Thursday, November 12

My Greatest Flaw & A Whole Lot of Honesty

This post is not written to gain pity or to be self-critical, but it is to share a bit about what I'm learning about myself recently.

I'm not going to draw out the part where I tell you what I believe my biggest flaw is--it's pride. I feel pretty confident that in the next life that's going to be the biggest topic of discussion.

I am so prideful and boy am I grateful for repentance and an Elder Brother who teaches humility by example. I have to work hard at overcoming this flaw daily. I can't blame anyone for it (I wish) but I think that growing up in the northeast didn't help make me the humble servant I should be. And you all should know how rarely I discredit my youth in New England because I really, really love it there.

But I was raised to have pride in myself. That includes my background, my beliefs, my family--really I was taught to be proud of where I come from. And I was, and still am.

I have always taken pride in growing up with all brothers in a small town with an excellent school. I take pride that I grew up in such a beautiful place with four distinct seasons, the most beautiful autumns, lakes and ponds everywhere, access to the ocean, and freedom to explore the woods. I felt safe there.

It wasn't just that though--I took pride in my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I had some false sense of superiority over my classmates because I had high moral standards and they, to my immature perception, did not. I liked being different and I liked that people knew my positions on various subjects. I stood firm for what I believed in, whether it was truly accurate or not.

But my inflated sense of self has surprisingly (har har) not always served me well. In all seriousness, my pride has hurt people. In the past, I have been unkind to people by devaluing their opinions and beliefs. I, who claims to value kindness above almost anything else, have failed at having an attitude of humility.

If attending Brigham Young University has taught me one thing, it is this: (please pause while I concoct some eloquent way to say what I was thinking five minutes ago but have since forgotten since my TV show just came back on...ummm...and another break to stalk a blog I like...okay, I'll just go for it) I learned that people are not as similar to each other as I once thought, and yet in other ways we are so very alike. (How eloquent was that, huh?)

What I mean is, we grow up with different backgrounds. Different families, circumstances, beliefs (or lack of beliefs), conditions, struggles, and tests. No two people have the same ones (which is pretty crazy when you pause to think about that).

I thought BYU would have a very specific mold for its students. We were all mostly Mormon--how different could we be? I had no idea. Maybe partially because I chose a more liberal major than others, I saw a huge variety of people in the English department. And it was a little shocking for me.

Yet underneath the hipster facades, (or the mom "most-comfortable-thing-I-could-find-with-the-least-amount-of-stains" clothing if you're me) I am pretty sure we are all clueless. We are all struggling in our own various lives at different times, and yet we go through the same things: the same questions, worries, stresses, emotions, and more.

In my prideful ways, I often behave as though I have things all figured out. I'm obbbbviously an expert at parenting because now I have two kids, and especially because I have one of each. Except that is the hugest lie I tell because I am as clueless as anyone (if not more so...probably more so...), I just don't like to talk about it.

Fake it 'til you make it, right? I do that. Every day.

I don't like to feel bad about myself and especially my wife/mothering skills. I don't like to feel like I'm not in control. That's another thing I'm bad at--trusting that God is in control. He is, and I know that and believe it with all my heart. But in my obsessive, controlling, oldest-child mind, I have to feel like I am forging my path. That if I do the right things and am prayerful in my decision-making, we will be taken care of. I truly believe that things will work out. That is not something I need to worry about. But I forget that. Like all the time. (PHEW! My laptop suddenly went to ZERO PERCENT and I just made it to the charger in time. Anyway.)

I just wanted to tell you that as happy a person as I usually am, I have my days. I wanted to lock my kids in their room today and just sleep three rooms away in the hidden safety of our kitchen pantry, but I couldn't--partly because I was worried someone would find out and call CPS on me, but mostly because my children are little and they need me. Even when I'm a crappy mom like I was today (the last two days I was a pretty dang good mom though if I do say so myself--see? Pride.) they need me.

I am not sure what this post accomplishes, other than to reveal my truest self. I don't think I've been dishonest prior to now because I really am a happy person 80-82ish % of the time (don't confirm that with Dalin though...). I just like to try and dwell on the good in a world where there is so much negativity around us.


We've been praying about where we should go and what we should do recently. I have felt impressions to do things after prayer twice that I can recall in my life. First, that I should marry Dalin. And second, that we should be married in the Boston temple. I expected the same when I prayed earnestly on my walk (well sprint) back from the laundry room (sprint because the kids were alone in the apartment and I didn't want them to die) about staying in Utah or moving out of state. But I felt nothing.

At once, thoughts ran through my head like, "Am I psyching myself into believing my faith was ready for this question?" "Am I missing the feeling?" "Am I imagining that I felt slightly stronger one way?"

Then it occurred to me: "Maybe both are right."

Maybe, just maybe, God, our glorious and all-knowing Father, knew that I (we) would make the right choice and that it would all work out whichever we chose. He has guided me to where I am now, but that doesn't mean He is going to baby me all the way. Sometimes, a leap of faith is required to acquire more faith.

I think He expects us--but me especially--to put aside my pride and my fears for now, and take that leap of faith in whichever direction we choose. And because I trust Him, I will try to do just that.

*Full disclosure: this post has not been edited. I don't want to hear about how sucky an English major I am, I just want to go to bed, so if you care, edit it yourself*

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