This is a topic I have been thinking about a lot this week. Last Sunday, I watched the LDS movie "17 Miracles" with my family. It was such an amazing story about the hand cart pioneers and all that they endured. It was a great example of faith, hope, courage, strength, and love. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried my eyes out. I am pretty sure I heard a sniffle come from my dad too. The part that touched me the most was the love story of George and Sarah. They were an engaged couple that was traveling together to the Salt Lake Valley so that they could be sealed together. Sarah got sick and George gave Sarah his meal portions so that she would get better faster. He had to have been so hungry, but sacrificed for the woman he loved. She did get better and then later on George was one of the men who helped carry the weak and the sick on his back across the freezing cold river. George got sick and was not able to recover and died near Martin's Cove. In the movie, it shows him dying and Sarah finds a love letter that George had written to her. It is one of the most beautiful love letters I have ever heard. I don't know if the letter is true or part of the script, but it touched me deeply. George never got to marry his love on this earth, but President Faust was so touched by their love story that he allowed for them to sealed in the Temple in 1997 despite the fact that Sarah later married someone else when she got to the Salt Lake Valley. I think we can all safely say that we all want our own George or our own Sarah. To have a love so deep that you would sacrifice and risk your own possible death for the one you love. I thought about this and wondered if I have ever had this in my life. I can honestly say I have deeply loved in my life and would have sacrificed my own life for love. I am just not sure anyone would do that for me. I want that though. I want to be someone's everything. Maybe one day I will get that. I am grateful for the wonderful examples of true love that are all around me.
Today is a particularly difficult day for me and has been for five years now. It never gets easier. I always feel the pain. I wish I didn't. Many people always talk about hindsight and it is so true. You learn a lot from your mistakes, unfortunately you wish it wouldn't cost you so much. You learn a lot from past relationships and you hope that one day they are going to not repeat your mistakes.
On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, I attended the annual Utah Hospice conference. It was a great conference and I learned a lot. The keynote speaker on the final day made me think a lot about people and relationships. The speaker was a man named, Matt Townsend. He is a relationship and communications coach. He has a book titled "Starved Stuff: Feeding the 7 Basic Needs of Healthy Relationships". He talked a lot about these 7 Basic Needs that we all have. They are: Safety, Trust, Appreciation, Respect, Validation, Encouragement, and Dedication. If someone isn't feeling all of these things in a relationship then they are "starved". As a result, starved people begin to starve the people closest to them. They become more selfish, reactive, hopeless, and more polarizing. They negatively interpret more and are more likely to abandon a relationship. As he talked about these things, I started to realize there were too many times so far in my life that I have starved people that I love. I think we all do it, but when you have that "aha" moment and realize you are at fault, it can sometimes be a hard thing to swallow. I hope I can one day be forgiven by these people and that somehow through forgiveness and God's tender mercy I can be someone who feeds rather than starves. Someone who loves without end and someone who like George in "17 Miracles" gladly sacrifices my portion of "food" to feed the love in my life.