A few years ago when we moved up North, I went through a strange time. I met all these new and wonderful people but all it did was make me feel inadequate. I had lived in the same area my whole life (except for a couple of years of college). People knew me, knew my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, they knew that I was a good gymnast back in the day, that I could sing, that I was someone. I fell into a habit of comparing myself to everyone around me. Of course, I usually compared their strengths to my weaknesses so not surprisingly, I never measured up. I felt like the epitome of a mediocre mother. I was mediocre at a lot of things but not great at anything. I scrapbooked, but not as well as my friend. I sing, but not as well as other amazing singers. I did triathlon, but only short distance ones. I didn't bake my own bread, or home school my kids, the list went on an on. So then to make myself feel better, I would see someone that was amazing at something and I would immediately find some fault of theirs, be it physical, social, or emotional. Guess what? The only person who suffered from my lapse in character was. . . yep, me. So I stopped comparing myself so much to the people around me (which is not very easy). I have tried to be inspired by people and what they do amazingly well and not feel like I am less of a person if I am not equally amazing at that certain thing.
We recently had the opportunity to hear General Conference where the leaders of our church speak to us. I had an amazing little personal prophetic epistle from this talk by Lynn G. Robbins. He talks about the difference between DO and BE. We are so concerned and focused on what we DO (our profession, our talents, hobbies, etc.) and we often forget to think about what kind of person we ought to BE (humble, kind, patient, loving, etc). I was so grateful for this message because I feel like I have more help and direction now in my efforts to BE a better person and to allow others to BE their own version of a great person. I DO lots of things but I don't want that to define me. I am really looking forward to working with my kids on this idea as well. I think it will make them happier and better adjusted as they focus on the Christlike attributes they want to emulate instead of focusing on what they DO.
Maybe this is all too personal but I have recently been thinking about some incredible people in my life. They have talents and faults just like the rest of us but of late, I have been able to admire what they are good at and allow them to inspire me to make little improvements in myself. I want to share some of these people on my blog in the next few months and I felt like I should share the back story.