Step 4 in becoming self-aware: Choose to believe.
The question is posed like this in Alma 5:
“…on what conditions were they saved? … what grounds had they to hope for salvation? What is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death, yea, and also the chains of hell?”
What gives us hope that there’s something after the darkness? We all experience darkness at some point, right? If you don’t know whether you do or not, think about it. Has there ever been a time when you felt like you were completely and utterly alone?
When you feel that way, what gives you hope? What do you do to make yourself feel better? Do you go shopping? Do you exercise? Do you call your mom? A friend? Do you talk to others?
A girl I know takes a good long look in the mirror. She said that she stares at her eyes for as long as it takes until the rest of her disappears and all she sees is what’s inside her. Then she evaluates that to decide where to go from there.
What do you have hope in? What is it that loosens your bands? That frees you from feeling worthless and depressed?
If you haven’t found anything yet, might I suggest service? When you’re feeling at your lowest point, find someone you can help. Not only will you feel better about yourself, you’ll also be able to help someone else feel better too.
To continue with Alma’s questions as they pertain to Step 4 (he gives us something else to have hope in):
“Behold, I can tell you – did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi? And was he not a holy prophet? Did he not speak the words of God, and my father Alma believe them?”
Whether you believe in prophets or in God at this point is irrelevant. Believing in something gives you something to hope for. Believe the words of your friends as they try to help you feel better. They know what others think and what others say about you better than you do. Choose to believe them when they tell you how awesome you are. Believe them when they tell you that things will get better, because they will.
Step 1: Learn where you came from and why you think the way you do.
Step 2: Be grateful for the things, tangible or not, that you already have.
Step 3: Be grateful for your challenges – they make you who you are.
Step 4: Choose to believe.