I'm Not Always a Very Good Friend

Lately I have been doing some intense evaluating of my life- what kind of person I am, what kind of person I want to be, what qualities I wish I had, what qualities I wish I didn't have, etc. And as I've been evaluating, I've come to the humbling conclusion that sometimes I am just not nice. In fact more often than not I am quite judgmental of others, moody, dramatic and frankly self-centered. However, as I was going through my flaws, I realized there is one I hate more than all of the others and that is the inability I often have to be a good friend.

Now before you think I'm writing this to have a little pity party for myself, hang on a second, cause it's about to get better.

Not only am I sometimes a bad friend to those around me but I am a REALLY bad friend to myself. I treat myself like I am the scum of the earth. I set ridiculous expectations for myself and when those expectations are not completely met, I shut down and consider my life a failure.

How many of you would talk to your friends the way you talk to yourself if they made the mistakes that you make? I would venture to say very few of us would speak with such criticism to people we love.

Why do we do this? Why are we so obsessed with dwelling on our failures and the areas in which we simply fall short? I do it all the time. Every day. And although I will say that it is definitely important to know our flaws and work on them, it is not only unimportant but cruel to expect that if we cannot fix these flaws, we are worthless.

As I was talking to one of my best friends this week, feeling bad for myself and wanting to give up and throw in the towel, I had a bit of an "Aha! moment." I realized that you know what,  I'm better than this and I know it! Yeah... I mess up. (My best pal, Al will be the first to agree with this. The poor girl has been through lots and lots with me, what can I say? I am high maintenance.) But ya know what else I do? I apologize. I care. I love unconditionally. I try really really hard to be the best that I can. And even though I sometimes consider my life a total failure, I realize that I am loved by someone who knows all of these horrible things about me and doesn't consider me a failure. Not only is He willing to look past my shortcomings, but He keeps on loving me in spite of those things and that is our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Him more than I could ever adequately express via blogpost or really any form of communicating. Every day I continue to be amazed at the little blessings that the Lord gives me- forgiving friends, wonderful Christ-like parents, awesome support from so many, I really could go on and on.

I suppose my point in telling you all of this isn't to say what my flaws are, those of you who know me are already quite aware of those, but to tell you that it's okay to be flawed. Flaws make us human! Flaws teach us how to be better and come closer to our Savior. Does that mean we will conquer all of our flaws? Um... no. I will probably never be patient. Ever. But does that mean I can't give it a fair shot? Of course not. (But really, don't hold me to to this cause I'm not sure if it'll go well. Actually I know it won't, but it's fine. Hold me to it.)

I love this Gospel because it is a Gospel of hope and change. Through this Gospel, we have the ability to become exactly who we want to be. You want to be better at forgiving yourself? Then try it. Pray about it. Ask for heaven's help and then do it. You want to get out of a pattern of self-loathing? Then stop loathing and start loving. Start loving who you are and embrace the divinity that is within you. Seek the Lord in all things and you will find that peace and happiness we all so desperately crave.

Here's to a week of trying to be better and here's to a week of a lot of flawed imperfect people trying to do the very best we can.


P.S. Although I'd love to claim all of these ideals as my own original thoughts, I have a best friend who is going to read this and feel like he is hearing his own words come out of my mouth. He knows who he is and I hope he knows how much I love and appreciate his support in my life. Thanks, B. And to all of you who continue to teach me so much about who I want to be and how to be better.


The One Where I Can't Commit

Those who know me well know that I am absolutely horrible at making decisions and sticking with them. One day I'm moving to another country and the next day I'm moving back in with my parents. (This sounds extreme but it was in fact a choice at one point.)

I've been thinking today about why I suffer so much with just committing. Committing to doing the right things; committing to stick with the decisions I make; committing to get better. Why do I struggle so much with commitment?

When I came out of the hospital my senior year of high school, I committed to doing everything I could to get well again. I knew it wasn't going to be easy but I also knew the commitment would be well worth it. Yet for some reason there are weeks where I still struggle with committing to change and to getting well. I suppose this could be attributed to many things, however, I've decided that more often than often than not the perfectionist inside of me is so afraid of failure that success becomes almost obsolete.

I don't want to get too well because then I'll be happy all the time and how am I supposed to keep that up? And what sort of expectations are people going to have for me? And then what? Then I'll have no excuse to put relationships on hold and to take naps all day instead of getting things done. I simply don't want to fail but then I also don't want to get so well that I can't mess up. As if that logic makes any sense whatsoever.

It's fascinating to me how often people do this. We commit to a goal, we're just about to reach it, and then something- some form of satanic distraction- gets in the way of our achieving the goals we set. I wish I had a better solution to this, but unfortunately this is a very real and present issue for me right now.

The only conclusion I can really come to at this point is that sometimes we just have to keep. moving. forward. Much easier said than done, but that's the basis of how we really get to achieve the things we truly want in this life. I over-quote this talk by Elder Holland but I'm going to over-quote it some more, "Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is hope and happiness ahead.."

Sometimes that ideal is all we can rely on- happiness will come and help will come and some day everything will work out just right. But for now, just keep walking and keep trying and don't ever give up.

Feeling non-commital,



The Problem With Instant Gratification

The other day I had a question for a friend, nothing pressing, but somewhat important to me regardless. So naturally I sent this friend a quick text message inquiring about my question. I waited... and I waited... and I waited. Eventually it had been thirty minutes and I was concerned if this person was still alive. AND my question still hadn't been answered!!

I've thought about this: this constant need that I have for instant gratification in every aspect of my life. I'm hungry and I want food NOW.
I'm feeling ugly and I want new clothes NOW.
I have a question for a friend and I want an answer right NOW.

How often do we do this? How often do we get caught in this trap of expecting instantaneous results from our often minimal efforts?

I don't know how or when I decided that I should get everything I want exactly when I want it, but lately it has become an extremely pressing issue in my life; in fact, I would say the majority of my trials stem from the fact that I have this undying need to get what I want when I want it.

Unfortunately, or rather fortunately I suppose, this is not how the Lord works whatsoever (which He continues to remind me on a weekly basis as of late). The Lord gets to decide what things I have and what things I don't, because none of these things are mine to be had in the first place!

I will never be able to fully grasp the Lord's vision for my life. I will never fully understand eternal perspective; but, I know that the Lord sees much more than we do. He knows what we need and when we need it.

{I think I need new clothes, but do I really? I mean have you seen my closet? It's exploding.}

It's time to start putting the things that I want right now, this very instant, on hold for a while. Instead I am going to focus on what the Lord wants for me right now. And I can tell ya, He and I are definitely not on the same page just yet. But I'll get there. And I know that when I do, I will have learned that His plan truly is one of divine design, created for my ultimate happiness and success.

What's the Lord's plan for you right now in your life? Think about it. Learn it. Love it.