Friday, June 24, 2011


After tucking my daughter into bed, I turned around and saw a note taped to the wall saying, “Mad at Mom.”
I asked her, “What is this about?”
She replied, “Every time I go to bed mad at you, when I wake up the next morning I forget about it.  So I’m leaving myself a reminder.”
I laughed and shared with her how one of my favorite things about morning is the fresh start it gives you in life.  It is a gift to have the troubles of the previous night no longer pressing on your mind.
We took the “mad” sign off the wall.  The next morning she hugged me and said in effect that she was glad to dump her anger from the night before and not feel like she needed to pick it back up again the next day.

Another day, my daughter and I were working together and she wasn't happy with the way things were going.  She exclaimed, "My whole day is ruined now!"

I told her, "Flush."

"What for?"

I explained, "Just because you're having a yucky moment doesn't mean you have to carry the yuck around with you all day.  Just flush and be done with it."

She laughed at the idea of carrying garbage around all day instead of discarding it at the first possible moment.  She agreed to "flush" and was amazed at the power that gave her to choose how she responded to life's misadventures.

Since that day some four years ago, whenever we get upset about something, we remind each other to flush.  Since most of the time what we're upset about is not having our way with the other, this has helped our relationship IMMENSELY. 

I had these conversations with my daughter because her emotions are right on the surface, making it very apparent that they need to be dealt with.  Others I deeply love are of a milder disposition.  I'm learning the exterior calm can sometimes hide inner turmoil, giving the illusion that all is well.  Years later, the power of packed-away-anger resurfaces in all its angst. 

It's hard just to say "flush" at that point.  But there is help and hope through love and forgiveness.

The Garden

There is a Garden.  It is a very beautiful and healing place.  I love to go there in my mind as I begin each day.  Though I reflect upon it mentally, it is as real and timeless as anything can be.  The grounds are Eden-like with trees and blossoms and meadows with flowing brooks.
 At the heart of the Garden is a Fountain of Living Water.  Dip under the flow and note how it creates a refreshing cleansing that heals from the inside out. 
The Fountain flows into a pool of liquid Light.  You are invited to step into the pool.  Immerse yourself.  If you come prepared to release your burdens, they will either be lifted or you will be made strong enough to bear them.  . . .

. . . Because there was another Garden.  

In Gethsemane, the Savior of the World took upon Himself the iniquities and inequities of all mankind. 
We can confidently cast our cares upon the Lord because, through the agonizing events of Gethsemane and Calvary, atoning Jesus is already familiar with our sins, sicknesses, and sorrows. He can carry them now because He has successfully carried them before!  (Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Yet Thou Art There’,” Ensign, Nov 1987, p. 30)

He reaches out and beckons, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;” (Matthew 11:29)  Which means He is willing to pull the lion’s share of our burdens with all His Power and Perspective.

The Savior’s atonement in the garden and on the cross is intimate as well as infinite. Infinite in that it spans the eternities. Intimate in that the Savior felt each person’s pains, sufferings, and sicknesses. Consequently, . . . we might be healed from within.  (Merrill J. Bateman, “The Power to Heal from Within,” Ensign, May 1995, p. 14)

 There is no truer Friend.  He sees our anguish, whether outwardly expressed or privately packed inside.  He invites us to forgive, whether it be ourselves or another.  He has already paid the price; our task is simply to accept.