Home and Garden
There are producers, middlemen, and consumers. Which are you? The goal is to move from consumer to producer. Of course, we all must consume to live, but when we produce what we consume, we become self-reliant.
At home, this might mean that we each become a do-it-yourselfer. We fix our own plumbing, build our own chairs, reupholster our own couches, or paint our own walls.
It also means that we grow our own food to the extent possible.
My Home is My Haven
Have you ever wondered what would become of you and your family if the main money makers in the family lost their jobs? What if there was a natural disaster? How would you come by the food, shelter and clothing you need to sustain life? Would you have to rely on charity? Government programs? Family and friends?
What if you could do something today that would make life easier in an economic or natural disaster?
There are things you can do today to make you all the more self-sufficient tomorrow.
Financial Self Reliance
Financial self-reliance might mean building your own business instead of working for someone else. If you do choose to work for someone else, it might simply mean avoiding debt, or paying for things in cash (or using a checking/debit card vs. a credit card).
If you are young, you can make decisions right now that will help you avoid the debt trap that our debt-based economy has laid in your path. You do not have to yield to captivity in order to make it in this world. It just takes some planning and careful execution of your plans.
If you aren’t so young, there are steps you can take today to begin to decrease your dependence on things like credit, debt and other forms of outside aid.
This section of To Build My Own is dedicated to helping you develop financial self-reliance. Posts on this section include topics like: Education, Employment, Business Ownership and Personal or Family Finances. Let’s help each other out.
Body and Mind
Physical and mental restrictions are hard enough when they are beyond one’s control, but when they are caused by our choices, they add insult to injury. And it is an insult that we carelessly throw at ourselves.
Physical and Mental Health
Self-reliance of the body and mind is to do those things that create health and wellness. Everything we think, say and do is affected by the state of our body and/or mind.
Strength and health of body and mind are two of three self-reliance foundational principles. They provide the basis necessary for financial and home self-reliance. The other foundational principle is self-reliance of spirit.
What about those with a physical or mental disability?
While it is good to make war on our own weaknesses that we can control, we should never seek to find fault with another person, or with ourselves, because of a disability.
If any of us have a physical or mental disability, it is important to remember that self-reliance comes in degrees. A person can have a disability and still work towards becoming more self-reliant. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here.
Each person is unique. Each individual must seek to develop self-reliance in a way designed to most benefit his or her unique situation in life.
But human beings are capable of remarkable things. Try not to limit yourself by self-doubt and fear. I am firm in the belief that we are capable of much more than we, or even our mothers, believe that we are capable of.
Self-reliance of spirit is to build spiritual strength that serves as a bulwark against corrosive encounters with hatred, deceit and evil. Spiritual strength gives purpose to what we do and it endows the soul with power. It is an absolutely essential, yet frequently overlooked or discarded, element to develop real and lasting self-reliance.
A key principle to developing spiritual self-reliance is to remember to be thankful. Gratitude is a humbling and enabling virtue that adds spiritual strength.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” – Paul the Apostle
I do not require that you believe the same things that I believe. I just want you to know exactly what it is that I believe so that you will know where I am coming from. The word “spirit” can evoke a host of images and ideas in the mind. Some people think of ghosts. Others might imagine a vague mist of nothingness that cannot be defined or explained. When I say spirit, I am talking about a human being that exists made up of matter so refined and so pure that it is unable to be seen by mortal human eyes.
“There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes” – Joseph Smith Jr.
You see, I believe that every human being existed as a spirit before this life on earth. During our mortality, our spirits are housed in a physical body (tabernacle of clay), which was conceived and born of mortal parents.
Our spirits live on after the physical death of our mortal/temporal bodies.
The holy scriptures tell us that when our physical bodies die, our spirits do not. Our spirit separates from the physical body and continues on in life in the world of spirits, or in that plane of existence where spirits dwell and are aware of and interact with each other. At a later point in time, our spirit will reunite with the physical body, “never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal” (Alma 11:45). And, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).
What does this all have to do with self-reliance? I believe that the spirit is an absolutely essential part of our whole being that must not be neglected. Things that affect our spirits in positive ways can help us to become spiritually self-reliant, while negative spiritual interactions can cause our spirits harm. As we strengthen our spiritual self, we gain strength of character. This strength of character enables us to be good, decent men and women. Things that edify and uplift our spirits are, to name just a few:
- Charity, which is the pure love of Jesus Christ
For a more comprehensive treatise on self-reliance, including a spiritual self-reliance LDS perspective, I encourage you to read “Catching the Vision of Self-Reliance.”
This section of ToBuildMyOwn.com is dedicated to exploring those things that can maximize our spiritual self-reliance through developing strength of spirit. But, be aware, the spiritual self-reliance I will speak of cannot actually be obtained by one’s own efforts alone. It is true that one’s efforts are required, but it also requires a degree of letting go and relying on something more powerful than one’s own mortal capabilities.
To Build My Own LIFE!
“To Build My Own” is a phrase that suggests ownership, dedication, self-reliance and self-sufficiency, a do-it-yourself mentality and a desire to build one’s own future.
Living this lifestyle has many rewards. The specific rewards for each individual may vary, but I am confident that as we transition from being a debt-laden consumer to a self-reliant producer, we will have some of the best and most memorable experiences of our lives.
Check out my Top Five Reasons to Build Your Own.
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help out 🙂 Just leave them below!