A few years ago I was confronted with something that was so emotionally hurtful that it felt physically painful. It felt like I had been slammed into a brick wall. As I tried to process what happened I tried to get every detail about the situation that I could. I remember spending hours looking to find more information about it. It was all I could think about.
Then I remember a very clear impression:
Stop! You know enough!
Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly pleased with that little piece of inspiration. Up to that point I was working under the ideal that if I knew everything about it then I would be able to stop hurting. Maybe I thought that if I knew every detail nothing new could surprise me.
I now know that was Satan talking in my ear. He wanted me to continually focus on what happened so I wouldn’t have time to focus on healing. Some information is necessary to heal, but I can’t help but bring up my favorite Elder Packer quote again (I think I post this in about every blog post):
True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior.
The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel.
(Boyd K. Packer, Little Children, Ensign, October 1986)
The unworthy behavior my preoccupation was leading me into was letting this one thing dictate every thought and feeling in my whole soul. I basically gave up all agency as I stopped acting and only reacted. There was no room for righteousness when my heart was so consumed with fear and hurt. The temptation to become preoccupied with the details of what happened was so strong it felt like I could hardly escape it, but realizing that it was an option gave me the opportunity to ask Christ for the strength to focus my mind on other things. Only when I focused on Christ and His ability to strengthen and heal ME was I able to find comfort.
We live in a world today where so many things happen, and those things are splashed all over the news and social media. When these things hit close to home, as one incident did today for me, it is so easy to want to spend my day searching out information about it. But, not for the first time, that same piece of inspiration I got years ago quickly came to mind. “Stop. You know enough.”
As I mentioned before, some information is necessary for healing, so how do we know when we have enough? That is a tough question, one that doesn’t have a template answer. The bottom line is you know enough when the Holy Ghost tells you that you do. Maybe the biggest key is recognizing that a point of too much information even exists so you are open and ready to receive the inspiration that we know enough.
I can testify, from experience, that there is a point where you know enough. From that incident many years ago more information would not have changed my healing process, but it would have given Satan more arrows to put his quiver of temptations and thoughts he could shoot me with. They are only temptations, and I don’t have to dwell in them, but they still shock me when they come out of the blue even 8 years later. Satan can only use the things I know as ammunition and I am so glad that impression came so I could stop arming him with things to hurt me with.
Healing, true healing, does not focus on what happened in the specific event in your life, but what happened two thousand years ago. True healing only comes by focusing on Jesus Christ, learning more about Him, and most importantly, becoming more like Him. Details of the specific event are not important when your focus is to become more like Christ.