Growing up I had two beautiful golden labs. We had a trampoline in my backyard and after a while of playing with my dogs I realized they were terrified of the trampoline. Dogs are colorblind and so to them the trampoline appeared as a big black hole. Little did they know the trampoline wasn’t a hole but a material that could support them. I physically had to pick my dogs up and carry them onto the trampoline repeatedly until they were comfortable with the idea of walking on the trampoline. Because of a difference in perception, my dogs were extremely fearful.
PERCEPTION is a powerful force in our world but it is NOT reality. Consequently then, SELF-PERCEPTION becomes one of the most powerful forces in our personal lives for good or for bad. It is all within your own control.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change” Dr. Wayne Dyer
Is your own self-perception a pessimistic or an idealistic picture? What is the reality and truth about what is inside of you? I see nothing wrong with seeing yourself as your ideal self because those ideals are inside of you waiting to come out. Inside your core is your best self screaming to be released. You have to see yourself as your best self before you can become your best self so you might as well assume that it is going to happen.
If you do not know who you are then looking in the mirror can become a very frightful experience. Why?
Because what men and women fear most is the thought of the unknown. Take a moment to think about the truth of this statement. Doing something we have never done before is always a little nerve-racking no matter what it is. Going to a foreign country where we don’t know the people or language could also be daunting. A parent may worry about a child who is away doing their own thing more than if they still live at home…One of my worst nightmares is to be dropt off and left alone in the middle of the ocean without any land in sight. Which way do you swim? Will a huge whale or shark come up underneath me and eat me? Will huge waves swell and drown me? The endless possibilities of what could happen are enough to make anyone shutter. When you don’t know yourself or where you are headed this same fear of the unknown becomes some peoples living reality each day when they look themselves in the mirror. They don’t even know the person staring back at them.
Fear creeps into every other aspect of our lives because you don’t even trust yourself. This can be a rock-bottom eye opening and life changing experience. Reminds me of the lyrics to Michael Jackson’s hit 80s song, “Man in the Mirror..”
I’m Starting With The Man In
I’m Asking Him To Change
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change
The quest for self discovery is not an easy one. There are people around us who want to tell us who we are and what we stand for. If you have been told by enough people and enough times that you are this or that then you may actually start to believe it and fit into that picture that everyone else has painted for you.
It takes real courage to discover who you really are and stay true to that core in today’s world. Real courage exists only where fear is also existing…without fear there would be no courage. When you are asking yourself, Who am I? It is an open-ended question and can be very scary. Some choose to turn outward to the world, media, friends, family even and other people to tell them who to be. There is a problem with this approach because others do not know you like you do. They have not lived your life. Their ideas of who you should be are always changing and there is no real stability. It is all from their point of view which is jaded at a distorted angle because it is not your same view. A person loses self-identity as they bounce from person to person in relationships, job to job without real meaning, or from one latest fad to another trying to fit in and be accepted by the world. These roads all lead to unhappiness because you will be following a false self fabricated by those around you.
The road less traveled is by those who decide to turn inward to their own core and divine soul for identity. It is to recognize your SACRED SELF. You understand that your spirit has existed for a really long time…in fact, even before this life it lived with God and Jesus Christ. So it is God and Jesus Christ who know you the best and have been with you forever. After all, God is the Father of your spirit. You are a child of God. He wants you in this life to discover your seeds of divinity and to live in alignment with his purpose for you so that you can return to live with him again. Romans 8:16-17 reinforces this idea, ”
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
Jesus Christ as the first-born of the Father is your older brother and also knows you better than yourself because he has been there from the beginning He chose to suffer and to experience everything you would ever experience and beyond so that he would know how to comfort you in this life.
Alma 7:11 says, “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”
We find our true selves as we follow his example. He wants you to become like him and through him to find God. We will be happy because we will be blessed with family, with abundance of life and love and happiness.
Self-discovery is a lifetime process. As a child your experience and awareness is very limited and so you rely mainly upon the ides of your parents and siblings. If the message communicated during these early years is negative life becomes exponentially difficult for the child. During the early years the child is like a sponge and his personality will be shaped for the future.
As you grow older and experience more of life you begin to have experiences which further reveal and shape your character. You discover your personality and your talents and this should lead you to your life’s purpose. The purpose should be in alignment with Gods purposes to bring about maximum happiness. Many get confused about their purpose, God would never want you to do or be anything that would harm others.
People are extremely complicated. Many choose to put forth a shell that is not exactly a true manifestation of who they are as a defense mechanism. They may not be ok with who they are and so they are distracting others from what is really at their core or in their heart. They are afraid people might not love them or accept them if they out forth their true selves.
I love to people watch. Airports, big cities, amusement parks and grocery stores are prime locations. I used to say that I wished each person I saw had a visible label above their heads saying where they are from, and what they do for a living. I think it would just make people watching more interesting.
But then again does the place where your from or your occupation truly define who you are? Your first name is not even a true reflection of yourself because it was given to you. I wonder what everyone’s names would be if they could name themselves. Metta World Peace, formerly Ron Artest, a forward for the LA Lakers NBA team doesn’t leave us to wonder in his case. So who are we really?
Isn’t it a wonder how you may think you really know someone until they do something that completely throws you off. Sometimes it is your closest loved ones…It is scary to think that you may spend a great portion of your life with someone and still not get to know everything about that person. People are so complicated that it may take an eternity to get to know someone, we have existed as spirits for a very long time before this life and we will exist afterwards forever. How ridiculous is it then that we pass immediate judgements on someone based on a first impression or a short period of time through a limited perspective? You don’t really ever know someone do you?
So when we are choosing someone to marry or to unite ourselves with for eternity we would be wise to choose someone who we would like to get to know forever. This is pretty daunting but it is probably someone who you meet that your soul connects with…a heart to heart bond that seems to be out of this world. Maybe it “seems” out of this world because it really is. It is fun to think that you may have known some of the people on this earth who you meet before you actually came to earth. When your hearts unite in marriage your two hearts then become one and you evolve and create a family unit together. You discover each other at a very deep level that will only grow and deepen throughout time and eternity. Pretty miraculous thought! It is a miracle anytime two people in all their complications decide they want to get married and get to know each other forever. This does not just happen there must be a divine design behind it.
Some people are blessed with the gift and the ability to see ourselves in a light that we cannot see through our own blocked self perception. These people are on the outside of us and have a different perspective yes; but they lift and inspire us to be our best selves. I am sure we have all had people like this come into our lives. The lyrics from a recent Pop song, “Let me love you…until you learn to love yourself..” is what these people are begging us. These people are angels who will help us get to where we want to be. We can choose to accept and believe what they say or reject them and stay where we are. God is also this way…He sees all of his children to their full potential. He loves us unconditionally and wants us to one day have everything he has.
So are we really ok with the man or woman in the mirror? Do you know who you really are? Who should you be listening to for help? Realize that it is a process but you deserve to have some inner peace to know that you are on the right course. You should do serious soul-searching and work on your relationship with God and Jesus Christ to better know yourself.
To finish up this blog post I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about who I am, both for your benefit and mine. I want those to read to feel like they know me as a friend and confidant. I also want to make a self proclamation to better solidify my own self perception. I am going to keep it positive and simply try to tell a story. Please don’t mistake me sharing my life for any kind of self-boasting or lifting myself above others.
Going home for the holidays is often a sweet reminder about who we really are. Especially as an older single adult going home is priceless because it allows you to remember your roots and interact with those you love. I always feel peace and love and security when I go home. It is a refuge from the world.
My name is Kent Allen Tuttle, born on May 21st in Provo, UT. I’m 27 years old and the oldest of 5 siblings… to understand myself better it helps to know where I come from. My middle name was given to me because of Grandpa Allen H Tuttle. he, along with my Dad is my hero. He was an army general, a mayor and a school principal and a natural-born leader. He served three LDS missions and served in the Oakland temple presidency. My Dad is a Dentist and has been a leader in the community as a HS volleyball coach, Bishop and Singles Ward Bishop. My mothers heritage (one of 8 kids) goes back all the way to the pioneers. She is one of 8 kids who all are married in the temple and all graduated BYU! What are the odds of that? I am blessed to be born of good parents who gave me a near perfect childhood and sacrificed tirelessly so that i could have whatever I wanted and needed. I want to give my children the same gift one day.
My childhood is full of fond memories as the oldest being a ring leader and babysitter. One time I remember my parents were away at the Oakland temple. I was home alone babysitting and they told me to never answer the phone and to just let the message machine get it and then pick up if it was them. The phone rang and rang and no one left a message. Looking back it was like a real life scene from the movie, “When a Stranger Calls.” It was dark and rainy and the phone just kept ringing. Then all of a sudden the message machine went on and a man’s voice on the other end started talking, “KENT. I KNOW YOURE HOME. PICK UP THE PHONE I KNOW YOURE HOME I CAN SEE YOU.” I freaked out but tried to keep calm and gathered my siblings on the couch and prepared for the worst. This was before cell phones so I had to wait for my parents to get home. Turns out the an’s voice was my Dad’s dental school buddy who knew I was home babysitting because he had talked to my Dad earlier that day and he just wanted to mess with me. That one experience gave me some phone trauma for a while after that and to this day I don’t really like the phone for that reason.
My high school days were extremely busy. I was getting good grades and taking AP classes all while playing 3 different sports (Basketball, Volleyball and Football). I survived the glory days without much trouble simply because I had an obedient spirit. I liked to do what my parents said because it generally meant both them and I were happy. I was voted in the A-Z list amongst senior peers as N for Never Naughty. I was social and go to parties but I never drank or got into drugs like most of the kids. One time I remember trying to bleach my hair even though my Mom told me not to do it. I thought I looked fine but because my Mom was so upset by my disobedience I dyed it back dark two days later. What ended up happening was my hair had a greenish hue because of the dye and I was made fun of for weeks.
I went on some recruiting trips for football but I knew the best atmosphere that would lead me to serving a mission was going to be BYU. They weren’t recruiting me for football so I chose to be an invited walk-on with the volleyball team. At BYU in 2004 I ended up being able to be apart of the Men’s Volleyball National Championship team. On my own at BYU I decided to stay a good kid and I remember praying on my knees alone in my dorm if the Book of Mormon was really true. I got a head to toe flash of peace and comfort and warmth with an answer permeating my mind, “Duh you have known your whole life…”
I hit my mission on the ground running. I loved the MTC and Ecuador became my piece of heaven. I was stretched beyond belief to give up 2 whole years of my life in service to God and to learn the spanish language but I did it with his help and to this day I can say this is my greatest accomplishment. I saw lives change and miracles happen on a daily basis. I vowed to never lose sight of the true meaning of life through selfless service in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When I got home things weren’t so easy. I became very sick from the parasites I had lived with in Ecuador and for about a year I could not figure out what was wrong. I quit volleyball and got a job at the MTC but had to stop that when my Chemistry classes at BYU were getting the best of me. I cried a lot that year. The transition from mission life to normal life was very difficult for me. A year later I tried to pursue basketball but I fractured my ankle 1 day before the BYU basketball tryout and couldn’t participate. Everyone told me I was going to make it and now that dream was gone.
Miraculously my ankle healed quickly and I was invited by a friend to play intramural volleyball about 2 months later. The assistant coach for the Men’s volleyball team was playing with us and put me at opposite, a position I have never played before. I dominated the game playing beside myself. The assistant coach approached me afterwards and wondered why I was not on his team! He asked me if i was interested and I said sure…the head coach said ok and so even after volleyball tryouts were over I got back on the team. I earned a traveling spot that very same year and I was able to play more years after and gain a scholarship! To me this was simply a miracle and part of Gods plan for me.
Long story short I was taking pre-dental classes and trying to get accepted while playing volleyball. My senior year I dealt with a lot of rejection…a girl who I loved had been leading me on, because of politics I lost my starting position in volleyball and then after 4 dental school interviews not one school accepted me. I was at a low point. I called my Dad and told him that after I graduated I was going to try to play professional basketball. Saying he was simply not happy is an understatement.
During the next year I bettered my application by retaking the entrance exam and going on a dental humanitarian mission to Peru and Colombia. I ended up getting to play basketball professionally in Austria and then drafted in the 8th round of the NBA D-League by the Utah Flash. The head coach took me to China for a month on a tour team the next summer before I was to start dental school. I ended up getting sent home from Austria at just the right time to be in the US in January to get interviewed and accepted at two different dental schools. I was devastated when I was let go from the team in Austria and I bawled my eyes out. Little did I know that right around the corner was one of the greatest blessings of my life. I found out I was accepted to both dental schools on the very same day I will never forget that. I had to say no to basketball even though a career was looking more and more promising. It was a hard decision. I decided that dental school was the better long-term choice to give me a chance to have a stable career and marriage and family.
Since then I have been on the dental school grind here at Midwestern University in Arizona. I have accepted my life as a dental student yet I have many other passions I continue to pursue on the side. I love to read and write, I still play basketball and volleyball, and I almost went on a Mormon dating reality show. I was an assistant coach for a local girls varsity volleyball team had so much fun doing that after school and on the weekends. I went skydiving over Thanksgiving break just for fun. I love to live at a high-speed and high intensity. I am a passionate person and I give my all to whatever I am involved in. I try to be a loyal son, brother, Uncle and friend.
Through all of the ups and downs my testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ and of his church has never wavered. It has been my constant source of truth and light and peace and comfort. I have made plenty of mistakes, especially in dating relationships but I am resilient and I know that the most important thing is to pick yourself back up whenever you fall.
My life goal is to get married and have a gospel centered family that is capable of helping others. I want to be established enough with my own practice and possible businesses that I am able to serve in the church and travel to Latin America or other parts of the world to help those in need. I want to be able to bring my family along to sight see and share in the rewarding experiences service brings. I know my future is only as bright as my hope. I am a dreamer and I strive to live by ideals. I believe in miracles if we are obedient and look to God daily. I will never give up. I know that I am a child of God and that he is counting on me to be a leader and to lift others during this troubled time.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and get to know me better. Realize that I left out a lot of the ugly details of my life and I am far from a perfect human being. I am still a work in progress. At 27 I have had my fair share of Bishop interviews, discouragement and feelings of hopelessness. Satan works hard to steer me off course but I know that I have access to power far greater than any he can present.
I encourage you to write your own self-declaration and to continue on the journey of self discovery. It will only bring more peace and happiness to your life and give you the inner strength you need to help others and change the world around you! Please leave comments here or contact me directly… firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you and remember to share with friends!