Sunday, December 11, 2016

Facing The Giants

I am going to write about Facing the Giants. No, not about the movie. About our own personal "giants."

I can't speak for anyone else, but I can speak for myself. Growing up, I had many giants in my life. One of the biggest giants I had was to believe in myself. Believe that I, Laurel have self worth. That I belong and that I am loved. 

It also took me awhile to learn how to stand up for myself, because I don't like confrontation. Once, I learned how to stand up for myself, many experiences came about where I had to stand up for myself. Whether it was to stand up for my beliefs, leaving a class where they showed a really bad movie or turning down a bribe of money to say bad words. The list goes on.

There were plenty of times where I had to face giants. The biggest one out there is Satan. He is the biggest Giant of all. He is the master of lies and they are not for our own benefit. He doesn't want us to be happy. He is the one that creeps the bad self worth thoughts in everyone's minds. I have often asked myself, how do I overcome this big giant in my life? How can I show him that he will lose the fight every time? 

The main thing for me to overcome this giant is to serve others and telling them that I love them. I can't assume that they already know. That is why I tell them. I love people. 

Another way I defeat my giants is that I remind myself to hold on Laurel. The light will come. 
"When you feel trapped inside a never-ending night.
If you've forgotten how it feels to feel the light,
If you're half crazy thinking you're the only one
Who's afraid the light will never really come"
Hold on, the light will come.

I love these lyrics, because it means that you are never alone. There will always be light after darkness.

In the words of Elder Holland, "Don't you quit. You keep walking.You keep trying. Trust God and believe in good things to come."

If you ever feel like giving up, please don't. Line upon line. Precept upon precept. There are many times I feel like quitting, but then I think of my family and friends who love me. Love is always there. Love is powerful.

Lastly, find happiness. What makes you happy? 

"It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness."

Know that YOU are worth it. Your own personal giants do not define who you are. You are worth much more than that. You are special. You are loved. You are a fighter. Know that happiness is always there. It has never left your side. 

Love, Laurel





Sunday, April 10, 2016

LIVE LAUGH LOVE!!

Live Laugh Love. You may notice that these three words all start with the letter L. But it has a whole new meaning. These three words have changed my life for the better. There is a quote that involves these words. "Live every moment. Laugh often. Love beyond words." Of course this is a simple quote, but if you ponder after awhile you might figure out how it can help and change people for the better. It helped me greatly when I took that quote into action. Lets break it down.


First is LIVE. When I was younger, I thought that life wasn't important until I experienced some difficulties that caused me to get sick a lot. It was hard to bear. I thought I was alone and that nobody was understanding of what I was going through. It reached to the point where I had to ask God for help..which I should have done in the first place. This is where my biggest lesson I ever had began. I learned not to feel bad for myself. It lasted for awhile and I was just feeling miserable. Nothing was getting better with that. So after awhile, I learned to be happy of what I was going through. Not that it was desirable, but of what I may have learned from it. Trials are tough, but with the help and Love from God, it can make our trial(s) easier to endure. Living every moment has changed my life. Life is short. So I decided by doing good deeds for other people are very important and it teaches us to LIVE every moment.


Second is LAUGH. I believe that Laughter is the best medicine for anything. It creates a good time. Sometimes I can't stop laughing to which the point my ribs hurt and I can't breathe. What do you think about the word laughter? I hope its good, because its the best thing ever in my opinion. Especially when you know of someone that has an infectious laugh which makes it even better. By Laughing everyday or often, it creates a beautiful thing for life. It sure does make life easier to live and helps our trials a lot. I love laughter.


Third is LOVE. What do you think about when you hear the word Love? Some of you may think of your significant other, family, friends, or even chick flick movies. Whenever I think about love, of course I think about the sappy love there is, but I also think of loving people beyond measure no matter who they are. It changed everything for me, when this became a habit. I believe that this good habit will never leave me, because its just who I am. I love all people. Its a beautiful feeling to love them. People are my drug. I am addicted and I love to be around them which creates my love for everybody. That might sound strange, but its so true. By having love for people and wanting them to have joy in their lives is life changing. There is good to be seen in everyone. Imagine what this earth would be like if people started to spread more love to one another. I often imagine what it would be like, but until the contention is gone, I just keep smiling and say Life is full of amazing opportunities that we can be part of. Life is short so might as well make it amazing and have love towards other people no matter who they are.

Well, this is my little thought for the day. I hope you enjoyed it. Love you all!

Love, Laurel

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hi. It's Me.

Hello. It's me. Laurel. Many know of you know me as a fun, loving and caring type of person. Some of you may think I'm shy or outgoing. I love to have a good time. I like to have my own dance parties while cleaning....shh don't tell anybody. ;) I love to watch wholesome, feel-good, funny, romantic movies. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints also known as The Mormons. I served a church mission in the California San Diego mission. I wouldn't change it for the world. Here I am sitting on my bed trying to put my feelings into words. I have been through a lot lately. More like since the day I came home from my mission. I have felt love, joy, anger, lost, alone, depression, anxiety, confused, excited, happiness. The list goes on.

I like to see the good things in the world. I like to see the good things in people. Doesn't matter our differences, there are always good things to be seen.

 There has been a lot of self discovery. Who Am I? Are these feelings true? What is my purpose here? Do I have a purpose anymore? Depression and Anxiety, is that you creeping into my mind making me think of these things?

There were many days and nights where I felt I wasn't worthy of being loved, because of what I have been discovering over the course of time. It has been a hard couple of years. Now you are probably wondering what is Laurel talking about. Yes, It's Same-Gender Attraction.

Being terrified is an understatement. I was praying that these feelings would go away. Countless times. I fell into a deep depressing and anxious state. I feared many things. I told myself, I can't tell anybody in fear that I would be rejected, yelled at, persecuted, or even shunned. I felt that I wasn't worthy of any kind of love. Not from my friends or my family. When my friends and family told me that they loved me, I always thought "I am not worthy to be loved. You don't fully know me." I kept this secret for a very long time..

It's rough. Nobody knows what it is like unless you experience it yourself. There were times where I was literally so close to committing suicide, because I felt there was no way out. Luckily I have good friends and family who show me my value and talk me out of it. Yes, there are some good days and some bad days.

I still have fears with being gay. I have a choice to make with my fears. Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. I have chosen that I am done running away from everything. I need to face everything and rise. It's not going to be easy. I am thankful to Heavenly Father for I have felt His love in my darkest hours trying to process everything that has been taken place.

In conclusion, I hope and pray that me breaking this to you doesn't change anything between us. I am the same loving person you have known. I wrote this so I am honest with myself and with you. If you want to talk about anything, please message me privately. Before you jump to any conclusions, just ask. Assuming is not good for anybody these days. Am I right? ;) Please be kind.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Knowing

Knowing. It is more than the phrase, "I think." I like to share things that I Know.

I know that every trial is sent to us to make us stronger. It may seem that trials come one after another, but It will be OK in the end.


I know that life is full of amazing opportunities. Partake of them.

I know that the Lord wants us to love all people. I'm grateful that I learned how to do that. :)

I know that our families are perfect fit for us.

I know that I was made compassionate for many reasons. I'm grateful for this.

I know that I love people with all my heart and it will never change.

I know that befriending people is worth a shot. You never know who you might meet.

I know that living each day to the fullest is the way I am supposed to live. For I don't know what tomorrow brings.

I know that a smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

I know that families can be together forever. It is a comforting feeling to know that.

I know that God and Jesus Christ loves us and knows what is best for us in our lives.

I know that music is what brings people from different walks of life together.

I know that I can't please everybody, but its ok. There is opposition in all things right?

I know that my brothers and sisters are perfect fit for me. I can't get enough of them.

I know that my parents love me.

I know that my friends accept me even though I have a upbeat "crazy" personality...lol.

I know that all of you are amazing and wonderful.

I know that laughter is the best medicine for anything.


I know that judging a book by its cover won't get you anywhere.


I know nature is a way that God tells us He is there for us.

I know that our loved ones are always there for us.

I know that LIVE LAUGH LOVE has a lot of meaning to me.

I know it is important to tell people that you love them

I know that I love all of you!


Love, Laurel

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My Invisible Illness



You are probably wondering what I am going to write about. Just to get it out of the way, I don't want any sympathy. This subject has been on my mind for awhile. I felt I should write about it with high hopes it helps at least 1 person out there. Here we go.

I titled this blog, "My Invisible Illness," because I want to talk about my invisible illness. Now you may have some idea what I am talking about. Yes, I am going to talk about my anxiety and depression and what I learned throughout my journey since I've been diagnosed.

I want to say it was my 2nd year in college at BYU-Idaho. As I look back, I started to lose interest in everything I was interested in. I didn't like school. I wasn't motivated. I wasn't social like I used to be. I was VERY dependent on others. I didn't realize this all until I was told of how my body language was. On my off-track, my family suggested I get evaluated. I agreed.

When I was told I have anxiety and depression, I fell apart. I thought that my world was turning and that I was weak. For the longest time, I looked at anxiety and depression as a weakness. I felt that all my strength was gone. There were and are days where I wake up in the morning not wanting to do anything. My anxiety makes me feel really sick time to time. But no one knows that unless I make it known. I look fine on the outside, but in reality, my anxiety likes to hide.

As time went on, I tried many different medications to see what would work best for me. My life was like a roller coaster for quite awhile. By the time I went back to school, I was still new to this. My motivation was still gone in my school work. It got me into trouble with my grades. It came to a point where my BYU-Idaho days were over before I graduated. (No I didn't get kicked out).

I was then trying to figure out where I can finish my schooling. Was it going to be Utah State University or Utah Valley University? Nothing seemed like anything was falling into place. Then long story short, I got the answer to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was very overwhelming, because I knew I needed/wanted to serve. My anxiety kicked in when hearing how hard and mental taxing missions can be. I got called to the California San Diego Mission. I was excited to return to my "home" state.

Between the time of receiving my mission call and entering the Missionary Training Center on September 19, 2012, I got lots of help from my therapist in preparation of dealing and coping with my anxieties and depression on the mission. I felt I was prepared for what was ahead. I was ready to go.

I was set to be in the MTC for 3 weeks. But they had me stay an extra week due to getting sick. That really sky-rocketed my anxieties. I had no medication with me at the time. I got to San Diego around mid October. My anxiety and depression got worse. I felt that I was a failure. I felt sick all the time. I got sent home 5 weeks later from when I got to San Diego.

I was home for 6 months to get on medication and more help from my therapist. I felt better than ever. I went back to San Diego to finish my mission. I had 16 months more to serve. Things were going so well. I was happy. Miracles were happening. Then I noticed things were starting to fall apart about 1 1/2 months after returning to the mission. My anxiety was getting worse. I didn't know why. I didn't notice any triggers. It was just there. I went home again from the mission after being there 3 months.

When I got home, I felt I was at the bottom of the pit. I was told in a blessing that I served all the time The Lord needed me to. It took me 1 full year to not feel guilty about not finishing my mission like I thought I would. Then, I learned a valuable lesson.

Anxiety and depression doesn't define who you are. Don't let it take over your life. I let it take over mine for awhile and it wasn't very pleasant. It doesn't make you weak. I learned it is all about our attitudes towards it. Let me show you. Since the letter "A" is the first letter in the alphabet, I will put a 1 next to it. Now where does the letter "T" fall in the alphabet? Do it for the rest of the letters.

A: 1
T: 20
T: 20
I: 9
T: 20
U: 21
D: 4
E: 5
________
    100%

As you can see, all the numbers add up to 100. Attitude is everything. I have learned that it helps to strive to be positive while having anxiety/depression. Some days are harder than others. Would I change having anxiety/depression? No. Why you might ask? Because it has helped me be the person I am today. It builds character. It gives me the opportunity to help others who may battle with the same thing. It helped me have more compassion and love towards everyone. That is just who I am. I wouldn't change all the hard times I went through. 

For those that might be reading this, know that you are loved and not alone. You are never alone. If you feel that you need help, allow others to help you. It will get better. You are strong. You are a fighter. Keep fighting.  Always remember that.

Love,

Laurel

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Love and Happiness

A dear friend of mine taught me many things in life. The thing that she taught me most was that I am loved. I didn't believe her at first. I felt inadequate in many ways. As soon as I realized I had my guard up, I had to find a way to put it down. I had to humble myself and believe that I am loved by my family, friends, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I want to pass on the love to whoever is reading this.

You my friend are loved. Many people care about you. You are smart, beautiful, talented, and fun to be around. You are worth it. Whenever you feel alone, there is always our loving Heavenly Father that is near you that will carry your load. There are always people around you that care about you and want to help. They will listen and help you in any way they can if you let them.

What do you think about when you hear the word Love? Some of you may think of your significant other, family, friends, or even chick flick movies. Whenever I think about this word, I think of loving people beyond measure no matter who they are whether I have met them or not. It changed everything for me, when this became a habit. I believe that this good habit will never leave me because its just who I am. I love all people. Its a beautiful feeling to love them because everybody is a Child of God. People are my drug. I am addicted and I love to be around them which creates my love for everybody in the world. That might sound strange, but its so true. Imagine what this earth would be like, if people started to spread more love to one another. I often imagine what it would be like, but until the contention is gone, I just keep smiling and say Life is full of amazing opportunities that we can be part of.  Life is short so might as well make it good and have love towards other people.

Next, I want to talk about happiness. I finally realized what true happiness really means. True happiness comes from serving those around you. Putting others before yourself. "Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness." Being happy is something we all have to learn. It's a learning process.

"The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being."

Also, I  believe the first step to be truely happy is to first be happy with ourselves. I find it sad that some people are not happy with who they are and that they don't realize how much great worth they are. Yes, I will admit that I had a tough time for awhile being happy with myself. With the help with many people, they helped me realize that it is important to be happy with myself. 

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time,

"Happiness uplifts you.
Happiness fills your heart, your mind, and your soul
 Happiness gives you the strength you need
Happiness is a great feeling that
Enters your mind
Happiness takes the sorrow away
 Happiness fills you life with joy
Happiness makes you feel happy, excited,
And thrilled
 Happiness warms your heart
It gives you a sense of relief
 Happiness welcomes you
 Happiness can be seen by a smile
And in your eyes
Twinkling with shine
 Happiness is a very beautiful feeling
Which allows you to enjoy
Every day to the fullest"

Until next time,

Laurel



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happiness is...

Happiness is...

Seeing my youngest brother be the fan of the game at a Volleyball match.
Meeting new people and befriending them.
Going to sporting events/Playing the sports I love
Flowers of all kind
Seeing the first snow of the season on the mountain top
Seeing couples so happy around each other.
The ocean and how peaceful it really can be.
Long walks on the beach or hiking
Stopping and thinking of how I am truly blessed with everything I have
The love I feel from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
Watching the sunrise/sunset over the valley/ocean and reflecting on life.
Giving and receiving hugs
Laughing endlessly with my family.
Having a place to live
Finding joy in my journey through life.
Learning from inspired people
Smiling at strangers
Dancing in the rain
Snowball fights
Building igloos/Making Snow Angels
Filling the adrenaline rush from Roller Coasters. I love Six Flags.
Talking with friends and just listening to them
Accomplishing my goals
Funny jokes
Phones: So that we may talk with loved ones who live far away
Living each day to the fullest.
Loving and accepting people beyond measure!

*I can go on and on for days, but I won't. What brings you happiness?

Live, Laugh Love



Sunday, November 10, 2013

God's Will For Me

So, I was called to the California San Diego Mission. I am so grateful I got to serve there. I was healthy up until a week into the MTC. I entered September 19, 2012. I had coughing attacks and a really bad cold. In fact, I left 1 week later to San Diego than everybody else did. I was a mess. I wasn't happy to stay an extra week. The Lord knew I would, but I was asking why. Why do I have to stay? Of course I was sick, but in God's will, he has sent me to help a district that was struggling. Talk about a very humbling experience.

 Having been sick in the MTC caused my anxiety to go on full force. I did the best I can to be the missionary that would make Heavenly Father proud. My anxiety caused my body to just ache and not feel good 24/7. I went to the doctor's and that kinda helped. A month later into the mission field, I was on a conference call with my doctor back home, my parents and my Mission President. I was very hesitant to be on the phone fearing what would happen. Would I be sent home? Would this be it?

I had many miracles with my 2 trainers that confirmed that I needed to stick it out and continue in the mission field. Sister Hudson and Sister Riggs really cared for me. I was happy that I got an answer that I needed to stay. Then about a week later, anxiety got the best of me. I prayed about whether I should stay or not. I got the answer I needed to go home and get on meds so I can be the missionary that Heavenly Father sent me out to do. So I went home on November 12, 2012. 

It was quite the transition. I felt pain and sorrow when I had to take off my badge. I was afraid of people questioning why I was home. I felt like I was a failure up until I realized that Heavenly Father doesn't send us to fail. I had the 100% desire to return to my mission. I knew I wasn't done. So I thought to myself, "What can I do to keep that desire there?" First off, instead of going to the singles ward, I ended up being in my home family ward. Then the 2nd day I was home, I got called to be a youth Sunday School teacher. I was so grateful. Then I got to spend two 12 hour days with the sister missionaries here in Logan, UT. Biggest blessing was that I was called to be a temple ordinance worker twice a week. I loved it so much. That alone has strengthened my testimony. There was a tough patch when I was home. I just got comfortable staying home and was thinking of going back to school. Every time I thought of school, I had a sick feeling to my stomach. So I knew at that point I needed to go back on a mission.

6 months has passed! Guess what, I got better and returned to my own mission. Boy was I thrilled. I made it through the hardest 6 months of my life. So I went back and saw missionaries that I served with. The reunion with Sister Riggs was one that I will never forget. Pure happiness. So I got two more companions. Sister Brown and Sister Bishop. I love them so much. They knew how to make me laugh and smile. They are heaven sent. I was finally feeling that I was the missionary that I was meant to be. Then about a month passed and my anxiety was starting to come back. I couldn't focus on the studies. I couldn't stay awake. I couldn't even stay asleep at nights. It was a real downer. Not going to lie on that one. I just went on. I made it through 2 transfers before I felt that something wasn't right. Little did I know the P-Day at Sunset Cliffs was going to be my last. We went there to say goodbye to other missionaries. Little did I know, I would be one of those. The weekend before I left, I felt impressed to call President Clayton. He had an impression that something was wrong too. I told him of what was going on then we came to conclusion that I my mission was done. I found out the next Monday that I was to leave on Tuesday. I held it together until I was at the airport to say goodbye to President Clayton and Sister Clayton. I lost it. I cried my eyes out. I was just heart broken and confused. I never thought I was going to be sent home at all in the first place let alone twice.

When I was released, my Stake President gave me a blessing and said that I accomplished everything that Heavenly Father has sent me forth to do. I was just thankful to hear that. When I got home, I said a prayer prior to take off my badge for the last time. I never felt so much peace, love and comfort from Heavenly Father. It is the feeling I will never forget. I accept that it is the Lord's will for me to be home right now. I am so humbled that the Lord truly knows our path in this life and what we need to accomplish to build up His Kingdom. As we come to accept the Lord's will for us, it will soon be our own will as well. That's when the puzzle is complete. As I look back at the trials and good times on my mission, I wouldn't change a thing. I am grateful for everything that happened. Heavenly Father knows us all and ways to become the sons or daughters of God we are meant to become.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Enjoy! My life in a very small nutshell.

Promise to not lie or erase any of these questions?Yes
Don’t tell me lies, so where’s your significant other?Don't have one
Last thing to disappoint you? I rarely get disappointed or mad
Think back to June. Do you remember who you liked? No
Do you still like that person?N/A
What do you do when you have a bad day?Listen to music
Do you care what people think about you?Nope, not really
Is it usually easy for someone to make you smile?YES
Are you planning on going to college? In the process of transferring
Are your friends just like you?Not exactly like me
Would you ever get a tattoo?Hmmm, better not. Don't like needles.
Spell your name without an A:Lurel
Do you like hugs?I love hugs
What are you listening to?The Vacuum
Has anybody ever told you that you have pretty eyes? Yes they have 
Anything you’re avoiding?No
Last time you were truly upset? Don't get upset often
Does everyone deserve a second chance?It depends on the situation
Honestly, do you hate the last boy you were talking to?No, I love my Popsy
Are you emotionally strong? Does not crying in movies or tv shows count?
Do you act differently around the person you like? No, just being myself
Are you one of those people who hate crying in front of others?Yeah
How would your parents react if you got a tattoo?They wouldn't be happy
Why did your parents last yell at you?I don't remember
Do you believe that there are certain circumstances where cheating is okay?No
Are you lying to yourself about something?No
Have you ever kissed someone with the first initial K?Nope
Are you happier now or three months ago?About the same! Life is good.
Can you have more than one best friend?Yeah
How many pairs of Converse do you own? None
What is the last non-alcoholic beverage you had?Milk
Do you have a bestfriend?I have several close friends.
Why are you happy?Because life is grand.
Have you ever gotten a 100 in a class?No
How’s your heart lately?Pretty good
If someone told you they’re interested in you right now, what would you say?It depends on who it is
Do you follow your head or your heart?Both mainly my heart then my mind
When was the last time you cried? I don't remember
Do you think the last person you kissed is amazing?Never been kissed...yup
If you could have one wish right now, what would that be? Go to San Diego and surf.
Your plans for tomorrow?Watch Conference
What's your midde name?Rose
Do you prefer Italian or Ranch salad dressing?Italian
Do you have an ex?Yes
Still miss them? No
Last time you saw snow?The other day
Who was the last person you were under a blanket with? My sister, slumber party
Do you like to cuddle?Yes
Do you like your life as of now?Love it
What were you doing 20 minutes ago?Filling this thing out.
Did you kiss or hug anyone today?Yes, hugged my lil brothers
What color is your hair?Brown with some highlights
Whats the last movie you watched?Some hallmark chick flick

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Be True To Who You Are

Many people these days are hesitant and scared to be true to themselves. Some of the reasons may vary. They want to fit in with a certain group or they may be afraid that they may be judged.

You are created to be yourself. Not anybody else. You are the best person that can be yourself. You have 2 choices. You can either be the worst of somebody else or you can be the best you. Which one would you choose?

People just ask you to be true to yourself. Regardless of your lifestyle, religion, personality, your goals etc... They love you for being you. By showing your true self may be the answer to somebody's prayers. You have the talents and gifts that can help people here on earth. That is why you are so important. You are worth it. Don't let people have you think otherwise. Keep smiling, keep shining and be true to who you are.

Since I love music so much, here are lyrics to one of my favorite songs. This pretty much sums up everything.

Who You Are by Jessie J.

I stare at my reflection in the mirror
Why am I doing this to myself?
Losing my mind on a tiny error
I nearly left the real me on the shelf
No, no, no, no, no,no

Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing
It's okay not to be okay
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart

Tears don't mean you're losing
Everybody's bruising
Just be true to who you are

Who you are, who you are, who you are
Who you are, who you are, who you are
Who you are, who you are, who you are

Brushing my hair, do I look perfect?
I forgot what to do to fit the mold, yeah
The more I try the less it's working, yeah, yeah, yeah
'Cause everything inside me screams
No, no, no, no, no

Don't lose it all in the blur of the stars
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing
It's okay not to be okay
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart
But tears don't mean you're losing
Everybody's bruising
There's nothing wrong with who you are

Yes, no's, egos, fake shows like whoa
Just go and leave me alone
Real talk, real life, good luck, good night
With a smile, that's my home, that's my home, no
No, no, no, no, no

Don't lose who you are all in the blur of the stars
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing
It's okay not to be okay
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart
Tears don't mean you're losing
Everybody's bruising
Just be true to who you are
Yeah, yeah, yeah