DEPRESSION, BIPOLAR & ANXIETY - LIVING AS A LATTER-DAY SAINT, LDS

Episode #215 - I Don't Know. And It's OK

February 11, 2024 Damon Socha Season 1 Episode 215
DEPRESSION, BIPOLAR & ANXIETY - LIVING AS A LATTER-DAY SAINT, LDS
Episode #215 - I Don't Know. And It's OK
Show Notes Transcript

"I Don't Know. And It's Ok" I one of the most difficult lessons we learn in this life.

Episode #215 – I Don’t Know.  I am your host Damon Socha.  

Those simple words are probably the most important words I have learned over the years I have suffered with autoimmune and mental health issues.  Our mind and even our heart are geared towards having answers.  I personally think that this stems from our previous life.  We had great knowledge at one time.  We had answers.  We knew what was and still is true.  We feel those unanswered questions deeply in our soul as if our heart was screaming there is an answer, I can feel it.  I simply cannot remember it.  And so when the difficult questions arise and we are wondering why.  Our souls yearn for home.  That celestial home we left behind.

One of the great problems of mortality is the veil.  We were once sentient beings with great knowledge.  We understood truth, morality, integrity and love.  We understood that mortality was to be our proving grounds but we had never experienced the veil over our minds.  We did not fully understand what would occur.  Mortality had to be experienced.  The veil had to be part of that experience.  If we had come to earth with the knowledge we had, fully aware of who we were, and what we had done and then come face to face with the weaknesses, complexities, and mortal natural man urges, very few of us would have returned.  With full knowledge, mercy becomes far less able to save.  That veil allows for great mercy to be in our lives.  Yes it is frustrating but it is a saving grace when it comes to learning about physical bodies and the natural man.  We needed the veil to allow for learning and growth.  We needed to have limited access to certain parts of our knowledge.

No the veil does not take everything from us.  We still have our personalities, our feelings, our desires from our previous life.  We have core emotions and core beliefs that simply could not be veiled.   They had become such a part of us, to veil them would be to entirely veil who we are.  And that would not be just.  No test could have occurred if our Father removed everything from us.  What would he be testing?  Our Father and Savior are testing something and it can only be who we became from the premortal life.  This also allows us to put aside memories and concerns that may have hindered our progression.  In some senses we became clean, innocent clay from which to mold.  The Lord could strip down what we had become to the core elements of the clay and work with what we gave him to create something greater.

I can’t personally think of a greater difficulty than to ask God why and not have that question fully answered.  It can feel as though he does not have an answer.  Which we know isn’t true but when your mind seeks for solutions and answers and the answer comes back have faith and trust, the mind, the mortal mind is not satisfied.  We want to know how our illness provides for our salvation.  We want to know when it will end.  We desire to see the path in its entirety.  We are not interested in knowing that a path exists.  For our minds, that is not good enough.  We need to see that path.  Understand the why and where we are headed.  We need answers that make sense and provide for solutions.  That is the natural man.  That natural man does not want to rely upon anyone but himself or herself.  He wants God to reveal himself, give him answers to his questions and then provide for solutions.  The natural man wants full control over his destiny even when he walks it with God.  It is the natural man that demands answers and to know fully why bad things happen to make the innocent suffer. 

The natural man says what I see is not just.  What I feel is not peace.  How can God allow for this to happen?  Yet the natural man sees only with his mortal eyes that have very limited vision.  The natural man fully believes that there exists no value in suffering or pain.  The natural man only sees what is in front of him and can only interpret what is happening by his own limited experience.  The natural man never wants to say, I don’t know.  And most certainly would not say and that is OK.

So how do we get beyond this stage of natural tendencies.  How do we confidently say I don’t know and that is OK?  Interestingly enough, it takes practice and humbling our natural man desires.  Humility does not seem to be a natural tendency of any person.  While I am certain many good people learned humility before this earth, the natural tendencies of the mortal body causes humility to be a very difficult exercise.  Our natural survival instinct causes us to question why.  Causes us to deeply desire security and protection.  When we see bad things occur and when they occur in our lives, that instinct rushes forward and says we must do something or we will be unprotected.  This then leads to our justice bone and so often justice bone to blood revenge and equal punishment.  It is not so much that we desire another to hurt as we do.  We desire that punishment to assure ourselves that we are providing protection and security.  We have a natural feeling that justice must be served for our lives to continue in perceived security.  If the innocent suffer and the perpetrator goes free, we lose some of that security and protection in our minds.  Needless to say we have deep rivers of protective instinct and desires.   

When we don’t know answers to our questions, a feeling of insecurity can and does arise.  To say that we don’t know why, we don’t see the reason, we can find the answer is to tell our mortal natural man that he is vulnerable.  That is against our natural instincts and desires.  And yet we see that it is one of the great lessons of mortality.  To be able to live with unknowns and questions and to be OK with it.

The only way that occurs is trust in a Savior.  And not simple trust that he is watching but that he does have a perfectly good answer and we don’t need to know it.  Trust fills in the gap between what we know and what we do not.  What we can see and what we cannot.  This feeling of trust and security is actually what we call humility.  It allows us or better said affords us the ability to full know that the answers exist, that the Lord knows the answer and that even if he does not give us any answer that he will continue to guide us on our path.  When we give ourselves over to the Lord and can truthfully said, I don’t know but the Lord does and that is OK.  At this point we are actually humble enough to learn knowledge and understand the why.  We can then be led to knowledge when and where the Lord decides to give it.  If we are willing to say I don’t know, we can be molded in the image the Lord desires.   When we are molded in the hands of the maker, we overcome that natural man feeling of insecurity.  When we add “but it’s OK” to our “I don’t know”, we evoke trust and learn faith.  The depth of our relationship with the Savior and the Father is found in that simple statement “but it’s Ok”.  The deeper we feel and know that everything will be OK, the more bound we are to the Savior.

I am going to be a little more personal than I normally am in these podcasts.  I have been going through significant difficulties with my autoimmune and mental health over the last two years.  I have been suffering debilitating pain and lengthy depressions.  I have been doing my part.  Keeping to my medications and managing my illness to the best of my ability.  I have been doing everything I felt I needed to have my suffering removed for a time.  Meaning I have been doing what I should to find some healing in my life.  I have asked and pleaded and maybe begged that my illnesses could be removed at least for a time.  I have been struggling at work, church and at home.  I barely have the energy and ability I need to get through my works days and that has caused home and church to be left with very little.  I have been so restricted and in so much pain that for the most part I rest during the weekends and just try to heal enough to survive another week at work.  This has been very taxing for my wife, children and my church calling.  I never feel that I have enough to give to even fulfill the minimal responsibilities.  I thought certainly the Lord would heal me enough so that I can at the very least work and provide for the emotional and spiritual needs of my family and ward.  And yet answers have been very limited, the healing has not come and I have felt defeated.  This morning my wife needed a blessing as she has been suffering as well, because of her personal battle and mine, and my inability to provide much support emotionally or even physically as my pain is so severe that I can’t handle touch for any real length of time.

I had hoped for some healing through the blessing.  That maybe some type of relief would be on the horizon.  The Lord gave her a wonderful blessing strengthening her and provide some needed relief but during that blessing the Lord was clear to me that my suffering was not to end.  He could make up the difference.  For me there would be no end in sight of my personal trials.  I was to keep on, keeping on.

When we come to those points in life, we can throw up our hands and ask why.  We can lay out the things we have been doing, how good we have been in a sense and why we deserve to be healed.  Or we can say “I don’t know, and it’s OK”.  I think for me learning to trust the Lord fully has been the Abrahamic test of my life.  Being able to say to myself I am good with not knowing the why.  This doesn’t mean I stop trying to understand the whys of my life.  It just means that when the answer doesn’t come or the answer is not what was hoped, I can say to myself.  I don’t know.  I don’t understand.  But it’s ok.

So here we stand with an illness we do not comprehend.  We don’t know the answer or at least fully know the answer individualized to us.  And that needs to be OK.  It doesn’t mean we give up on our medications or our routines, it means we trust the Lord.

The one thing I have learned about trusting the Lord is that he always comes through.  It is not always in the way that I expect or desire but he does come through.  I have over just the last couple of years come to fully trust his judgment, timing and his guidance.  It has brought me a peace I can’t describe and knowledge I can’t explain.  I hope that you find this knowledge in your own life.  May the Lord bless you and keep you safely in his arms.  Until next week do you part so that the Lord can do his.