Monday, March 31, 2008

Being humbled

I am being humbled. I was just talking to Larry last night about change. I was asking him how he has done it. In the past, I have seen him muscle through change, and I have been amazed at how he has accomplished it. So I asked him, how do you do it? What is the thought process? How can I change the many things I need to change? He said two words: "Be humble."


I never thought of that.

You may think I am speaking tongue-in-cheek, but unfortunately I am not. My mind immediately went to Ether 12:27:

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness."

I see the weakness, or should I say weaknesses. But I never saw the first part--when we see our weakness that has come become we are drawing nearer to Him. That is comforting, isn't it? Kind of like a silver-lining sort of thing. Now to go on:

"I give unto men weakness that they may be humble;"

OK--so there is a purpose in this weakness thing. Not wallowing, but humbling. I remember someone once said that you can tell a lot about yourself if, when faced with a trial, you feel humbled or you feel humiliated. Humbled means you have faith, humiliated means you are a lone wolf, trying to save yourself.

"and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me;"

When we choose to be humble and ask for help, we get it. We let Him know that we know we are not lone wolves and that He is the most important part of the change cycle because He lifts us. His belief in us goes a long way in helping us to believe in ourselves.

"for if they humble themselves before, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

Double WOW. There is the promise. The payoff for being humble. It is miraculous to me to know that the greatest challenges we have can become our greatest strengths. I know this is true, but not often enough for my taste. I guess that is all up to me--the "humble themselves" and "have faith in me" parts are my choice and privilege.

Case in point: I have never been a decisive person. I am a second-guessing, full-of-regretting, good-at-fretting, ask-everyone-their-opinion, change-my-mind-with-every-gust-of-wind kind of girl. But I made a very important decision once that absolutely changed my life for the better. It was a painful time, full of fear and doubt. But I hunkered down (after months of lone-wolfing it), called upon God in humility for help, and believed. Only after that was I able to make a decision and feel GREAT about it. I have never regretted that decision (ever), and that is HUGE for me. I know I did what I wanted, and it also pleased the Lord. That decision I made is a strength to me everyday. Weak things DID become strong for me. Ether was right!!

So why do I fight being humbled? Because it isn't fun. That brings me to another point. Life isn't always fun. Did I think it would be? Being a mom is tough. Did I think it would all be bon-bons and storytime? Didn't I realize there would be temper tantrums and spilled milk? Lies and sassiness? "Was this what I was born to do?"

I must say I have been blindsided by motherhood. But it is my own fault. I have always been a little bit too romanticized for real life. I must have thought that I would just become a wonderful mother without even preparing or even trying. Aren't we, as women, supposed to have untapped reservoirs of patience and love and wisdom that just bubble up when we get married and have families? What is wrong with me?

I didn't dream of having a family. I dreamed of having a career and doing amazing things. Don't get me wrong, I knew I would be a mom and have a family, it just wasn't what I dreamed about. I didn't even dream about my Prince Charming or my wedding day. That was all part of the deal, but it wasn't my aspiration. Now my aspirations are to have a peaceful home, far from being a brain surgeon or an attorney. (Deep down I really didn't want to do any of those things, I just wanted to be something and have people admire me. Yikes, that makes me sound so shallow, but it is the truth.)

However, the people I admire are those with talents that don't always show. Those people with quiet kindness, thoughtfulness, patience and love are the people I want to be like. I don't want the accolades of the working world anymore, I just want to be able to love and help my family. I am woefully ill-equipped for being a selfless mom. I think I never outgrew the self-centeredness of my teen years.

So, I am being humbled. Humbled for not preparing adequately for the challenges of my life. Yet, lest you think I am hopeless, I didn't say humiliated. I have faith that I can still make a difference in my family's life. My kids aren't totally doomed, yet! :) I love my family--every one of them. Each person is different, with individual talents and quirks. And I am in this mothering thing for the long haul. I am learning to have joy in the journey. One smile at a time. One hug at a time. I am definitely being humbled, but that just means I am becoming more like Him. Like a chunk of rock, I am being refined. I have decided that I am very dross-y, but that is ok. It will take me longer, but I will one day be a shining piece of gold. It is already inside of me, I just have to get rid of the stuff that keeps me from shining. Like President Eyring said the other night, I need to go toward the light, not away from it. Then one day I will be filled with light. I can't wait!

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