I have spent most of my life feeling inadequate in most areas. I have struggled and given up more times than I would like to admit. When I am around my peers I feel like an ant among giants. I have beaten the life and will out of myself for years. I have fought and continue to fight all the pain and suffering that has come from this way of being. However, I am proud of myself for how far I have come. I have changed my thoughts and my diet. I have learned to set healthy boundaries. I have really grown this past year. I do not however, expect all the emotional, physical, mental aspects of my life to resolve themselves in such a short time. There are still so many factors that are out of my control. In fact my frustration and anxiety level has been at an all time high these past couple of weeks. I have let to many things creep and stay in my mind that aren't good. They are bad and they make me feel bad. Stress equals flare up! When I hurt everything seems to be painful. This is true of both my physical and mental state of being.
When things get this bad and foggy in my head I just need to stop and sort out all the junk again. That is easier said than done. I have struggled doing this with the clutter in my head and in my house. There is no surprise that the chaos I feel inside is linked to the clutter in my house. I reached out for help recently. A friend of mine responded and came over and helped me organize my pantry and then did my dishes so I could take a rest. It is really hard to ask for help but that is what I need. This has really helped me stay on top of my kitchen all week. We also had our first successful family meeting where my husband and I met first and then talked to each kid individually. Everyone was happy! Yes! We have tried to do it all together and the kids are unruly and complain and it has never ended well. It is more like a family war then anything peaceful or ending in any kind of resolution.We decided to work on contributions and bed time routine this week. We also started our Chore wars competition. I am so tired of nagging the kids to do things so we came up with this idea. I have tried point systems, charts and they have all crashed and burned in flames. So we are giving this a shot.It is a friendly competition between the kids to see who can do the most chores at the end of the week. Each of the older kids are paired with a younger one so that it is fair and they learn to teach it to their siblings. So far, like most of my ideas it is going very well. The kids are earning cotton balls in their jars and I can work on decluttering. That is when my energy is good of course. Thanks to my friend I have a clean pantry and I have started to work on my paper closet. I call it this because this is where I stash all my paper. If I open it right now it all falls out like a paper avalanche and a reminder that I have no idea how to sort them.
My focus has always been on how much I need to improve and fearing the future. I found this was magnified by a never ending to do list. It might as well have been a hammer nailing the last nail in the coffin of my sense of self and worth. I can't keep up and I set the bar of perfection too high.Instead of focusing on a to do list and all the things I need to work on, I want to focus on a to grow list. I want to write all the areas in which I am growing. No pressure just appreciating where I am and where I want to go. (grow)That is what I have been trying to do this last year. I planted a seed and I have needed to be patient as I watch it grow. It doesn't grow overnight and the progress is slow. I know that things have changed including within me. As long as I am growing upwards on onwards. I can't just hide in the ground forever. That is not why God put us on this earth. We have the plan of Happiness. God sees us for what we can become. He sees the growth. We can grow as President Hinckley suggests in the following quote
“Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike” (“This Is the Work of the Master,” Ensign, May 1995, 71).
How do we stand a little taller? Nothing stands taller than trees. Have you ever looked at trees? They all stand so tall reaching for the sky. They are strong and rooted. Lets quickly look at how trees grow.Most trees take 20-30 years to grow. I think that most of our growing starts after about 20 years old. From childhood up until then I would say it is like planting the seed. So at the rate I am growing, by the time I am 50 I should have become who I was meant to be! I am joking of course but in a way it is true. There are so many factors that effect the rate at which we grow.That is, if we are given the right growing conditions. The environment for trees depends on the climate and water. Our growth depends on our environment and how and what we nourish ourselves with. The biggest change this year for me was how much I drenched myself in the words of the scriptures. I always read my scriptures pretty regularly. This past year I have searched and thought constantly on the Lord and his words. I have longed for peace and to know what I should do. I clung to hope and now, looking back I can see that I did grow. I grew in strength and love for myself. That is what self esteem is isn't it?Even though I feel like I have been cut down to a stump by my circumstances I am growing quickly. Remember God sees our growth so we need to trust in him to get us there. We have to stop beating ourselves up and try to control what we are not meant to control. Stand a little taller. Be a little better.
In order for our self esteem and who we are to grow we have to be aware of what is feeding our self esteem or lack of it. Guess what? A lot of the times it turns out to be how we see ourselves and what we are telling ourselves. It takes time but it is worth it to nourish good thought and self worth. After all we are daughters and sons of God. Yes we have a lot of growing to do. Look at your progress, not the lack of it. Look at how you talk and carry yourself. Self care is very important for growth.These are all ways to grow your self esteem. I know because I am working on it daily. Think tall growing thoughts. Look at all you are doing right. You are growing as long as you are trying. You may be struggling to find the right balance or the right ways to nourish yourself. Keep looking and trying new things. Just as I have been doing within myself and the walls of my home.Stand tall and keep growing and reaching for all this life has to offer. You can do it!