"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not."
Hey Dana, this might sound a little cliche, but I honestly feel renewed every week when we recite the Young Womens theme outloud. I always try to "liken" things unto myself, and I KNOW that I have individual worth, and I know that I really DO do all those values in my life every day. I know I have a long ways to go in the "perfection" department, but I find myself frequently stepping back and assessing things: my kids, my goals, my talents, and when I look at the big picture, I am better today than I was a year ago, or five years ago, etc. There are a lot of goals I've made that I haven't achieved in the amount of time I originally thought I would, but I've still done something, I have made some amount of progress. And when I feel like a total failure, I get renewed again each week when we say the theme aloud again.Hope that made some sense! :)
This is a great question. I am not sure I have the answer, but I will give it my best. I feel there is a delicate balance between feeling good enough as you are, but in a healthy way trying to better yourself without belittling yourself. I know from a counselor I saw for a time that your self worth should not be based on "performance." You are a good and worthwhile person because who you are, not just what you do or don't do. He had me think of 10 qualities that describe yourself positively that are not performance based. To make the list start with- I feel.... and fill in the blank. I feel kind, positive, sensitive to others feelings, etc. until you reach ten (it's harder than you think! I feel like I have pretty good self esteem, but man this was pretty difficult to think of 10!)Then when you are feeling down you say those positive attributes in the mirror but instead of I feel, you sayI am KindI am positive, I am sensitive to others feelings. etc.You would be surprised how hard it is to come up with non performance based positive attributes. Well it was for me. It was also hard to say those things to myself in the mirror and REALLY mean it. To not disagree with myself as I as saying them. To think, well I wasn't sensitive today when I said this to so and so. But this helped me so much. It continues to help me see my self worth beyond my actions. To, I believe, see myself as the Lord sees me. To hate the sin (action) but love the sinner (me!) I hope that makes sense.In conclusion we should always be striving to become better, mold ourselves into the best we can be. But we should not base our self worth on those tasks. We should love ourselves because of who we are and because we are children of God.That's how I TRY to balance those feelings. constant battle for sure ;)
I feel like I am doing enough. Not perfect, but enough. Sure there is toy detritus in every other corner and dinner maybe frozen pizza but it is just how it is for that day. The important things are that my kids have a sane, happy mom and dad that love them and that no one is (over the long term) nutritionally starved or harmed by the bits of clutter. If I don't feel like I am doing enough, I buckle down and I get cracking. :) Who wants to live in a world where you don't feel like "enough?"
I try to remember that life is about the journey, not the finish line. It is what I accomplish everyday, not what I don't. It is about who I am able to touch, serve, lift and love each day, not who I didn't. Of course, there is always the "to do list" that takes a week or more to accomplish a day's worth of doing, but then... that is okay to.I love Elder Eyring's line about an early morning search in the scriptures and prayer to know what the Lord would have you do that day. Of course, early morning sometimes is completed in the late afternoon or evening, as I finally finish my scripture reading, but I really feel that as I put the Lord first and do my essentials each day, HE lets me know that I am doing alright and occasionally uses me to accomplish his work. That is the best feeling to me, to be used as instruments in His hands. Whether it is making a meal, a phone call or holding a child for an extra moment to make them feel loved and secure. He needs us, we are women of God and if we are spending so much time thinking that we aren't enough... how can he. Give him your best and He will make the most of it.I don't know if that makes much sense, but it is what came out tonight. Thanks for having this blog. WONDERFUL ideas! I am inspired by everyone!
Danalin,First off, I think that this is an excellent question. It's something I think that most LDS folk (and probably many others too) wrestle with daily. Heck, I know I do. Here are a few of my thoughts on this. I'll take a little from the scrips and a little from my interpretation of them. We know that we are commanded to be perfect, right? I think we can all agree that this is a big yes. However, we also have to realize two other things: #1. No matter how hard we try, we will ALL fall short of perfection, and that is where the Savior and his atoning sacrifice step in. I think that sometimes in the church we get too concerned with working our way into Heaven, instead of actually trusting in the Savior to actually do what he's told us he will do if we believe in him. (grace) Ok, that leads me to point #2: In second Nephi it tells us that "we are saved by grace after all that we can do", right? Ok, sounds easy enough, but even this very straightforward doctrine that seems to reconcile the whole "faith vs works" battle can get dicey. Because how do we know when we've done enough on our own (works) to qualify for the Savior's grace? Man, this is soooooo tough. It is such a personal thing between you and God too. I say this; only you yourself can ever know if you're "doing your part" to qualify for that grace that we ALL will most definitely need. Mosiah 4:27 tells us that, "it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength." To me, this means that we are almost commanded just to do our own personal best, which only we will know what that is, and don't get too wrapped up in A, being perfect all at once, and B, we definitely should never compare ourselves to others. I think that most of us engage in B a little too much sometimes, especially as members of the church. To me, therein lies the main obstacle in balancing your question, and it is of paramount importance that we DO NOT engage in this. (comparing ourselves to others) For a theoretical here, if person A is at like a 75% level of keeping the commandments when they've died, but person B is more around the 65% level.... guess what? As long as they both were trying their absolute best to be righteous and obedient to God's commandments, the Savior will step in for each person and make up where they lack. (in turn, make us perfect, qualify us for exaltation)Maybe that was too long winded and rambling for most of you, heck, it was bordering on that even for me a little. So, in summation, I think that the answers are:-Don't compare yourself to others-Try your personal best to be righteous/obedient, and realize that it's completely personal though. (don't judge)-You don't have to be perfect tomorrow, just do your best one day at a time, when you mess up, repent. -Above all.... TRUST IN THE SAVIOR TO MAKE UP WHERE YOU LACK! (exercise that faith, realize that you are only saved by his grace in the end)Ok, I hope that helped instead of to merely confuse, but hey, I ain't perfect and I never claimed to be. I guess my last point would be.... cut yourself a little slack sometimes and just accept that you will never be perfect during your time here on earth, and just trust in the Savior and his atoning sacrifice to get you where you want to go. (celestial kingdom) The Atonement of Jesus Christ is truly a wonderful thing. In fact, it is the most wonderful thing that ever was and ever will be. -Marty Overfelt
I think for me right now in my life the way I have been making it through the day when I have had no sleep or just a really busy day and Emma just wants to be help or the boys need me or won't stop fighting and Emma won't stop crying. I try to remember the moments that I have created with those 3 wonderful children of mine. Watching my beautiful 3 month old daughter smile and laugh at me while I make silly faces or funny noises. Having 5 five year old son come up and give me a kiss and tell me I love you mom and my 3 year old son come in to the kitchen while I am doing the dishes and just give me a big hug. Those are the moments that I try to remember right now when I just can't handle the 10 loads of laundry I need to fold or the pile of dishes in the sink that I am just to tired to do. They don't care that those things aren't done they just want me to play with them and love them! That is what is good enough for me, I don't always do the best every moment to remember that but when I am feeling like I am not doing good enough I really try hard to put it all in perspective. I know that I am loved always and i need to always remember that. Thank you for the question and really making me think. I love this blog and I love you!
First of all, I really enjoyed the comments above. Thank you Rachel, for giving such a good description of the difference between valuing who you are versus what you do. I think performance based values and aiming for perfection are at the root of this feeling of not being enough. And I respect Marty for her honest attempt to reconcile the commandment to be perfect with faith in Christ. I also respect Cindy for focusing on the Young Women Values rather than worldly values where most of us come up short. I liked Shaela’s comment about life being more about the journey. And Jennifer, I love that you take time to enjoy the moment. So important. If people are too caught up in what it takes to get to where they hope to go after this life, they run the risk of having given up the simple joys of life. Melia, I think we would get along very well. It has taken me a long time to get to this point but, I like who I am. Nobody else knows me as well as I do, and so my opinion of myself matters most. The last 6 months of my life have caused me to re-think a lot of things. And one of those things is my self-perception. I had to develop confidence for myself. I’m still learning as I go. Life is learning. That’s not to say I never have feelings of frustration, embarrassment, or pain. But I can look at those feelings now as the temporary emotions that they are. I used to not be satisfied with my appearance. But I have learned to accept my appearance as part of the whole package of me. And I like me. Everything that I do in my life that really matters is not dependent on my appearance. On another note, If you are a mom, it is easy to connect a child’s behavior with how good you feel about yourself. But, I have a philosophy about misbehavior. All kids misbehave at some point or another. It’s part of their development. And we just take turns being the parent of the one has the tantrum. When it’s my turn, I just say to myself “This is temporary.” And when it is someone else’s turn I see it for what it is. A totally normal occurance that does not necessitate any judgment from any other parent. I do not feel better than that parent because I know my child does the exact same thing. When my 7 years old son Grant was a toddler, he bit another child at a play date. He wasn’t upset with the other boy, he just bit him. And it broke the skin. I felt so bad for the other boy that it brought me to tears. I was so embarrassed too. And what made things worse, the other mom told me that she read somewhere that when your child bites, you should bite him back. My instincts told me that I should not bite him back and that instead I should just not take him to play dates for a while. He grew out of it and he is a nice boy who does not bite his friends. Along these lines, has anyone read “Momfidence” by Paula Spencer? The book jacket reads: Lose the guilt, Love your instincts. Paula writes a monthly humor column for Woman’s Day. A quote from Paula… “Momfidence is using “perfect” to describe such wonders as a ripe peach, a cloudless day at the beach, or a husband who does diapers and dinner…It has no application whatsoever in describing motherhood.” On the other hand, when I see a friend who does something really well, I think, “That’s a great idea. I should try that.” It may or may not work for me, but that’s ok. This is more useful than resenting the fact that other women can do some things better than I can. If I want everyone around me to feel good about themselves, than I can’t use comparisons in a negative way. I think it’s a good thing to be humble enough to learn from those around me without feeling the need to copy everything they do. Because I like who I am and what I do. There is no shortage of ways that I can improve, but hey, it’s going to take a lifetime of learning. I don’t expect it all to come at once. And along this journey, I hope to enjoy the moment or at least keep it in perspective.