Rob’s Talk: Emotional/Physical Health and Well Being (and Addiction)

Rob spoke in Sacrament Meeting last Sunday and I like to document our talks. This isn’t a full transcript, just notes, but you’ll get a good grasp of his thoughts.



“Dad, it feels good to really see right.” 


My youngest got a new pair of glasses yesterday after we learned that her vision had deteriorated a little over the last couple years. How pleased she is to correctly resolve the world around her!


A few years ago I injured my back and had quite a bit of pain in it and going down my leg. During that time I experienced much more difficulty being my usual pleasant self. I was edgy, short-tempered, and found that the pain cast a negative shadow on my experiences. 

Prolonged periods of highly demanding projects at work can at times induce enough stress to cast a pale attitude on other aspects of my physical health (lack of exercise and even feeling the stress physically at times).

I share these short experiences to illustrate a point. I’ve enjoyed a life relatively free of pain and stress. However, I find that even short-lived episodes of pain and stress affect my outlook, relationships, and spirituality. I can only imagine how much chronic pain would affect me. 

The For the Strength of Youth booklet states that we should seek healthy solutions to problems in all aspects of your life. I think healthy solutions include actions that tend to bring balance to our life rather than those that promote drastic actions. Why introduce a new stress as a means to resolve prior stress?

When I have back pain, I could be unwilling to accept my new limitations by taking on a new (intense) exercise and diet program, fester, continue getting annoyed because I can’t contribute in the same ways I used to, build up emotional barriers, whine, and re-injure myself due to lack of patience. Or, I could follow the advice of medical professionals, give adequate time for healing, do yoga to strengthen my core and back, and undertake another appropriate exercise program when the time is right. 

When suffering from work-related stress I could micro-manage, refuse to accept help, think that my spouse just doesn’t understand, build up emotional barriers, start an extreme organization system, quit my job, stop exercising, gain weight, spend less time with my kids, get less sleep, get sick, etc. Or, I could allow more people to get involved, maintain family, exercise, and sleep needs, take on fewer obligations, learn to say no, confide with Julie, and communicate with others. 

*Do all you can to safeguard your physical and emotional health so that you can fulfill your divine potential as a son or daughter of God.* 

This may include professional medical help and and mental health specialists. 

Addictions harm your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. They damage relationships with family and friends and diminish your feelings of self-worth. They limit your ability to make choices for yourself. In the lightest sense, addictions redirect our time and attention from the most important parts of life. 

Watching sports, gaming, using social media, viewing pornography, abusing prescription drugs, drinking alcohol, or having a Twinkie or Nutella obsession seems pretty innocuous; however, all can be taken to selfish extremes, distorting our view of reality and what is important. 

 


Just like uncorrected vision in the case of Cara’s glasses, the affects of addiction take us from reality. It introduces secrecy, distrust, and dishonesty into our most sacred relationships.

Quote from Elder Holland, “If in the days ahead you not only see limitations in those around you, but also find elements in your own life that don’t yet measure up to the messages you have heard this weekend, please don’t be cast down in spirit and don’t give up. 

The gospel, the Church, and these wonderful semiannual gatherings (and Sunday meetings) are intended to give hope and inspiration. They are not intended to discourage you. 

Only the adversary, the enemy of us all, would try to convince us that the ideals outlined in general conference (and Sacrament Meeting) are depressing and unrealistic…that people don’t really improve, that no one really progresses. And why does Lucifer give that speech? Because he knows he can’t improve, he can’t progress, that worlds without end he will never have a bright future. He is a miserable man bound by eternal limitations and he wants you to be miserable too. Well, don’t fall for that. 

With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we CAN improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed. 

Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. 

Heaven is cheering you on today and forever.”

Alma 53:20-21
“And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all–they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yay, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.”

Testimony – gain and maintain physical and emotional health can improve our well- being and spirituality. We can use simple actions, family and friends, professional help, and the atonement to overcome imbalance, addiction, and stress. We get credit for trying.

If you are struggling with any type of addiction, seek help.

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