I've been thinking today of all of the things I've learned, especially since I've been married. And, since it *is* the season of reflection, I thought I would share just a few of my top picks...perhaps in hopes that someday my children will read this and be all the wiser...?
And, lest you think I'm posting all of these because I've mastered them in their entirety, I do hope you'll notice that this post is titled "Lesson's I've Learned", not "Things I No Longer Need To Work At". I may be amazing (oh stop....!), but I am undoubtedly human. So....here we go, a few of my top picks for the season of reflection!
1) It's better to be a first rate version of yourself, than a second rate version of somebody else.
*I LOVE this one. It has been my mantra for *so* long, and it has truly helped me to become more confident. I would tell this to my Young Women in church ALL THE TIME...and why? Because they (especially!) are pelted each and every day with the idea that being themselves is just not enough. It *IS* enough to be yourself, it really and truly IS! The good, gracious Lord Almighty created you, in all of your two legged wonderful-ness to be YOU, not Suzy McTall or Andrea VonPerfectHair! You are YOU, and you are *amazing*. This isn't to say that we can't develop our talents and explore our interests, we should! They are all a part of what makes us unique and perfectly *us*. I still repeat this little mantra to myself, because even after 27 years, would you believe I still have self esteem issues from time to time? It's a work in progress!
2) Listen to the Spirit.
*This should be a no-brainer, right? Hmmmm, riiiiight. We've been described in the Bible and Book of Mormon (another testament of Jesus Christ) numerous times as sheep. I always thought this was kind of cute...until I remembered that sheep are hopelessly stupid. That's right. I guess I can't be too offended, because I look at how we must look to our Heavenly Father. He must be thinking; "Geez, come on here people, get it together! I give you the Bible, AND the Book of Mormon AND the Spirit and you STILL make mistakes?!". We as paltry little people-lambs can make really dumb choices (myself included). The Spirit is totally on our side, He really wants to help us out down here! Everyone hears the Spirit differently. I typically have a fleeting thought, which can easily be passed off as a wandering mind, so I need to be careful and stop myself to think a little more about that Spirit-thought. I can remember one instance in particular when I did not listen and things just fell....apart. I know I have lots of examples, but I'm learning my lesson.
3) Cut Your Losses
*I remember when my husband (then fiancee) said those words to me, it all became so clear! I had been struggling with someone in my ward who just...didn't like me, and she made that *very* clear. I was very hurt and even though I had struggled with an unkind friend years before, I just didn't understand why she didn't like me! I'm really a very amenable person! It didn't matter. My loving fiancee hugged me and said "You've done everything you can do, so now you just have to cut your losses and move on. There's nothing else you can do.". I was amazed! Cut my losses?! Move ON?! That meant I would have to be 'ok' with knowing there was someone in the world who didn't like me! I mulled that thought for a few seconds, and I began to feel incredibly...liberated! Wow, did that feel SO good! He was absolutely right, I have no control over whether or not someone chooses to like me, and I had to be ok with that. So I've learned; Be Kind, Be Christlike, but cut your losses and MOVE ON.
4) Sometimes, you just have to let go.
*If you haven't learned this about me already, I like to fix things and see it through. I like to make a difference-this is why I chose to become a nurse...it's the perfect outlet for my personality. But, having that trait can be a challenge, especially when life throws you so many curve balls, you just can't see to make it to first base...not to mention it really hurts! My husband and I actually gleaned this lesson from our daughter's sweet little Pixar movie: Finding Nemo. We realized, in the midst of our frustrations and tears and torturous journey with heavy laden shoulders, that there was nothing we could do. We HAD to let go...we had to let it all go, and just roll with the punches. There was no other option. And let me tell you, it is HARD. It didn't solve our problems, but what it did give us was the realization that we just can't fix everything and we have to let life run it's course, and let the Lord guide us through it. It's not a solution to your problems, it's a better way to deal with them.
5) People don't always want your advice.
*Haha, I'm laughing! Only because this is superbly, 100% meant for me. I've always considered myself fairly level headed, and while I certainly make mistakes, and paaa-lenty of 'em, I have a hard time not pitching in my two, very eager cents sometimes. It just goes along with the whole nurse thing, I think. I just really want to help people-really and truly-I love to help people! I frequently bite my tongue when I hear an opinion or a decision I don't agree with, because I know I can damage a lot of friendships if I let-fly. We all have different opinions, and that's how we're made. Even though I may think someone may be making a bad choice, it's not my job to call them out. So I zip the lips and change the subject. I'd rather be a good friend than a bad experience!
I'm so glad we are on this earth to learn and grow, it certainly isn't a pleasant experience all the time, but someday I'll be the old smarty pants with white hair....and maybe then I can throw unsolicited advice at people! ;)