I most value...
my relationships and my beliefs.
(I'm on the left)
It may not come as much of a surprise to some of you that I had a rough childhood. By the time I hit my teen years I was pretty angry and spent a lot of time undermining the relationships I had. The irony of this self-destructive behavior is that it winnowed out the weak friendships and showed me who really cared about me.
As a consequence of those experiences, and many subsequent ones, I have learned to cherish the relationships that I have. I love making friends, I love meeting new people, and I love building the foundations of lasting relationships.
It's funny to me how far spread my friends are (helped monumentally by the internet). I have some in Minnesota, Illinois, West Virginia, Montana, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and many, many other places. Each and everyone of these friendships is a gem in my treasure chest. Each as valuable as the next.
Equally important to me is my family, it goes without saying that of those many friends I can count all of my family amongst them. Because what is a sibling if they aren't a friend?
So, to all of you who have ever faced the wrath of my temper. Thank you for sticking around.
The other most valuable possession I have is the Gospel of Jesus Christ (don't stop reading) especially the gospel of forgiveness.
I love so much that I can be forgiven for my mistakes because without repentance I can assure you my life would be entirely different. Imagine if you will a teenager who did everything in her power to destroy all happiness within her own life (don't ask me why... I don't know). Imagine never teaching that same child that they could change and become everything that they wanted to be. Where would they be? What choices would someone make if they didn't know that it was possible to switch paths?
I was taught I could switch paths. I was given that knowledge not only from my religious beliefs but from those very friends who gave me second, third and fourth chances. What an incredible gift it is to know your life can change and improve.
In my experience these things are all intertwined--family, friends and forgiveness because without one of them a void would open in the treasure chest of life and we would be left clutching at each single gem trying to salvage what we can as the rest slipped away. Love in any form (family, friends or Christ) can fill that void and put a stopper in the hole of our own self-destruction.
I have allowed love to work in my life ad have thereby learned how powerful it is.