The Shirt of Life
By bigpa
6/10/2011 12:04:42 PM

Have you ever had a shirt that you wore everywhere, did anything and everything in it, you wore it everyday without fail? Well this is a story of a shirt and how it has a mystical effect on our lives. This shirt records mostly those events and behaviors that display negative impacts to our lives.

Let’s begin with those words that appear to be most recent. What events and behaviors have happened lately in which could be written onto your shirt? Do they have anything to do with the relationship to your spouse, children, mother, father, work, etc? What do those words spell out? Do they say you’re terrific, honest, trustworthy, happy, loyal, or kind,…. or do they say you’re a looser, a cheat, a liar, you’re worthless, you’re ugly, you’re fat, unlovable, etc? Probably the latter. Let’s look back at last month, last year, 5 years ago, what has been written onto your shirt? Let’s go back even further, how about when you’re 21, or 18, or 16, how about 12, or even when you were a small child? What do these first words say? What event(s) have taken place that put the very first words onto your shirt, and what do they spell out? Was this event of your own making, or did someone do something to you that you had no control over? How did this event make you feel, and how were you able to define this event into words, and place them onto your shirt? If this event had never happened, would you see the world or this person differently? Has this event been written onto your shirt with permanent ink?

My shirt is full of words and declarations that have come to be, “my banner of self descriptions”. I wear it proudly, even as the very first article of clothing I put on after a shower, or the first thing I put on in the morning. I wear it with shame and pride at the same time; after all it defines who I believe I am.

There is one thing about my shirt though, no one else can wear it, nor see it. I hide it under all my other clothes, making sure that the words that are written in bold, bright colors are covered in such a way that no one else can see them. It has become my “precious”…, “my world”…, “my life”, with the understanding that they define who I am and I can’t be anything else.

This shirt represents the baggage that I have collected throughout my life, but all I have to do in reality is take this old shirt off and put on a new, clean, white, fresh shirt. To look at those events, behaviors and memories as they really were, or are; they’re simply “the Past”, and past cannot be changed, altered, or rewritten. Having to acknowledge those events, that in certain cases were traumatic, and even terrible, but none the less, they are in the past and cannot be changed. The blame, guilt and shame needs to be left on the old shirt when removed and not transferred onto the new one. This old shirt needs to be discarded and or burned with no evidence of it ever being worn by you. You may have to change shirts several times to obtain the feeling that a new clean shirt offers. We may even need to tell someone else about those words written on the old shirt, so they can tell us when our shirt needs to be changed again. It’s OK to change your shirt often when it becomes stained with life’s incidents, accidents, and mishaps, there are plenty more where they come from.

The Master Tailor of these shirts has an endless supply of fabric. Clean…, white…, pure fabric; without any blemish or errors. The Master Tailor has perfect skill for helping us to find the shirt that fits us perfectly every time, with words of love and validation written all over it. With the pure love of the Master Tailor we cannot go wrong in the shirt He has chosen for us.

By Duane Halter
LaVerkin, Ut.


love the story    
"I am so glad you posted it here for everyone to enjoy. this story has such applications to all of our lives, addicts and non addicts. My old shirt had alot of words embedded into it. scumbag, loser, unworthy, weak, useless, and a million other descriptive non uplifting labels I have given myself over the years. I am so grateful to the Church's 12 step program to help me change my shirt as often as it needs to. The Program has saved my marriage, and my soul.

thanks again duane"
posted at 18:50:51 on June 10, 2011 by harveyf

Add a Comment:

***Anonymous User***     (login above to post UN-anonymously)

"Jesus rejected temptation. When confronted by the great tempter himself, Jesus "[yielded] not to the temptation”. He countered with scripture. Gospel commandments and standards are our protection also, and like the Savior, we may draw strength from the scriptures to resist temptation."

— D. Todd Christofferson

General Conference October 2006