Sometimes I fall into the temptation of beating myself up, of picking at every little flaw and putting myself down saying things like, "Why can't I figure things out?" "She seems like such a better mother than me." "When will I learn to hold my tongue and be more patient with my kids?" "I wish I were prettier like her... I wish I were smarter like so and so... I wish I could somehow keep at least a little order in my house instead of this chaotic mess all the time..." and on and on I go viewing myself so negatively.
Pretty depressing ha?
So in my little slump I turned to some talks that were given at a women's conference a few years back. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Maybe someone else needs this pep talk too... so here's a few clips from it.
"We are all pretty hard on ourselves, but it seems to me women are harder on themselves than men will ever be. Why is that so? We ask you not to do it. Repent when or where that is necessary, but then honor that other “R”—Rejoice!" - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
and then Sister Holland adds...
"Sisters, may I make an appeal that it is a time for us, especially as women, to try to strip ourselves of something else that also seems so prevalent among women. I suppose men suffer with such things, too, but it seems to be particularly evident, and particularly painful, among women. It is closely related to the things my husband just touched on. I speak of the constant feeling we seem to have that what we are or what we have is not enough. That is Satan’s demonic chant sounding continually in our ears. It is not true! We are more intelligent than this. We are stronger, much stronger, than this! Constantly comparing ourselves with others leaves us feeling so weak and worthless. It taps into our pride and poisons with jealousy. Let’s start a new “chant”— that we are women of Christ, that we are spiritually strong personally, and that we will prepare the next generation for their opportunities. Let us strip ourselves of pride and vanity and envy forever.
Heaven only knows how much the world uses envy and pride and worldly glamour in our society. We have to walk away from these things but this will not be easy to do. We will need these gifts of heaven of which we spoke earlier, the power of God’s grace and priesthood, the atoning power of the Savior, which compensates where we try and try but seem to fall short.
James knew all this. He said: “The spirit which God implanted in us [all of us] turns towards envious desires. Yet the grace he gives is stronger. Thus the scripture says, God opposes the arrogant and gives grace to the humble. Be submissive then to God. . . . Come close to [him] and he will come close to you. . . .Humble yourselves before God and he will lift you up” (James 4:5–6, 8, 10, New English Bible;
Isn’t that a tremendous thought? If we would not “lift” ourselves up with these cursed temptations of envy and pride, God would gladly step in and do the “lifting” for us! Only He can lift us up where He wants us and where we really want to be. We can’t get there by clawing or clamor, by cattiness or cutting others down. We certainly can’t get there by vaunting ourselves “up.”
Furthermore I believe with all my heart that this is a challenge we will face again and again. We should not be discouraged if the challenge returns tomorrow just when we thought we gave it such a good effort today. I say this out of the honesty, and experience, of my own heart. I struggle with these issues just as you do, and just as everyone does. So don’t give up hope and don’t think you are the only one who feels these things or struggles with these temptations. We all do, but every effort is a godly one, and every victory is counted for our good. And if we turn around to face the same challenge again tomorrow, so be it. We will work again, with all our heart, to strip away anything that keeps us from truly being “meek and lowly”—in all the right ways—before God. His grace is sufficient to help us succeed at that."- Patricia Holland
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