There is an article in the Ensign this month called "Raising Resilient Children." At first, when I was flipping through the magazine a couple weeks ago, I skipped over it. Because I don't have kids. But tonight, I had this feeling that whatever it teaches about teaching children is probably something I could use. After all, I am a child of God (ha.ha.). Seriously though, I could use a lesson on resilience. The past couple weeks have been so hard on me, and sometimes I just don't want to go on anymore. So, tonight, my thoughts were bring on the resilience!
I have been thinking about trials a lot lately. I have read some articles about the pioneers recently (I can't remember what they were... oops), and they really made me think. Sometimes, I get so caught up in my "hard" life that I forget it's not some punishment. Okay, I don't ever truly, deep down, think my trials are some kind of punishment or that I'm not worth a good life (anymore), but sometimes it really is hard to see the light in the midst of all the blackness and confusion that can haunt me. Anyway, the pioneers gave up so much. They gave up way more than I do, and they kept the faith. They suffered in ways that I can't even come close to imagining. God asked a lot of them. And they were faithful. Granted, society is different, our culture is different, and we face different trials. And there is a reason they were born then and that I was born now. But I definitely learn a lot from their example. If that was required of them, what is required of me? At the very least, I need to deal with my trials appropriately, keep carrying on, and see what it is that the Lord wants me to learn and do with the experience He is blessing me with.
So, this article is great. Here are some great take-aways:
- I need to remember that things of great worth come at great sacrifice. This pertains to so many things in my life: spiritual development, relationship with my husband, and goals at my job. The things I want most in life will not come easily: they will come with hard work and sacrifice.
- Mistakes and weaknesses are opportunities to learn and better myself.
- Focus on what I can do, rather than what is outside of my control.
- I need to see purpose and meaning in my life and people around me. I do, but only to a point. Sometimes I lose sight of the purpose of things I do such as my job, visiting teaching, and other stuff. I really need to see the purpose and meaning of the people around me too. I have been getting better at seeing people as children of God, though, and seeing what He sees.
- "Perfection undermines resilience." The misunderstanding that we need to be perfect in everything because we love Heavenly Father and don't want to disappoint Him makes it so we can't build resilience. We forget that the Lord works through the weak, simple servants and that striving to be perfect doesn't mean we don't make mistakes, but that we use the Atonement and try to become perfected or complete as we follow Christ. I am such a perfectionist, and it really does make it hard to be resilient when I struggle with things. But, as I have grown closer to Christ, I have found that I am much more resilient in many aspects of my life. I'm not such a perfectionist. I don't get as down on myself or beat myself up when things go wrong. And I accept change better. The more I realize that this life is the time to grow towards perfection, the better off I am. When I lose sight of that and try to be perfect now, a lot of the joy in life is lost. And I feel lost.
This article was just what I needed to get me through the hump of the week. I hope you can get to read it too!