My heart has been unsettled these past weeks. I’ve caught myself feeling insecure, angry, bitter and jealous far too often. Those are ugly emotions and not very fun to admit to.
My discontent was a combination of many things– constant injuries, Erik and I are racing towards 40, Ben has just a few summers left at home and what about all the plans we made in our twenties? … the trips we thought we’d take? …the master’s degree? … the interesting jobs?…what about living abroad or even in another state?
I’m also at a turning point– with the store closed and my kids getting older I have choices to make— but instead of seeing the world as my oyster I felt trapped in my circumstances.
Gratitude was my first tonic of choice. I made lists of all that is good but found myself still wanting more.
It was the morning comics that turned me around. One of the most obnoxious comic characters said, “The world owes me complete unmitigated happiness. And if I don’t get it? Well, I’m just going to spit on you all!”
I laughed out loud! That was me.
I’ve just been too proud. More than anything else I need to practice humility. I complain that I haven’t had opportunities– and yet I have the opportunity every day to read, eat a full meal, sleep in a soft bed, play with my children, listen to music, write, take pictures. The world is full of people who struggle just for their daily bread and I have a dozen varieties to choose from! Yes, I can spend my life focused on unfinished work and my children’s endless messes but that would be my own foolish choice.
Andrew Murray wrote, “Humility is the only soil in which virtue takes root; a lack of humility is the explanation of every defect and failure.” That’s strong medicine. But when I think of people I admire the most, it is their humility that shines. I think of Marjorie Hinckley with her self-effacing humor and her ability to see the best in everyone. I think of my neighbor Kent Sorenson who took great interest in everyone he met. He didn’t see troubled young boys; he simply saw great men in embryo.
Over my desk hangs a quote from Neal Maxwell, “What we insistently desire over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in all eternity.”
What do I want? I want to be a good mother, a loving wife, a loyal friend, to constantly see the best in other people. I want you to feel loved and secure knowing that I won’t gossip about you or judge you in your failures and that I will cheer for you in your successes. Your joy is my joy your hurt is my hurt.
I want humility. I know I can’t attain it myself, but Christ, the humblest of all, has promised to share his virtues with us all. Already, I feel lighter and happier.