I went to a discussion group where we talk about the General Conference talks from October conference. We are supposed to be re-reading all the talks, then come discuss our favorite, and how that talk has prompted us to do better. For many of us, Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk in the Relief Society General meeting, Forget Me Not, really hit us hard. In his talk, he reminds us all of many things.
First, forget not to be patient with yourself.
I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.
Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.
And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
It’s wonderful that you have strengths.
And it is part of your mortal experience that you do have weaknesses.
How often do we look at those around us and think, “I wish I could be thin and in shape like her”, or “I wish I could have a clean, organized house like her”, or “She does the most amazing furniture refinishing! Why do my attempts always turn out looking so dumpy?”, or “Look at that perfect family and those beautiful children. Why can’t my children act like that?”
When we compare, we are looking at someone else’s best and comparing that to our worst. That’s not fair! But how many of us continue to do that?
One of the ladies commented that she blames facebook and blogs for a lot of these feelings of inadequacy. Let’s face it, when we blog, we try to only show the photographs of the perfect finished project, not the huge pile of disaster that is behind us. Right?
This made me laugh. Do you look at the facebook statuses (stati? statuss?) of your friends, and they are showing pictures of their great trip to Hawaii, or posting about their children’s perfect grades and accomplishments, and feel sadly inadequate? Yes, people do post those things. Nobody wants to post, “just had a huge fight with my husband and I’m afraid my marriage is falling apart” as their facebook status. Or who posts, “Great job, me. I gained another pound?” No? They post that they worked out, or that they finally reached that goal of losing those 5 pounds. They aren’t posting these things to be untrue, or to make the rest of us feel bad about ourselves that we just ate a piece of cake for breakfast and sit blogging in our pajamas with a messy house, but because they are proud of the accomplishment and maybe they are looking for some positive comments from their friends.
Ladies, we need to accept that we are enough. We are good enough, we are smart enough, we are compassionate enough.
Elder Uchtdorf goes on to say,
“Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.
In the meantime, be thankful for all the small successes in your home, your family relationships, your education and livelihood, your Church participation and personal improvement. Like the forget-me-nots, these successes may seem tiny to you and they may go unnoticed by others, but God notices them and they are not small to Him. If you consider success to be only the most perfect rose or dazzling orchid, you may miss some of life’s sweetest experiences.
For example, insisting that you have a picture-perfect family home evening each week—even though doing so makes you and everyone around you miserable—may not be the best choice. Instead, ask yourself, “What could we do as a family that would be enjoyable and spiritual and bring us closer together?” That family home evening—though it may be modest in scope and execution—may have far more positive long-term results.”
Please remember–we all have problems. We all have struggles that we keep private, things that we are battling that only our family or closest friends know about. One quote I love is, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle”– Plato
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself a little bit of understanding if you don’t get the whole house clean today, or if you don’t finish that presentation you wanted to do, or if you only do 1/2 hour on the treadmill instead of pounding out 65 minutes like you did yesterday. Be kind. Be understanding. Be charitable. We could all use more kindness and charity in our lives, even if it’s only from ourselves.