Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Run Your Own Race
I attended a session at Women's Conference that was called "Managing Feelings of Inadequacy". At first I told my Sister in Law Tiff that I didn't want to attend that session because I know I am inadequate at most things I try to do and I didn't want to be held responsible for any knowledge about managing my inadequacies that I might learn.....I am so glad that I eventually gave in and went to this session.
The first speaker was a woman named Christine Ostler and the first question she asked was "Who are you?" which she followed with this "Are you measured against the worlds view of who your are or God's view?" We all feel inadequate at times, we should not allow ourselves to run and hide, because when we do we refuse to see Who we are to God and What he has planned for us.
Christine told the story of her family and how one of her daughters, in her early teens, had become anorexic. She and her family struggled for years, at times the only thing they could do was have their daughter admitted to the inpatient psychiatric ward at the hospital where she would be force fed to keep her alive. She talked about how horrible that felt, to leave your child behind because you could not help them, how she felt so inadequate to deal with the needs of her daughter. How her daughter confessed that she felt inadequate as a person, but she as her mother was unable to help her see how untrue that belief was. Eventually, after many years, her husband was able to say something to their daughter that changed things, he basically told her that He loved her just the way that she was, that she didn't need to prove anything to him, if she never gained or lost anymore weight he would still love her just as much, no matter what happened from moment to moment, he loved her and there was nothing she could do to change that. Soon things started to change, their daughter began to eat, it is years later now and she is healthy and married with children.
Christine gave a list of 16 things she had learned to do during that time in her life.
1. Look in the Mirror and say something good about yourself, something you like, everyday.
2. Own who you are. You are a child of God and He loves you just the way You are.
"....we were born to make manifest the Glory of God..."
3 Attend the Temple, there we are taught who we are.
4.Let our light shine. Write down your talents, those you know of and those other see in you.
5. Take a Risk! Develop a new talent.
6. Appreciate other peoples talents. Say "Thank you for Sharing...."
7. Compliment Others.
8. Write down what you DO accomplish in a day.
9. Write down Spiritual things that happen each day.
10. Do not run faster than you have strength....."Doctrine and Covenants 10:4
11. Read from the Scriptures everyday
12. Read your Patriarchal Blessing often.
13. Serve Others.
14. Listen to inspiring music
15. "Do It!" Sometimes we have no choice but to go through a trial or a hard time, just Do It!
16. Rely on and Trust in the Lord.
The next speaker was Ellie Young. She started by telling us all something that she had heard form her Mother/Grandmother. "No one is any better than you and you're not any better than anyone else." Then she went on to speak about running your own race. In life we really are not competing against anyone, it is Our Race and no matter how fast or slow you finish, you are the Winner! I really like that thought.
Both of these women really focused on not making comparisons between ourselves and others, but it was this Race analogy that really stuck with me. Since then I have really been focused on Running My Race, with my abilities, not worrying about how if I had the talents or abilities of someone else, I could run my race better. Their race is completely different from mine, that is why they have their specific talents and I have mine.
Ellie spoke about learning to appreciate other peoples inadequacies, after all it is our imperfections that make us interesting to others! No one wants to be the friend of a Perfect Person, (well unless that person is Christ). And, Bending to your loved ones needs (aka, their inadequacies) deepens and strengthens your relationships .
We should ask ourselves, "Did you do your best?" and then remind ourselves that our best is good enough. We must understand that "Our Best" often will result in different outcomes depending on the circumstances of the day. Remember "My God is a God of Miracles" He hears me and knows my fears and inadequacies. If anyone can help me, He can. Have faith in him. Sometimes all we can do is take another step forward.
"It's my own race!" I don't necessarily have to run it like anyone else.