hand in the battle in my head. Those are the times that I have tried to 'white knuckle' it and lose weight through diets, often extreme ones that were very low in calories. They worked...but then, you see where I am now. They changed me on the outside but I had not overcome my demons and my stumbling blocks on the inside...and so I soon found myself starting over. It wasn't always about giving up and thus needing to start over. It was about not making the right changes in the first place.
I have seen the transforming power of changing from in the inside out. I see it in my husband who very sincerely apologizes after an argument or a hasty reaction (healthy behavior) before I even have a chance to give the silent treatment (unhealthy behavior). It used to be that we would both give the silent treatment or something until I eventually let it build and burst. That doesn't happen anymore. I have very gratefully made a lot of very positive changes in myself over the last few years... I say 'I' but really I mean the Lord has changed me. I am a changed person. It is because I am a changed person that I now have eyes to see the next part of me that needs changing, and that I have the courage to face that and work on that. We all need to be reminded to surrender ourselves. We are always caught in that cycle of humility and submissiveness and then pride and stubbornness. I hope that I can be better about that and be more constantly in the submissiveness part of it. It is easy to become distracted by life and yet our life is so much more joyful and filled when we have turned it over. It is amazing to feel your eyes opened, to feel like you see more light. I know that makes so little sense but I don't know how else to explain it.
I have much work to do. I firmly believe, because we have been promised, that Christ can make my stumbling block my strength. I will turn it over to Him to do so because that is the only way to experience a lasting and real change. Then I can really pay it forward too, and what a wonderful thing that will be! I may be working hard to change my outer appearance, but I am working hard to focus on doing it from the inside first. A couple of other really excellent resources that I am committed to using are the church's 12 Step Addiction Recovery Manual as well as this fantastic companion one that I was blessed to be able to test and assist in creating....It is called Healing through Christ and was designed for the loved ones, especially spouses, of addicts but I feel is truly like a guidebook for really applying the gospel principles to one's life and developing a closer relationship with our Savior.