Monday, May 9, 2011
The Worth of Souls
I have heard and read, and I believe, that "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God"(Doctrine and Covenants 18:10), but sometimes I forget that I am one of those souls, and just as bad, at times, I forget that other souls are just as precious as mine. I have a feeling that this is a very human problem, not just a Kate problem.
I have noticed over the past few years of my life that I am not the only one who struggles. I am not the only one with issues, emotional or physical, real or imagined. I have a wonderful family, we are weird. There are things about my family that most people would consider "skeletons" and they would hide them away in their deepest darkest closet. But I have discovered that every family is weird, there is No Normal! Or maybe Weird is Normal. Either way, every family has its very own set of problems, its very own skeletons. It is how we deal with our weirdness, our differences, that makes us who we are.
Some of us put on a happy face and do our best to make the world believe that we were raised by perfect people who taught us to lead perfect lives and we are now raising perfect children. Putting up that kind of facade can't be fun, in fact I am willing to bet that it is completely depressing. Others of us think that our weirdness, our mistakes or our sins, or even worse the mistakes or sins of the people we love, make us unlovable and unworthy. I think this is actually quite common but it too is a false belief, and sadly it keeps many of us from progressing and becoming the amazing people that God intended us to be. I think at times of my life I have fallen into this second category. I don't feel that way much anymore..... much.....
I've been thinking about this today. This last weekend was kind of hard, emotionally, and this morning I was wondering why. Why? Self Talk! Here is a peak into my mind.
I have been doing great with my weight-loss, I have been eating well and yet I haven't been denying myself the yummy things in life. I have been learning great life lessons and I believe I look GREAT! I had to go buy some new clothes and I am now in a size of clothes that I have never worn. I was feeling great, feeling beautiful, feeling quite stylish. That is I felt good about myself until I saw a friend who is currently at her goal weight and looks amazing, she had to have been wearing clothes that were half the size of the clothes I was wearing. Suddenly I felt FAT! WHAT? The switch flipped so amazingly fast that it scared me. I was stunned. Fat? Well No, I am not overweight anymore, I am average weight. Stupid negative self talk.
I am running and I am doing great- for me- I am running faster than I ever have and I am running farther than I ever believed possible. My average speed is about 10:45 seconds per mile, I figure that is around 5.5 miles per hour. I am currently working on increasing my speed and I am thinking that by my half marathon in September I will be running at 10 min per mile or 6 miles per hour. So why is it that when I talk to people who currently run 6mph, or faster, I feel so slow? It's self talk. I wouldn't let a stranger talk to my children this way, why do I let myself talk to myself this way?
Now, one of my skeletons that I have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM talking about is the fact that I have been to counseling. I am an anxious person, I am prone to depression and anxiety but I am a smart person (with smart Parents) and when I was in my late teens and early twenties, I sought help, I went to counseling. I believe I am a better person for it. I am not a broken person because of it, rather I am less likely to break. I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I lie to myself. I learned that I don't have to believe or agree with the silly little things I tell myself. I also learned that there is no reason to compare myself to anyone other than myself. So lets take a step back and look at my two examples.
I feel great about myself, I believe that I am healthier today than I have ever been (in my adult life). I think I look great, sometimes I see some part of my body or catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I do a double take. Is that really me? I have nothing to thank for my success but hard work and prayer- yes I do believe that prayer has a lot to do with my success in this endeavor. If I compare myself against myself, then there is no other way to feel than successful and amazing. I am proud of my friend, she has worked hard, she looks great. I am proud of myself too, because I am doing great too. If I compare my running against my own track record- I am setting new personal bests every week or two. I am doing things I never would have believed were possible. I am setting goals for myself that years ago would have seemed insane, but now, they seem reasonable, they are appropriate and achievable goals. When I look at it that way, I am AMAZED! I feel great.
I thank God for making me weird, for giving me problems and stumbling blocks. I thank Him for making me imperfect. It is because of my imperfections that I have come to know Him better, it is because of my mistakes and my sins that I have come to truly understand the importance of my Savior, Jesus Christ, in my life. It is because of my failings that I have come to understand just how much my soul is worth to my Savior and my Heavenly Father. I am of worth to them, and because I am of worth to them it is worth it for me to love myself, it is worth it to me to love all the other imperfect people in my life.
Yesterday was Mothers Day. I have a wonderful Mother. She is the right mother for me, she is perfectly imperfect. I have been reading her journals, and I have discovered that we are very similar. I love knowing that I am like her. I love reading that her house didn't get cleaned and that she had so many things to do and sometimes there just was not enough time. I love reading that sometimes she slept in and went to bed early. I love reading those things, and so much more, because I have those same feelings about myself and my life sometimes. I am not alone, in fact I am in great company.
So I guess what I am really saying is, if you are ever feeling down, feeling like someone is better than you, remember that the worth of souls is great in the sight of God, and that means you! You are of great worth. No matter how weird you are, you are worth it.