Last Sunday I sat on the couch preparing for my Easter lesson on the resurrection of Christ. I teach a small class of 9 year old kids and was reading through the scriptures suggested by the manual. I read Alma 40:11-12, which I'll quote here:
Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection-- Behold, it has been made known until me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
And then it shall come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
Reading those verses reminded me of a woman I know who passed away a couple years ago. She had been sick for some time and when the end came she was prepared. Those who were with her when she died said that her last hour was one of the most spiritual experiences they had ever had. She spoke of angels and lights in the room. She was at peace, joyful even, and when her breath slowed and stopped she had a smile on her lips.
As I pondered this I wondered, if I were in her shoes this morning, would I be able to depart so peacefully?
The answer, at that moment, was no. A resoundingly loud and painful no.
I was super annoyed at Aaron for getting strep throat that week. Because, you know, he did it on purpose just to make my life hard.
For a year and a half I have been telling anyone who would listen how much I disliked being a Primary teacher at Church (Primary is the children's organization). I had expended tons of mental and physical energy complaining to myself and everyone else about how I wanted to be anywhere but there.
I had been stewing over an injustice done to a friend, even after she had made her own peace.
As I sat thinking, all these things kept piling up in my brain until finally I heard a small, quiet voice whisper
Let it go.
Three small and simple words at a time when I desperately needed the reminder. And I did it. I let go of my exhausting, stupid annoyances and grievances. And I felt so. much. better.
I immediately went to Aaron and apologized for being a jerk. I came up with some ideas for teaching my Primary class that afternoon and didn't waste mental energy on wishing I didn't have to go.* I felt such a sense of peace about my life and everything and everyone in it.
It didn't last....I had to remind myself again a few hours later. Then again when I woke up the next morning and then the day after that. But all week I focused on just letting things go and this week has been amazing. I've got an inner peace going on that makes me feel so much more relaxed and happy.
If you have something today that is tearing at your brain, wasting your time, draining your energy or weighing you down, let it go. Just for today. When you wake up tomorrow you'll probably have to do it all over again but that's ok..worry about it then. For today, for now, just let it go.
*of course, as soon as I made my peace and decided to just be happy about being a Primary teacher, I was given a new assignment with the young women.