Things I don’t like

It’s an interesting time of life for me.

I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but so many things are shifting and changing.  I find myself reevaluating my life, over and over.

There are so many things I wish I could change.  So many people I wish I could tell I was sorry.  So many good, kind people who have seen me at my worst.

I hate that.

I know I have hurt almost everyone I know.

Why have I ever had to be that way?

I am so sorry.

And then there are the other parts of myself that I can’t stand.  The times that I feel so painfully inadequate.  The times that I find myself in near-panic because I feel that I’ll just never measure up.

To so many things.

Or the times when I see what someone else does and I feel like I should just stop trying because that person is so amazing and so far ahead of me that I have no chance of catching up.

Only to find out that someone else thought that same thing about me.  Me, of all people!  Meanwhile, I’m so caught up in my flaws that I can’t begin to imagine how anyone could ever feel that way about me, that I begin the cycle of self-loathing all the more.  

Why? WHY do we do that??

I don’t know.  It’s so self-brutalizing.

But if I were to let those fears and those feelings of pain and guilt stop me from trying to grow, to go on, who would I be?  Who would any of us be? 

I have found a lot of sorrow in my past wrongs.  I have found even more sorrow in comparing myself to others.

I don’t think it’s right.  Not when I’ve tried to change and to do my best to be better.

I know I haven’t always been my best.  In fact, I’ve been my best so infrequently it breaks my heart.

But I have to keep trying.  Otherwise my life means so much less than it could.

Tonight, we drove out as a family to just enjoy the peace of nature for a little while.  It was wonderful.  And in between telling children not to fall into the cold lake and calling them back when they ran too far, I found myself caught up in between two kinds of thoughts: pain for the mistakes and inadequacy of what I have been, and promise of the possibility of what I could be. 

And as I get ready to teach my children for a new year, the same words keep ringing over and over in my mind:

“Praise each child individually
for what that child is,
and help him or her escape
our culture’s obsession
with comparing,
and never feeling
we are

Jeffery R. Holland

That’s my whole philosophy on teaching my children!  Why have I not learned yet to accept it for myself? 

So tonight, two new goals:

1)  Forgive what I once was, and be different and better. 
2)  Quit COMPARING.  It is destructive.  I know who I am.  I know it.  I am a daughter of God, an imperfect, yet divine woman.  Our culture is obsessed with comparing and tearing down.  I have to stop.

So please forgive me if I have ever hurt you?  I’m not who I used to be.  If you’re here reading, somehow you’ve been forgiving of me and allowed me to grow.  Thank you for that kindness.  I will try to have the same love for others and for myself.

4 Responses

  1. Tiffany

    Ann, YOU ARE AN AMAZING WOMAN! I should repeat that over-and-over. Watching you be a devoted mother and teacher to your girls, dedicating your time and talents to women whom you've never met on the other side of the world, seeing how loving and considerate you are of your husband…makes you one of my heroes! Yes, our culture is overrun by comparisons. I'm guilty of it too. Pieces of Pres. Monson's talk from the RS broadcast and Pres. Uchdorf's talk from Sat. morning conference come to mind as I read your post. You're worth more than you know.

    October 4, 2010 at 6:13 pm

  2. c h a n t i l e

    I don't like:When you don't believe in yourself and love yourself the way everyone else around you does: unconditionallyWhen you think you were a bad friend/sister. (in the words of Ashley: you're silly!)When you don't remember every night you listened to me cry and stopped my panicking heart from beating out of my crazy-filled chest. When you doubt your worth and beauty.What I love: YOU!(and pudding)

    October 6, 2010 at 12:09 am

  3. Kristie

    Hey Ann-
    That picture of Matt and your youngest is so cute! I am LOVING that kitty-hooded jacket… where did you get it?! As a “mom” to 5 kitties + Raegan, we are busily collecting all things kitty related!!

    October 18, 2010 at 8:00 pm

  4. Debbie Domenici


    I am trying to catch up on your blog. As always, you can say the things I want to say or need to hear. I also have done a lot of evaluating of myself and my life lately. There is so much I am trying to figure out in my life right now. I am so grateful to have you in my life and your wonderful example.

    Love ya,

    April 11, 2011 at 10:35 am

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