Of two minds | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Friday, April 10, 2009

Of two minds

I have so much to talk about, yet nothing to say.

Every time I sit down to type out any of the thoughts and feelings I currently have, I feel frozen. I don't even know if there is any way to accurately portray those things through the written word, and I simply don't have the time to sit and stare at my computer screen and hope that the words start flowing. I've tried for a week, and they haven't come yet, so I assume they're just not going to.

In a nutshell, our lives right now can be summed up as confusing. I often wish I had a little more direct access to what exactly the will of the Lord is for me in my life. Like, I want an angel to come down and say, "Lara, here are your instructions. These are the choices you should make, and here's why." I don't know how well I can trust my feelings on the matter, because it is so hard to tell what is spiritual and what is self-made. I do know that I absolutely want to do the right thing, and not make a choice that the Lord won't be happy with. I also know that sometimes both choices are fine with the Lord, and it just has to be made.

Basically, we have two choices right now (sort of....one may not end up working out and solve our dilemma for us). I have really weird feelings about one of the choices. Like every time that choice has been brought up in conversation in the last month, I get inexplicably angry and I don't even want to talk about it. And the other choice is not as good in a logical sense, but I don't have strange feelings about it all. I know that the Lord often directs us in ways that don't really seem logical, so that's cool. I just don't know if I'm making the other feelings up, or if they're not even from God or what they even mean.

Besides, I probably shouldn't begin freaking out until both are a sure thing.

Anyway.

Have you ever had a stupor of thought? How did you know that's what it was? What about two choices where you only feel bad and weird about one of them, but about the other you just feel nothing?

How does all of this personal revelation even work?

I'm so confused.

36 comments :

  1. I think that often times, things are confusing for a while, and then something happens that makes the choice clear.

    Other times, it really is a leap of faith and you hope that it was the right decision.

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  2. I've struggled with this kind of thing for years, with different situations. I hope you can find some peace and answers.

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  3. I'm having a similar experience of sorts...our lives are so incredibly stressful right now; the future for our family hinges on one single thing that is totally out of our hands at this point, and my mind is so consumed with the details of it, and I don't really want to blog about it until - I have faith - the positive outcome finally happens! So I can hardly think when I sit down to write, and I end up with some very superfial stuff (well, yesterday's wasn't-but it was a letter that my son wrote, not me!) But I know that when there is a stupor of thought, that is in a very real way the holy ghost telling you that one path is not the way you should go...good luck with your confusing dilema...
    :~D

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  4. This is what I know. Every time I've had to make a choice between two things, I have either felt not much about either (which I assume means it's up to us) or I have felt VERY strongly about one, and just "meh" about the other. Note how I say "very strongly" and don't detail whether that's excited strong or dread-strong.

    We've made some decisions in our lives that were wrenching to make, but absolute blessings in retrospect....email me if you want to talk/process. Love you!!

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  5. A sister in our ward gave a talk on personal revelation and she said something very wise. She said something to the effect of, "There are stupors of thoughts and stupid of thoughts. We all know a stupor of thought means you shouldn't do it. When you have a stupid of thought, it's probably something you need to do."

    She meant "stupid of thought" as being something like going to visit someone for no reason. Seems stupid at the time, but in the end it was something that was great and you were supposed to do it.

    Hope that makes sense...

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  6. I think we all go through times like that. I am more of a "go with your gut and don't look back" kind of girl, so I don't know if that is helpful or not. I think it is easier to just make the decision and go for it and pray for a course correction if it's not right. Good luck!

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  7. Oh man. Decisions like that are so hard. I always wonder if I am following revelation or what I WANT. I'm sure you will make the right decision for you and your family. You are going about it the right way, so you can't fail. :)

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  8. Well, for me the stupor of thought tends to take me back to confused.
    HOWEVER, at this point you haven't done the "research" necessary to be at any decision. So let the research go -- and then you can be stupified. :)
    Everything will be fine.
    {yoga breathing}
    I mean -- you are in total control -- just like me over this baby. :)

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  9. Been there, Lara. Been there so many times they use my picture on the travel brochures.

    One thing I would advise praying for is the ability to let go of preconceptions about what is "acceptable" and what is "non-negotiable". Sometimes letting go of the things we thought were non-negotiable opens us up to an entire world of freedom and availability to whatever the Lord has in mind for us.

    And invariably, His imagination is better than ours.

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  10. ...and do you love what James has to say on the subject? "A double-minded man is unstable in all things."

    Ain't THAT the truth!!

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  11. Go get Elder Lund's book out on Receving personal revelation and read read read. Remember the Lord speaks to us through His word. Love you

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  12. When we decided to sell/buy house last year, there were two specific times that I felt strongly it was the right thing to do. The rest of the time I was filled with dread, worry or panic that it was sheer idiocy. I'm still trying to figure out the "how to tell if it's revelation" process, but one thing that I have learned is that it often takes some time to sort out. And sometimes you may initially feel angry about an option that is ultimately good. That probably doesn't help at all, but good luck!

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  13. I was there back in January. I just had to let go and let things fall into place. The choice I didn't really want is happening now. But, something happened I became excited about the decision, mostly because I haven't seen my husband this happy in a while. Things tend to work out the way they are supposed to. Whether it is for the best or not. They are always stepping stones to the next decision. Hope that made a little sense.

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  14. Man, this is a hard one. Stupor of thought is the number one clue that something's a no-no, but when it's a stupor of thought vs. angry feelings? I'm not sure. I'd have to think long and hard about whether those angry feelings were a warning or me resisting the correct answer and that's hard to tell for me. Good luck!

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  15. Oh I wish I could give you some wonderful advice, but the truth is that I have a terrible time making big decisions. And disecting feelings from inspiration.

    I do know that you guys will make the best decision for you family. We are praying for you and missing you this Easter weekend.

    Love you.

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  16. I think this will reveal how unspiritual I am, but I have always made decisions based on the results that I desire. After several experiences of praying and asking "What should I do? What should I do?" I learned that I just have to make the decision. I have never had a stupor of thought or a "burning in the bosom". Usually I feel nothing one way or the other and I take that to mean that whatever I choose is okay. I think the Lord can find work for his servants wherever they are and my personal feeling is that usually there is no single right thing for you to choose. (I say usually because I always hear about someone who is being specifically directed by the Lord, but it never happened to me) Whatever you decide, the Lord will provide opportunities for you to serve and also to be blessed if your desires are in accordance with the gospel. As to feeling angry/bad, I was devastated when we had to move here and I still can't wait to leave. However, I acknowledge that this was where we needed to be right now, so not feeling good about something doesn't necessarily mean it's the wrong decision. I love you and wish you the best.

    Annie

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  17. I wish I had some wise words for you. I'm sorry I don't. Because I have an area in my life that I keep going in circles with and I don't know how to get out of it. So I do not feel qualified to give out any advice. I hope you can find some answers to you questions.

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  18. Is the choice that makes you angry outside your comfort zone? Does it represent the more difficult choice? Would it be HARDER to do than the other? If so, it's likely the right one. The anger COULD be resistance to the change and challenge that would come with making the more difficult choice.

    Or not. Just consider that angle too.

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  19. Amen. I don't want to think right now, so I won't. I just hope you find your answers.

    The decision about Lana was very hard. I felt the spirit tell me that I had to let her go. I think I struggled against it for a while, but realized that that was probably my answer and I should go with it. I have had so many doubts since then, and I have to keep going back to that moment and telling myself that we're doing the right thing. I guess this is still a leap of faith.

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  20. It is so hard to make those big decisions. I know what you mean and how stressful it is. Just keep praying and hope that things will clear up a little more and you will be a little more sure of what really could happen and then hopefully you will feel good about one of the decisions. Good luck. I will be thinking about you.

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  21. Yes, I have had stupors of thought when praying about things. It doesn't always mean it is wrong--sometimes I am just phrasing the question or the phrase wrong or thinking about things from the wrong angle. However, most of the time I would say the stupor of thought is a pretty big clue. I have been struggling with the same issue---is it the spirit or is it just me being me? It's very hard sometimes to know the difference.

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  22. I agree that choices and answers to prayers can bve very confusing. Often I KNOW I'm getting the answer, but sometimes I'm unsure or feel like I haven't been helped...until I look back on it later. Other than positive answers or stupors of thought, theres a third thing that we don't like to consider, and that is time. Time is an ingredient in Heavenly Father's process, but we usually want to know immediately.
    If it's not neccasary for you to make an immediate decision, maybe you should pray for peace till the answer comes, and give it time.

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  23. Getting answers to prayers can be so frustrating and, you're right, confusing. Sometimes I think if you don't feel one way or another, it means that it's kind of up to you. I think the Lord trusts us to make decisions on our own sometimes. If you don't have a bad feeling, then it's not necessarily a bad thing . . . does that even make sense? It makes sense to me :)

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  24. But the scary thing about having an angel come is that you are REALLY held responsible. At least when we only get the occasional stupor of thought or even the burning in the bosom we can just be expected to do our best. Best of luck!

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  25. Just don't do it. No really don't do it. Think of really cold winters, you know that miserable feeling of really cold winters. Yeah that one. No I am really just kidding. Trying to throw a wrench in it. I know it is hard. It is always harder when there is not one clear "better" choice. I get it, I really do. All I can say is, Good Luck.

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  26. I am so curious right now.

    I often wonder if I'm doing something wrong in the praying for answers process because I haven't really had a really bad feeling about the options. My "answers" have come from not having a bad feeling about the option I was leaning toward. Maybe I was guided beforehand in the pondering process. I hope so.

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  27. The challenging thing is after you make a certain choice and years later you discover it was probably the wrong one and then you continue paying for it. I know there are little bits and pieces of learning and growing in those years but sheesh!!! Why does it have to be so hard? Good luck with your choices. I think there are lessons to be learned in any choice we make, good or bad. Also for me, it's hard to distinguish if it's the Spirit speaking or just my own desires.

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  28. Sorry for how difficult this has been for you. Usually once I make the actual decision, I know if it is right or not. Good luck.

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  29. I think we're a few steps behind you in a similar decision process. Except we're still in that limbo of waiting for choices—any choices—to appear. And we're bracing ourselves for the possibility that the choices might come down to a rock and hard place. But I guess all I can do is be patient, and remind myself that usually the reason things tend to turn out for the best is because a) we can't see all outcomes, and b) we adapt to what comes our way.

    Maybe when the time comes for you to finally make your decision, whatever it is, just making the decision itself will put your mind and heart at ease. Maybe it's just having that bit of control that will help you, no matter what comes next.

    I wish you all the best, no matter what.

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  30. I have been told and have experienced that when you are trying to make a decision, you go with what you feel most comfortable about and just continue going in that direction. If a bad feeling about it never happens then you did a good thing, or maybe you will go in one direction and that will be good for a time and then a new door will open up.

    Have I ever felt a stupor of thought?

    Sure, I have had times that I would pray about a couple of options and then I would feel like I have forgotten about one option all together. I am sure the feeling will feel different for many people.

    Choices are hard, right now I am trying to find a new school for Emma and David. Because Emma is getting headaches and I think it is because of the school. But it is so hard to figure out what is best for them.

    I am right there with you. Good luck. I am sure it will work out for the best.

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  31. Yes, I have had a stupor of thought. Actually I have had that a few times, but one of the best examples was when I prayed about whether I should prepare myself to go on a mission. I prayed and fasted for 3 days straight because I had this dark confused feeling about the decision. Yes, it took me three days to realize that it was a stupor of thought and I wasn't supposed to prepare to go on a mission. I was in a limbo place in my life not knowing what to do next and I had no idea why I shouldn't go. Less than a month later I met my husband and it all made sense...

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  32. I recently was trying to decide it I should keep working and Jake and I fasted and prayed, and just wasn't really feeling like I was getting an answer. In the end, we decided to go with what we thought/felt and then wait to see if there was a clear sign that it was not right. In the end, I quit and the second it happened till now I have been second guessing myself, but I have to keep telling myself that we were open to promptings from the Lord, and maybe this uncomfortable feeling after the fact is Satan just trying to make me depressed. One of my Dad's teachings that is so random but has always stuck with me is "If your not excited about it, don't do it" and I really have used that mantra a lot in huge decisions that I have made in my life. Good Luck!!

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  33. UGH! I am so sorry you're going through this. Awhile ago -- when I was pregnant with Sadie -- Dustin wanted to take another job. I was really sick about the other job and I so didn't want him to take it. He reallllly wanted to do it, so we agreed to pray and I didn't get an answer so I told him to go with what he wanted. He accepted the job, but then something totally funky happened where in the time he was suppose to start he got offered an even better job -- the job he has now -- and everything seemed to click. It's like the Lord was testing me to see how willing I was to follow Dustin when he felt strongly about something and as soon as I did, BAM! Everything worked out :D Good luck!

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  34. I live in a constant state of stupor of thought, so I always have had a hard time finding my personal revelation. I heard something at a recent Best of EFY that I thought was sound advice. The speaker said to pray and ask Heavenly Father if he loves you (of course He does, but He will always respond with a good feeling.) After you have received that warmth and confirmation from Him, then ask Him for the answer to your question (that you have already thought about and come to a conclusion, of course) if the feeling leaves then your answer is no, and if the feeling stays then your answer is yes. I haven't had an opportunity to test this out yet, but it sounded like good advice. Also, I found some notes recently that I had taken at a Stake Conference where the speaker said that personal revelation is very personal, so the feelings that may be an answer to your prayers are not necessarily the same things that someone else feels when they are having a prayer answered. Just to keep things interesting, I'm sure. :)

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  35. I would ask you this: Is the anger coming from the idea that you know its ultimately the right choice but you hate it, or is it coming from someplace inexplicable? Secondly, stupor of thought: Every time I prayed about marrying my first husband, I could not complete the prayer. The answer was always there, "no"...but I always wrote it off as being distracted, not being in tune to the spirit, too tired to pray, etc. I never admitted to myself that it was literally a stupor of thought. If you find when you pray that you can't finish the words you want so desperately for Heavenly Father to approve of, you're there, that's your stupor of thought and if you chose not to acknowledge it as such and go along with your own program, beware the consequences! (I sort of want to "LOL" here, but really, I'm quite serious, the consequences I have endured from an ill-conceived marriage to a man I was told not to marry are lifelong.) Maybe your choice is not as major as marriage, but when we go against the Lord's will, we make life quite difficult for ourselves. Search it out, do all the homework you need to do, make a choice and then pray about it. If the stupor of thought comes, pray about the other option and see what happens.

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  36. This is EXACTLY how I have been feeling lately. Problem is for us there aren't really any choices yet, only waiting. I wish you luck and thanks for your comment on my blog. Maybe we'll end up in the same small town, wherever we go....do they need a band teacher? ;)

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