Why is it so hard to give those around us the benefit of the doubt? Why do we compare ourselves to others? I have been thinking about that one a lot. I am pretty good about not judging those around me, but not so good about not judging myself, or even my children.
I seem to live in a place where people decide they are successful or unsuccessful based on the worthiness of their children, or their own professed worthiness. Like having kids that totally follow the straight and narrow, would make me any better of a person, or a mother.
Women talk about the things their children do. How good they are, how righteous they are, how they have done everything right in their lives. They talk about how all 12 of their children have been to the temple and hold callings. It is very hard for me to not compare my struggles with their righteousness.
I have children who have chosen different paths in their lives. They don't follow the same things that I do. They have made mistakes. They have struggled. They have cried. They have failed and some of them have overcome. Some of them are still working on that. I also have children who have chosen to live good lives, righteous lives. Who work hard to serve others and who make good choices. I am proud of every single one of them. I love each one and rejoice in the things they have accomplished and continue to accomplish.
I am grateful for the lessons they have taught me. I am also grateful to my son in laws and my daughter in law for the way they treat my children and the love they have for them. No matter what their choices have been, each and every one of them deserve love and kindness.
Sometimes, I feel like I should love the good ones more. But as a mother, I have learned that I love them all. Good choices or bad. Those young adults and teens mean the world to me. I am equally in love with the people that I know they are. The funny thing (or not so funny) is that I don't judge them for their mistakes, I judge myself. I compare myself to those families whose children have not had the struggles that mine have had. I can't help feeling like there must be something wrong with me that my children would make those decisions, or have those things happen to them in their lives. No matter how hard I have tried, bad things happen. No matter how much I pray, bad things happen. No matter what choices I make, bad things still happen. I have had to learn that Heavenly Father does not take away anyone's free agency. None of us really choose what happens to us, but we all get to choose how we react to the things that others bad decisions bring into our lives.
We are each one of us unique and loved and needed and wanted and cared for. Each one of us is a rare gift to the world around us. Let us work harder on not stealing the joy that being unique can bring into our own life as well as the lives of those around us. Don't steal joy that I know Heavenly Father takes in each one of us. We are unique for a reason. Sometimes, it is that very uniqueness that brings joy into the life of someone else.
To each one of my children and children-in-law, I love you. You are amazing!!! You are everything I could have ever hoped for and dreamed of. You are exactly who I want you to be. I love you dearly, in all your imperfections and insecurities. I admire you spunk, independence, and perseverance. You are Sons and Daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves you more than you can ever imagine.
You are mine on loan, but you are His for eternity.