Halloween: a day where people dress up in costume to be someone they are not, or maybe to show the world who they really are or long to be. As I spent the drive to work this morning pondering this phenomenon, my mind raced to thoughts of who I am.
The expectations on me as a child and young man were great, and I often felt overwhelmed as a result of them. I remember many times being told by my family, teachers, religious leaders, and neighbors that I would do great things in life. I expected this of myself as I had heard this my entire life. As I graduated from High School and then left to serve a mission for my church, I felt the overwhelming weight of the world on my shoulders as these expectations had hit a fever pitch.
There is nothing quite like it in the world of letting down those whose expectations are so incredibly high. Through personal choices, circumstances beyond my control and the choices of others my life has been quite different from what everyone else envisioned for me, and who and what I was to become. I find it amazing how people will place incredibly high expectations on another persons life and then abandon them in times of need, despair and discouragement. It has taken me a lifetime of dealing with the disappointments of others because my life had not turned out how they wanted it to and the accompanying reactions that went with it.
So that brings me back to who I am now. I am a son of God. I am deeply in love with my beloved Wife, I absolutely adore my children. I am a devoted husband, father, brother, son, uncle, cousin. I have been very successful in my careers and I do my best to serve others and help my community. I am extremely happy with every aspect of my life, for which I have control over. I feel confident that I can overcome anything in life, because my life, the life that I have been given that upset so many other people along the way for letting them down, has created strength in me, an inner peace, that not many understand, nor recognize. It is a quiet strength within me, a certain and unshakeable knowledge in who I am, and what my deep potential in life is. This potential has nothing to do with what others desire, it has everything to do with what my Heavenly Father desires.
There were many discouraging, hurtful and frustrating challenges that I faced with others opinions of who and what I should be and what my life should be. It was upon overcoming the obstacles that they placed in front of me that I was able rid myself of the chains they placed upon me and become more than they could ever have imagined.
This certain and complete knowledge provides untold strength that resonates deep within my soul, strength I know that will keep my feet firmly planted on solid ground, regardless of what life may bring.
I have learned, just as every sunset brings us closer to a new dawn, every challenge overcome brings us closer to the Son.