Sunday, September 30, 2012

Our Savior's Love. . . .

I have felt like an outsider in my ward ever since our stake realigned the boundaries 9 months ago. Also with my job, I have had to deliver a firm hand to many ward members creating a not so welcoming relationship connecting me to the ward. Needless to say, I am invisible to the ones I seek to connect with and make myself invisible to those who I try and avoid. Not the best situation I've created for myself and if you happened to read my last blog about my ward, my feelings toward the whole thing are rough.

So, why do I bring this up? Well only for me to write down one revelation for myself. My cousin commented something on my last aforementioned blog that has sat inside me and grown into a bit of light.

"Church is just chaos and imperfection coming together for one purpose."

I feel like defending myself with that thought because some people in my ward think I'm losing my faith and I so very much want to tell them my faith in God has not wavered. In fact I've grown closer to him now than any other time in my life. But it's my tolerance for the ward that has weakened and this bug of a thought my cousin planted in me is what's keeping me in attendance.

I know for whatever reason, I'm suppose to be here and I'm suppose to learn something important to my character. So this is why I still attend church. And yes I am writing this during church, sitting here listening to the missionaries speak. And no my faith has not left me. I just don't like being here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Stranger. . . .

Do you remember when you were little and you would get teased at school? You'd run home crying and hurt from dagger-like words spewed at you from someone else in anger and your Mother would always say, "They are just jealous of you!" I've notice through facebook and Pinterest posts that even as adults we are teased and hurt by others, and our natural response is still the same. "They are just jealous of me." Except as adults we are more poetic in our response and say something more to the affect of, "Whatever they don't like in you, is just a reflection of what they don't like in themselves." I love this thought anytime I am feeling attacked by others. It makes me feel like the bigger person. The "winner" in an argument. But what if you were not the victim, but the one throwing the daggers?

I have been battling with some anger issues towards others who have hurt me in the past. I know I should just turn the other cheek, but I really don't want to. This group of random people have collectively, in one way or another, either threatened my livelihood, told direct lies about me, or have gone out of their way to make my life miserable. Now, this group of people are ones I see at least once a week and they on the rare occasion speak to me as if none of the aforementioned daggers were thrown into my back. (A bit dramatic I know, but I'm upset, so I'm allowed.) This is where the other cheek comes in. I know, deep down in my Christian heart, I should be the bigger girl, turn the other cheek and forgive, but I just can't. And since I can't, my bitterness towards them has festered into something that I don't find fitting to my character. I hate them.

Every time I see them or talk to them or even notice their existence, I give off the energy that they are not welcome near me. I don't say anything rude, or even out loud, but I most definitely dislike their proximity to me and do everything I can to translate it to them by short answers to their questions, lack of eye contact and obvious changes of direction. The discomfort that I feel has even prompted thoughts of moving and/or changing where I attend church.

So today when I read someone's repeated post about one person's attitude being a reflection of what they dislike in themselves prompted me to think, wow, what does all my anger towards these people say about me?

I had posted something on facebook where I shared a belief I had about how it is best if we not compare ourselves to anyone else because then we don't have the expectations that create fictitious ideas of what "good" and "bad" are. One dear friend of mine posted her opinion on it and I'd like to take the liberty to share what she had to say.

 "First we need to love ourselves, in order to love others. I personally feel that people who have love and respect for themselves, have a much easier time than people who dislike or don't respect themselves. Make sense? Love begets love....judgement begets judgement. Once we stop judging ourselves, we can stop judging others. Just my humble opinion ♥"

*sigh* Okay, so obviously I agree with her. And as much as I dislike the idea that I could be in the wrong, I must admit that I am. *grrrr* Not that it excuses at all what they did to me, I must stop treating them the way I have been.

This is not going to be easy, and because I am stubborn, I know it will take some time to completely overcome the urges I have to punch them in the face when they walk by. However, I know my Lord would have me do so. Besides, I don't want to have to ask for their forgiveness at judgement, so I might as well grant them the forgiveness my Savior has asked me to give them.

This whole blog has really brought me inner reflection. I hope it will for you too. I know the next time I reach into my figurative bag to pull out my imaginary poison tipped dagger, ready to throw at annoying people, I will take that second to look at myself in the mirror and find out what is going wrong with me. I am the only thing I have control over in my life. If I'm angry, then I have control over it. If I want forgiveness, I have control over it. If I want to truly be a happy person regardless of whom I encounter, I have control over that. And whatever I send out into the universe, is what will come back to me. So I better be sending out good energy.

So the next time we have anything bad, or ill spirited to say or do towards anyone for whatever reason, maybe we could take a moment to reverse our wise Mother's words and ask ourselves, "What am I jealous of in them?"

Saturday, September 15, 2012

She Doesn't Know. . . .

I have been battling with self esteem issues for my whole life. And even at my age, I still have demons that stop me from being positive with myself. For the most part, I simply feel like I don't ever measure up, whether it's in inches or miles, I see myself falling short every day. Most days I can handle it, and try to give myself some slack, but other days are too overwhelming and I cannot stand tall. I'm either not thin enough, not strong enough, not talented enough, house isn't clean enough, dinner isn't good enough, I forgot this, I forgot that, I didn't notice enough, budget's not covering enough, I missed this, didn't go to that, didn't spend enough time here, should be better at this there, should serve more here, don't waist time here, I shouldn't be so tired, etc. Etc. ETC. . . . I'm not good enough! This is what plays in my head each day.

Now I know I can't say "I'm the only one" because I'm not. Pinterest is filled with little funny saying that translate to a cry for help being re-pinned all the time. My most recent one is, "I smile to hide how completely overwhelmed I am." A theme to my blog is, "I'm not that good, I just smile that well" because I have adorned a fictitious smile many, many days of my life just so it will make others feel comfortable. If my face actually showed what I was feeling, no one would sit by me. (Not that they do anyways.) But it's easier for me to fake it, than burden others with what's really going on.

So why is this going on anyway? Why do we, in general, put ourselves down? No one's going to drag you through the mud better than yourself, so why do we do it? My husband compliments me daily and I find it so hard to believe him because what's playing in my head drowns out his words. Is it easier to be on the bottom? Is there less to live up to if we always say we're less than a certain level? What is stopping us from being positive? What is stopping us from being happy with what we can do and who we are?

I love female comedians, and one of my favorites posted something online a bit ago that made me realize the tape that played in my head needed to be erased and replaced with something I do every day anyways. Please take a moment to watch and listen to her advice.

I would never tell any one of my daughters that they are not good enough. Or that who they are is not who they should be. I fill my day for them with compliments and "good job"s, "I'm so proud of you"s, and anything else I can do to get them to feel happy about themselves and what they've done. When did that way of talking stop for myself?

I do believe that regardless of the choices we have made, the way we look, the cleanliness of our homes, the amount of nutrition in our dinners, the intentions that we have and the efforts that we make, our Heavenly Father loves us. And just like the way we speak to our children, He wants us to feel happy about ourselves. I know God is an advocate of happiness. I know that he wants so much for us to find the happiness that is within us. God does not make crap! God does not make someone who is not good enough. It is what we compare ourselves to that changes how we view ourselves. This video was a swift kick in the butt for me. I want so much for my daughters to love themselves, I cannot forget that I am their greatest exemplar.

I hope that each one of you reading this realize how wonderful you are and start saying that to yourselves each day and be happy!

So I ask you this, Are you happy today?