The lesson was about sharing the gospel with others. The sister teaching the lesson always does such a great job and so I sat there between two friends, listening to the discussion. The question was, "Why do we share the gospel?".
All the answers that you would expect to be given, were stated. Women shared stories of times they stepped out of their comfort zone, or gathered up courage to share the gospel with someone. I, on the other hand, had quite the opposite thoughts running through my brain. I kept thinking of all the reasons I have NOT shared the gospel. I was now entering the GUILT zone.
There was the time many years ago, that I felt prompted to share my religion with a neighbor but I was afraid they would look at me and instantly think that if I was an example of what a Mormon was, they would pass. I knew they had heard me say a bad word when I stepped on a nail in the back yard. My neighbor had seen my kitchen when it looked like an episode of Horders - and Mormons believe "cleanliness is next to Godliness", right? I remember praying one night and actually asking God that if He wanted my neighbors to hear the gospel, either help me be a better example or send better Mormons to live across the street. How many times have I failed to step up and share the gospel? I remembered two other times I didn't act on those promptings because I felt I wasn't a good enough example of what a good member of the church looked like. I've gone to the store on Sunday and I have proudly admitted I am a drinker of Diet Coke. I have much to work on.
I sat in Relief Society running those sort of memories through my head. I began to think of ALL the many things I have failed to do and by the time I was walking home, I was feeling very small and insignificant. Of course, I know that being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and sharing the gospel doesn't require having a perfect life or that I am an example of what it means to be an LDS woman. In my humble opinion it means quite the opposite. It is because of the things I believe and know to be true that I am able to get up each day and try again. Because I know what the result of all the hard work, making it through tough times and enduring to the end will be, I keep on trying. LDS women don't have an easier life - we just believe the eternal blessings are worth the struggle. I know all this, but somehow I let the guilt I felt for not sharing the gospel, really start to effect me.
As the day progressed, I felt more and more like there is just way to much that I need to be better at. Dinner was not waiting for us when we got home, and it was Father's Day! I had meant to get a roast on but forgot to thaw it out. And then there was all those other things I began to think of....the ways in which I am lacking as a mom or a wife. I kept telling myself that I am just not doing enough. I try, but I know I can try harder. I try and sometimes I fail. Sunday is one of my favorite days but for some reason, today I saw all the women around me - women I look up to - and I let my old nemesis COMPARISON creeping back into my head.
I'll be honest, part of the problem is that I know way to many seriously amazing women. They are all wonderful and I am so very lucky to be their friend. It's actually quite annoying at times. I love them and I take secret, mental notes all the time of how I want to be like them in one way or another. The examples of great women all around me is such a blessing....that is, unless I allow COMPARISON to sneak into my head. Then, it happens......fear sets in, insecurity and shame rear their ugly head and my thinking changes to - I'm not enough of this, too much of that and I am totally lacking in a whole lot of these and those. If given the right circumstances, I have all the skill needed to throw an hour long pity party for myself...and you know I love a good party! But, as I have learned over the years, "all things in moderation".
So, when I feel the party starting I know what I need to do. I allow myself a 5-10 minute mini party, with the theme of my choice and then I promptly give myself a dose of reality. Sometimes it's my sister or my friends, my kids and sometimes it's my husband who reminds me I'm not quite as pathetic as I am currently feeling. Just a word or two from the people I admire and I snap out of my depressing mood and remind myself that I would never allow anyone else to make me feel like less of a person than I know I am, so why would I treat myself that way?!
And so I fight off my Nemesis with all my weapons. Quotes, a song, or a favorite scripture are the perfect weapons to go along with the support of those we love. If we don't like something about our lives, we can do something to either change our circumstances or change our attitude. The best use of COMPARISON is comparing the things I did in the past to the things I am doing to day. If I can look in the mirror and know that today I did better than the day before, well, for me, that is a really good day. Every day I have a new opportunity to be a little better...try harder...be a better mom, a better wife, a better friend and hopefully, eventually, a better woman. Until then, this is me.....
Hi, my name is June. I am a Mother, Wife, Sister, Friend and a daughter of God. I have four children who are great kids but far from perfect and I love them with everything I am. I have a good man who loves me and treats me far better than I deserve, but I will never admit that to him. My family mean the world to me, those who live close and those far away. I try to treat others kindly even if they are unkind to me. But if you hurt or mess with my loved ones, it will not be pretty. I love to share stories that inspire or just bring a smile to the face of another. Unfortunately, I find myself smiling or laughing when it may not always be appropriate and I am a bit concerned about the rumor that "loud laughter" is not appreciated in Heaven. I can usually find something to laugh about in any circumstance, and that still gets me in a bit of trouble. So does chocolate, fried zucchini and cheese fries.
I am a fiercely loyal friend and count those friends as some of my greatest blessings. I have no patience for mean people, especially those who chose to bully the less fortunate. Do not treat others disrespectfully, do not be cruel or spiteful just because you can, and you and I will not have a problem. After many years and pointless tears, I have found that when you replace what the world tell us is beautiful in a woman, with what God sees in us, that is when we are both beautiful and at peace with ourselves.
I have known sadness and pain so I do all I can to prevent others from experiencing the same. I have a desire from the depth of my soul to do something good with the life I have been given...to take what life hands me- the good and the bad- and use it to bless the lives of others somehow. It's impossible to be perfect but I wont stop trying to be better. I have a testimony of the gospel and I have promised to listen to the promptings and share all the things my heart and spirit knows to be good and true.... starting with these word you are now reading about how I fought my Nemesis and won, this Father's Day Sunday.