These last couple of weeks I've kind of been having a little...internal struggle, if you will. My husband and I have been trying really hard to focus on our prayers, individual and couple, and with the high demands of our callings, in addition to some very new and exciting changes with Kristoffer's job, the normal family stuff, my job, etc., I've been noticing things around me that have just kind of...bugged me.
I have noticed a lot of self indulgence. I have noticed a lot of self promotion. I have noticed an absurd need for external validation. I have noticed a lot of anxiety. I have noticed ingratitude. And in the aftermath of all of these things, I have noticed sadness, hurt feelings, and people left behind. It saddens me, and kind of makes me a little upset and angry.
I don't even know how to continue this post without sounding like a complainer....but I just see people around me getting so caught up in the little things of life that they forget the feelings of those around them. I see so many 'selfies' on FB and Instagram...as in, more than one per week, that I think my head is going to explode! I see so many women (in particular) who are so caught up in anxious life that they can't even think to see if just one person around them could use a 'hello', or a smile. I see so much effort put into the appearance of perfection...whatever that may be...that there is no time left for service!
SO, today at church, I was heard a talk that was meant for me to hear...for sure, I just know it! It was a talk about Nacre. Nacre, if you are unaware, is another name for Mother-of-Pearl. It's the substance the oyster uses to make a pearl. Let me share a quote from the talk 'Adversity and You', by Marvin J. Ashton the speaker used:
“The most extraordinary thing about the oyster is this. Irritations get into his shell. He does not like them. But when he cannot get rid of them, he uses the irritation to do the loveliest thing an oyster ever has a chance to do. If there are irritations in our lives today, there is only one prescription: make a pearl. It may have to be a pearl of patience, but, anyhow, make a pearl. And it takes faith and love to do it.”
With the many things I've been struggling with seeing around me, I needed to hear this. I needed to hear that what I *really* need to do instead of festering about these issues, is make a pearl from it, and the only way to do that is by putting some nacre on it. And layer by layer, I will make a pearl from something that I found so irritating/frustrating/distasteful. I need to recognize that I can't change everyone around me, and I can't fix everyone around me, and I can't make them see the error of their ways, I can have love and patience and put some nacre it...and I can someday have a pearl. The rest of the talk is so wonderful and pertains to so much more than just petty frustrations, I read it through and was so uplifted regarding other struggles I've faced.
SO, this is my new motto. With all of these things I see around me that I know I can't fix or change or sometimes even influence, instead of getting frustrated/mad...I'm going to put some nacre on it.