The Lord: he is my strength. He is my comfort. He is my best friend, my constant companion, the Prince of Peace. The more I know him, the more I know who I am and why I am here. We can take each bad hair day and flat tire and turn them into experiences that bring us one step closer to who we are supposed to be. He knows exactly what we are dealing with and He knows exactly how to help. He loves us no matter how angry we get or how many tantrums we through. We just have to love Him back.
2. Family: someone that is just a phone call away. The people that see all of my faults and still love me whether related by blood or by the love that binds us together. These are the people that I run to when life gets too hard or is just too incredible to be enjoyed alone. These are the people that know my heart. Family is watching Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman and lying on the couch. It’s making homemade popcorn and playing Phase Ten on Sunday nights. Family is being so silly no one can stand us or being so irritated with each other that we can hardly be around each other. Family is making matching shirts on vacation and wearing them to public places. It’s being embarrassed by my parents singing at the store and admiring them for being the people that they are. It’s getting a phone call from a brother just to check up on me. It’s being tucked in at night by an older sister even though we’re both grown. It’s laughing at dumb jokes and watching mindless youtube videos. Family means being completely comfortable; it’s being at home.
3. Friendship: no matter how far apart we are, our friendship remains. The memories can’t be erased and the good times can’t be forgotten-
· mattress blading
· temple trips
· harry potter harry potter harry potter
· dressing up
· music in the park
· movies in the park
· bike rides
· getting lost
· getting found
· hot tubs
· park city
· nap overs
· ruptured ear drums
· british accents
· best friends
· laughing until we cried
· crying when we parted
· late night phone calls
4. Individual worth- I am a child of god and nothing else matters. If girls would stop worrying so much about whether or not a guy liked them or they were popular enough and would just love themselves unconditionally everything would work out. If they would cling to the knowledge that they are beloved daughters of God and that there is nothing in the world that matters more than that, every little petty worry and relatively insignificant concern would diminish. They would find love as they love themselves. I am who I am for a purpose. Quite frankly I've realized that if someone thinks that my obsession with Harry Potter and my random moments of meowing or my fascination with the word 'poo' is offensive or absurd, that really is not something I need to lose sleep over. I'm weird. I like wierd things. I do weird things. I say weird things. I have spunk and I have sass and I don't need to tone it down because that is who I am. Think of how boring life would be if we all sat around and talked about politics and global warming. Think of how dull the world would appear if we didn't have Lady Gaga and Pablo Picasso. Life is colorful and so is each and every person on this earth. Don't change to fit in. After all, who decided what normal is anyway? Be who you are and love it.
5. Knowledge: I can expand my mind. I have the ability to think for myself and gain as much knowledge as I can. That is why gaining an education is so important. The ability to think is the ability to make a difference; it’s the ability to see the world in a new light and with a new understanding. It means ignorance can’t be an excuse for inaction.
6. My Body: I have the ability to run and jump and breathe and laugh and dance and live. My body was created to move and that’s what I will do with it. I will use my arms to lift others that aren’t strong, and my hands to heal heavy hearts. I will use my ears to listen and my mouth to laugh and smile and speak. I have eyes that can cry in my trials and weep with those that suffer. I have knees to pray and feet to stand for what’s right. I have heart to feel joy and sorrow and love. I have brain to learn and think. I have skin on my bones and a heart in my chest. I have the responsibility to take this gift and share it with others.
7. Freedom to believe- “Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.” –Secondhand Lions. It doesn’t matter if what a person believes is logically or politically correct as long as it makes them a better person. If something inspires you to do good, that’s all that really matters.
8. Forgiveness: everyone deserves a second change. People can change and they should be given the opportunity to prove themselves. After all, no one is perfect. The Atonement gives us the opportunity to repent and if the Lord can forgive them, then we must do so as well. I understand that people disappoint, frustrate, forget to call, show up late, break my heart, say and do the wrong thing, but that doesn’t mean they are a bad person. The Lord makes it possible for everyone to start again.
9. Tolerance: we all make mistakes. It’s possible to find something good about every person. No matter how irritating someone is, there is some good in them and if we are able to find that then we can love them the way that the Lord does. Who am I to judge anyway? Everyone has a story. Everyone has a reason for what they do and for what values they have. Unless I know what that story is or what their reasons are, I can’t pass judgment on them. Everyone deserves to be treated equally.
10. Nature: There is beauty all around us. We have been blessed to live in a world of color and evolution, change, seasons, and life. There is serenity and peace in simply existing amongst the wonderful creations of our Father in Heaven. Outside; that’s where I want to be. I just want to go camping and hiking and biking and horseback riding. I want to wear ugly old boots and a sweat stained baseball cap with a pair of khaki shorts and an ill-fitting T shirt. I want to be a part of nature. I don’t want to have to shower or wear makeup, but instead I want to sleep under the stars and wander in the wild, using a waterfall to wash my hair and wildflowers to make a crown. My blanket will be the stars and my bed a field of bluebells. I want to really feel the sun and taste the breeze. In the morning, I want the sound of the birds to awaken me and at night I want to be serenaded by an orchestra of crickets and coyotes. I dream of living off of granola bars, dried apples and jerky as I traipse through valleys and rediscover forgotten mountain trails. I just want to experience the beauty that surrounds me. Each day would be an adventure waiting to happen. There would be no rules; no boundaries, just open air and freedom. I would witness life. The simple things in life would become the important things, just like it they are supposed to be. I want to smell like a campfire and pine needles.
11. Optimism- The beauty of life is this: Life is but a sequence of moments. Some moments are fun and good and smart. Some moments are dumb. Some moments are awkward and bad and difficult, but every moment of our lives comes together to form stepping stones of our futures. Every experience we have is for growth and development no matter how awful or seemingly unimportant. Every moment shapes who we are and who we are going to be. That's why we have moments. Moments make us us. If I want to be happy I can choose to be happy.
12. Respect: treating those around us the way we want to be treated no matter the age, gender, education level, creed or beliefs. I can only learn from someone that I know respects me and that I can respect back. I need to know that they care about me. It means treating a girl like a lady and giving men the honor they deserve.
13. Hard work: Unless effort is exerted to achieve or receive nothing is learned. Hard work requires the brain and the body and it teaches a sense of self accomplishment and achievement. If it’s worth the reward then it’s worth the work. Hard work means doing things that are difficult and out of my comfort zone and finding the value in little things. It means being frugal and not taking handouts. I won’t back down. I won’t stop trying or quit. I will fight for what I want. I will keep working for what I want. If I want something I’m going to go get it no matter what.
14. Sincerity: Doing something because you want to do it, not because that is what someone or the world expects you to do. I don’t want someone to do something for me because they know that I want them to. Instead, I want them to want to do things to make me happy. Sincerity means being genuine; saying things and really meaning it. It means keep promises and being dependable and reliable. When I apologize I mean every word. I compliment people for things that I really do admire. I don’t say or do anything unless my heart is in it.
15. Independence: No one can force me to do anything. I can do things for myself. I am strong and smart and I can do things for myself. I can think, speak, and act as my own person. I don’t need anyone telling me what is trendy or popular because I was made to be different. I don’t want to fit in because I was born to stand out. I don’t want to be just another face in the crowd.
16. Humility- Humility means never making anyone feel inferior to you for what they believe or say or the way that they act or think. I’m no better than anyone else. My weaknesses are someone else’s strengths and my strengths could be their weaknesses. It means acting like a child; eager to learn and to grow, willing to accept anyone and everyone, forgiving quickly, being submissive, loving everyone.
17. Self-expression: words, art, dance, song, imagination, creativity, dreaming.
18. Hope: Things will get better. Life goes one. People forgive. There is good in this world and it’s worth fighting for. There are angels that are helping me along the way. I can change. I can repent. Tomorrow is a new day. There is a plan for me. The sun will rise.
19. Integrity- doing what is right long after the point where you want to. You do it because that is what you should do, not what is expected of you. Integrity means having character; it means being the same person in every situation.
20. Selflessness- seeking for opportunities to make another person smile, listening without interrupting, always having arms open to give a hug, brightening someone else’s day even if I can’t brighten mine. It is the ultimate expression of compassion and mercy.