Today, I woke up with a thick husk of anxiety around my heart. I tried prayer; I tried positive self-talk; I tried deep, relaxing breaths. It wouldn't budge. Life and I were simply not friends.
And not only did life bother me today, but it bothered me that life was bothering me, if that makes sense. Previously this week, I had been gloriously content with my theoretically crummy life. Not today though. By early afternoon I was ready to just to go home and detox, away from outside demands, and figure out what on earth was wrong with me.
I thought about it all day. Now it's bedtime, and I can only think of one potential cause for today's funk.
Last night, Danielle and I watched The Producers. I laugh so hard at some parts of that movie, but the essential message of the movie is that it's OK to be a schmuck. It makes poor moral choices look fun, dramatic, and generally preferable to more correct behavior. According to Article of Faith #13, it just plain falls short. And knowing that, I watched it anyway.
But, come on, isn't it a little melodramatic to blame today's funk on that? Could a choice that simple really make such an impact on my day? Could choosing 2 hours of semi-crass entertainment actually affect my attitude toward every other aspect of my life?
It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense...but I think the answer is yes.
Gut reaction? "But it shouldn't work like that! It shouldn't be that big of a deal! Ugh, how ridiculous." Ordinarily I'd explain away that reaction, thinking it's only a big deal for me, that somehow I'm the exception. That I need a thicker skin so I can decide to watch a movie like that AND still keep the Spirit. But I don't think that's right either. There's a universal truth in play here, I think:
Yes, the Spirit is sensitive. But we are so much better with Him than without.
Because frankly, it's not even about the movie. It's about the choice, and I need to choose to make the gospel the dominant influence in my life. The Spirit pushes out discouragement and distress, but when I push out the Spirit, for whatever reason, those negative, distracting feelings are sure to follow. So I will try to believe that the renewed influence of the Spirit follows repentance just as surely...I will try not to get too discouraged. I will try to remember that the Atonement makes everything, including me, turn out OK in the end.