I recently saw a Joe Rowlins (J.K Rowlins) documentary where cameras followed her into her old apartment. There, she began to weep as she explained that in that apartment she went through all sorts of struggles, self-development and most of all, where she wrote Harry Potter. Rowlin said she grew and transformed herself the most here because she had hit rock bottom and that failure was a great motivator for her.
She then took the cameras through one of the rooms and began to cry even more when she noticed that the owner living in the apartment, owned Harry Potter books. It was amazing and surreal to think that at one point, those books were just a dream and that ten years later she was back in that same apartment where she experienced so much growth and yet so much pain; to see someone own one of her books in that apartment was simply an image dreamers talk about during social gatherings.
That was such a nostalgic and inspiring for her and I say, for me as well. J.K had left everything behind in that apartment, but as she looked back she could not help but remember all the things that help her move forward and grow. Her failures with a career she hated, a failed marriage, being dead broke with a baby were just a few of her slippery stepping stones. Yet she learned from her failures as she told the camera group that ground zero was kind of relieving because she had no other choice but to leave it all behind and move forward. Rock bottom was just a way for her to say, “there was nothing else to lose because I had nothing to give.”
If you have ever read any of my blogs you would know that I mainly focus on an LDS figures, topics, etc. When I mention someone else outside of the LDS community is usually in the cloud of what not to, but I think J.k has inspired so many children and has help such an important industry that I can always make an exception. Really, if anything is of good works, is worthy of my humble blog. However, this Blog is not at all about J.K, but is about leaving it all behind. This could mean repenting and not following on sin again. It could mean leaving old habits by breaking to new horizons or it could even mean that you have grown in such a way that you are willing to start a new journey
There are a few things in life that are of certainty. Maybe you agree with them,
- You will die
- You breath
- There is a God and a Savior and they govern the Earth
- You were born of a mother
- You will have trials and difficult times
- You will fail and you will overcome
just to name a few.
You will be the one to decided the things you need to leave behind. This could be an addiction, a job, boyfriend/ girlfriend, a bad hobby, a bad way of eating or my favorite, leaving it all behind when you serve your mission.
But leaving something behind does not just mean you stop doing bad and start another bad habit; or it does not mean that you stop doing something and then just hang around in life; Rather, leaving it all behind means you stop and move forward with either the opposite of the wrong or starting fresh on something new which is positive. You have a pure change of heart and never look back to your backward journey. Learn of the wrong and learn not to do it again, that’s it. Moving forward can easily be the topic of this blog because it the counteractive of leaving it all behind. Moving forward is good news. You can even say that moving forward is the statement name for Christ for He brings good news.
Don’t let this discourage you when I say you need to stop and then start new. This is the universal pattern of human behavior but at times, you will find yourself living the life of the old saying “one foot out the door”. This happens a lot on the mission field by mistake at times. A new missionary comes in and the trainers can’t help but ask, “so what’s new, what has changed on the M.T.C? I heard there is a new IPhone out, is the better than the last one that came out six months ago? The trainer will forget and go back to the actual training, but the young missionary will ponder on all those things. The second foot, if he/ she is not prepared, comes out weeks later instead of the day he/she entered the field.
How about leaving an old habit? After my mission, I found some friends watching R movies at their home. They asked me to watch some with them. They knew I was opposed to this but promised they would skip to any bad parts and they would tell me when a curse word would come up. I felt uncomfortable. I made the decisions not watch any more rated R movies like I had before. One of them said something along this lines.
“I know is bad and I don’t want to do it. But, man, don’t you get that urge of just watching such an epic film? I mean is so cool. Like, I know I won’t do or say anything that they show. I am not tempted by this.”
I then replied by telling this person that during their mission, they had completely changed. They had left it all behind. The reason why they struggled was not so much because they knew it was bad, but because they had changed, they had left it all behind and it was difficult to bring back old habits that were not there anymore. Think about it, the same way we are asked to remember, remember what the lord has asked of us, Satan will want us to the remember the feelings we had before. My friends were fighting with the old self, not against the words of the Prophet.
Not leaving things behind VS. Coming back to old habits
Not leaving things behind means not having a change of heart, but going back to old habits after having had a change of heart means you’ve awakened old feelings of something that held you back . You then cheat yourself and say, “well is not going to tempt me and I can stop anytime.” or ” I just want to see how I was before, I can’t believe that.”
We all know the quintessential story about Sodom and Gomora, but in my opinion, the second part to that story is the one which makes me sigh every time. Lot’s wife and her family made decision to obey the Angels to leave everything behind and move forward by leaving the sin city. As they left to their new journey, they were asked no to look back. Lot’s wife heart was still within sodom. She did not turn into a pillar of salt because that was the thing that happened when you were to look at the burning Sodom or even because she disobeyed but rather, it was because her heart was in a place that was being destroyed due to abomination. If the city was being destroyed, then why should she had survived when her heart was there? The Bible does not mention her name, but according to some Jewish traditions (or in the book of Jasher which apparently says her name.) her name was “Ado” or “Edith”. Ado means (addo) trouble or difficulty but yet Edith means joys.
Old habits are similar to that friend of mine which watched the rated R movies. He had changed but was a bit confused as to why he felt so bad. He kept thinking how he felt when he saw those movies before his mission. He must have felt good, the problem was that he was retrieving a felt good memory of something bad before he gained a testimony of how bad that habit was, therefore, he somehow manage to forget that he was not that kind of person anymore.
Leaving it all behind can sometimes mean forgetting yourself and doing what is necessary to achieve your goals. Jesus Christ gave this great example at the Garden of Gethsemane when he was visited by an angel to comfort him. But in the Joseph Smith translation it teaches that he had asked the Angel to go comfort John the Baptist since he was about to be beheaded. Not only was he suffering for the whole world, but even in times of suffering and when he needed comfort the most, he was still willing to make a full sacrifice and leave any desires of help behind him. He looked forward, he kept moving and walking as the cross got heavier. He could have easily said, this is not worth it. I want to turn back and go home. But he did not, he stayed.
In the cross, He then asked John to take care of his mother. Looking forward to what would come. Christ is the good example of all things. He forgive and we too must forgive, I believe is because,
- Christ and Heavenly Father want us to be clean and pure.
- Christ and Heavenly Father want us to move forward.
In my last blog I spoke about things which bind you. The important thing to remember is that when you are bound, you can’t leave things behind because you are stuck and you can’t move forward because, well, your stuck. You can only find happiness when you are free. Here are other things you can find when you leave things behind,
- Less stress
- Clarity and focus towards your goals
- Self-worth and feeling of accomplishment
- The spirit guidance and voice
- Fulfillment of your Patriarchal blessing
- New opportunities
- Stronger testimony
- Increase Faith
Last of all, leaving behind any feelings of anyone who has hurt you or offended you. This is a tough cookie because it involves, feelings, pride and a broken heart at times. This can really take a toll of the spirit. It encircles about you, eating you alive. It is the only thing you tend to think of. You become accustom to this feeling and begin to wish worst for this person. I have found out that kneeling for prayer works pretty well. Although each of your circumstances can be different, I must say that the 7th certainty is, “all that has a negative, has a more powerful positive.” Let go of all that is wrong with you. Make the choice now and move forward into the horizon of a new you. It is of certainty that you can’t move forward if you are not leaving unnessesary baggage behind.