I understand that I've said a million and three halves times that "I've learned so much," and that it's so cliche of me to say. BUT, there is a reason it's a cliche. AND, isn't learning the entire reason that we are even here?
The lesson I learned this week--today it was set in stone--was long overdue, but I think learning things the hard way are the best way to learn them because you can add 8 other things to the list of "things I learned from 'XYZ'" than you can when you learn things the easy way.
I've always been a "pleaser" I guess. I've always denied it. I don't really like the thought because if you look at it logically there is absolutely-positively no way to please everyone. All logistics laid out on the table, (like a game of 52 card pick up--everywhere) I wasn't about to read any of those logic listed cards. I've always wanted to be perfect, to be big and successful and always wanted everyone to love everything that I did. Now, the reason that that doesn't work very well, is reasons mentioned previously AND, here's the big one: You can't really be pleasing everyone else if you aren't pleased with yourself first. That seems selfish, I'm sure, but that's not what I'm meaning when I say this. "You can't make anyone else happy until you're happy yourself." "You can't love anyone else completely until you love yourself." I'm sure you've heard these things a million times over, but something that isn't said very often is something along the lines of, "You can't please anyone until you are pleasing yourself." Same idea--different way to look at it.
Okay, so where am I going with this? Well, the past 8 months have been pretty hard. I wouldn't take any of them back, but they've been full of change and not all of that was on top of the "Changes That I Love List" and that caused a few problems, a few bad weeks, and quite a few tears.
I'm not going to give you all the gory details because some of them were in previous blog posts, and the negative things don't really matter anymore because I'm all about moving forward these days. (Or I try. Easier said than done. Especially being the over thinker/analyzer that I am.) But I am going to tell you that I've been pretty stupid. I've had some sort of blinders on and I couldn't tell you why other than the awful thing called PRIDE.
I've been so caught up in pleasing everyone, and comparing weaknesses to strengths (which are NOT comparable) and being too prideful to ask for help when I've needed it. I was/am doing the things I was supposed to--reading scriptures, saying prayers, and living righteously. Well, what I didn't realize was that I was letting Satan sit on my head and pick at my heart like it was his job and I was the one paying him to do it. You've (or more precisely, me.) have always thought that Satan only tempts you with all the "bad" things of the world like drugs, and sex, and cheating and the obvious sins, but being negative, giving up, and feeling sad is straight from that little Satan and sometimes that's hard to realize. Despite the fact that I was doing all that I was "supposed" to do I was still feeling frustrated and still feeling like I was ending up on the bottom of an icy hill and the journey behind didn't look like smooth sailing except on the way back down. I wasn't living the way I was supposed to because I wasn't choosing to be happy, and that's all that God wants for us--for us to be happy. I know, I know, you've heard all of this before, but please take it to heart--it's repeated for a reason.
Well, like I concluded the last paragraph, I wasn't choosing to be happy. I was choosing to be disappointed in my failures, and frustrations because I thought that was showing that I cared, and that I was really a good person because being angry with failure was proving something. (Don't ask me what, I couldn't tell you.) Some of the greatest successes have come through failures. Take that failure by the hand, show it to it's reserved space in the filing cabinet of your mind labeled, "Things I'd Never Do Again, But Can Surely Learn From"
The point I'm trying to get at (through many more words than I'm sure is necessary) is that success isn't measured by numbers, or grades, or the amount of money you make or even the people that you please. It's measured in the PROGRESS that you're making, and the spirit that you feel, and the people that you make smile. You can't make anyone smile with a frown and a negative attitude, can you? Honestly. That's sure a talent (that I don't know that I'd be proud of) because someones sadness has NEVER made me smile.
It's OKAY to be proud of your failures, and to be PROUD of your talents. It's okay to feel confident and it's okay to not be able to do everything. It's okay to ask for help no matter how hard it may be. I've had to humble myself and quit my job and ask my parents for help because SURPRISE I can't do everything that I think I can. I'm tough enough to continue what I'm doing and I just needed to make more changes. It's okay to be a little bit selfish. "Selfish in a good way," is how my lovely father puts it.
I was about to give up because I didn't think I could do it anymore, but what I figured out was simple. I've bitten off more than I could chew and I need to ask for help. I've needed to be okay being happy because being frustrated and tired wasn't proving that I was tough enough to go through hard things. That was doing the opposite. Being happy after a failure and moving forward is much more admirable. SO, I've accepted my weaknesses (Okay, I'm not perfect. I'm accepting them) and I'm moving forward because instead of climbing up that icy hill, the flat ground ahead is much more appealing right now. I'll find some bettter shoes and a few other people to hold my hand and and help me up that hill when the time is right.
Focus on the GOOD things, okay? Go to lunch with your dad because he'll probably be the answer to your prayers and bring you heaven on a platter with just a few silly, but completely true and inspiring, words.
Focus on the LITTLE things, okay? The smiles, and the leaves and the scriptures and the cute Bio TA and the snap-chats from your best friends and the way that your roommates speak a completely different language.
Focus on the times and the things that make you happy. Be rational, and make sure the important things are getting done, too, and always put the Lord first because everything will fall into place. (Don't even get me started on that or you'll be here for a million more words. I'll go there someday, soon.)
Write in a gratitude journal every night. It works miracles. (Thanks, Addison for teaching me that one.) Don't be afraid to humble yourself and fall to your knees in prayer and admit that you can't do it alone.
And lastly, remember who your family is. Your family are those that bring you up, not tear you down. Your family are those that text you everyday and get you through. Your Father in Heaven and your brother Jesus Christ are your FAMILY. Your family are the people you serve and those that warm your heart with their presence. Be others family, okay?
I love you lots. Keep your chin up. I know it's really hard sometimes, but I'll hold my hand under your chin if I have to. Give compliments, and be proud of what you do. Progress. It's all about progress.