Monday, August 4, 2008

Inadequate Response

Today I want to respond to the anonymous first comment on yesterday's post. For those who don't read the comments, I have quoted it below:

"Stephanie usually when I read your blog I feel as others do - spiritually uplifted and motivated to become better. You are a great example to all of us and I'm sure so many of us have learned to love you even though we do not know you.
"Today though I am feeling a little inadequate and I wonder how I can ever achieve the spirituality you have achieved. I have a testimony the same as you do, but as I compare my life to yours I see all the things I'm not doing, and I wonder if I can ever catch up. You have experienced a terrible loss, and yet you seem to be such a pillar of strength and fortitude. How can I learn to be as diligent in my spiritual development, so when I feel I am losing "it" I can find the peace you have found?"

This comment raised an issue that has been a growing concern for me personally with this blog. It also touched a sensitive nerve for me that I want to address.

First let me address my concern. I think I need to throw a bit of reality into this honest, yet edited blog. As my husband noted in his comment, I am far from perfect. I just don't blog about my faults. That doesn't lift me up and right now I need to write things that uplift me. 

I choose to work on my weaknesses privately. I do not beat myself up for them. I am humbled by them. I am grateful for the humility they give me. I work on them. But honestly, I am sure that there are many I just will not overcome in this life. 

I keep working and trying to improve but I trust that Christ will make up for my deficiencies if I give my heart and will to Him. I repent everyday and pray for help to do better and I trust in the power of the Atonement. It is the only hope any of us have of achieving the perfection necessary to be in the presence of our Father.

As for being a pillar of strength and fortitude--Yes, sometimes I feel as strong as a rock. It is strength beyond my own. When I feel like this I go out in public. I call friends. I write strong feeling posts. 

But there are other times when I feel more like a puddle of tears than a pillar of strength. Last Friday was a day like that. Just before writing my post that day I had spent nearly an hour in my bed huddled in the fetal position in gut wretching sobs feeling completely incapable of dealing with life and wishing I could crawl under a rock and disappear. It wasn't pretty. 

My husband laid by my side trying to cheer me up and comfort me. He worried about what happened to make me so sad. What had triggered this? There is no trigger. Sometimes the dam just overflows when a single drop of worry or stress is added to the lake of my life.

I am not always strong. But I always manage to remember where to turn for strength. And even in my weakest, lowest moments I know I have at least 3 very beautiful wonderful reasons for pulling myself up out of that bed and going through the motions of living until my heart feels alive again.

Okay now for the sensitive nerve: Inadequacy. 

Warning: Soap box magically appears. 

I know how many women there are out there who feel unnecessarily inadequate. It is time we all realize that this is a tool of the adversary to depress our spirits and dim the light of our true Divine Nature.

When we approach the judgement bar of God, He is not going to judge us as compared to our sister or brother. 

Remember the parable of the talents? We are all given different kinds and numbers of talents. It is totally unimportant how many or which talents we are given. What is important is how we use and improve upon those talents. 

As one of the commenters responded -- It is not as important where you are in your spiritual progression as which way you are headed. Life is about becoming like the Savior. We must only look at our life and ask ourselves, "Am I living my life to become more like Christ?" If the answer is "no," we must repent and work to turn around and head in a more direct route to becoming like Christ. If the answer is "yes, but i feel I will never get there," then we pray for hope through the atonement.  

There is an epidemic lack of self esteem in so many women, young and old, in our day. Woman was the Father's ultimate, most complex, and beautiful creation. We ought to better appreciate the work on His hands. Can you even imagine the power for good the women of the world could be if they all had a perfect understanding of their true Divine Nature?

I know the Lord loves us even more than I love my own children. He knows us far more intimately. He wants us to feel that love and know how precious we are to Him. He wants us to do our very best to live the commandments and become more like Him. 

If we are not living the way we should, we need to let those feelings of guilt work in us to motivate change and a new resolve to be new creatures. If we are trying our best, we need to accept that our weaknesses give us essential humility and know that our offering of a broken heart and contrite spirit is acceptable before the Lord. Jesus Christ's atonement will make up for us what we lack.

The Lord is the only true source of self esteem. When we know the Lord accepts us and is happy with our offering, the world's, our peer's and our own assessments of ourselves are unimportant.

I pray that we all can seek to align our lives with the Lord enough to feel his acceptance of our offering.  In that acceptance comes the peace that prevails through the horrors life can throw at us.