Working on…

October 27th, 2013 in About Me

I had a wonderful AHHA moment at church. The lesson was on depression and how hard we are on ourselves as women. One of the comments that a woman gave clicked together and answered a worry of mine. She was expressing gratitude for a couple of friends she had that really lifted her up. They lifted her up by the way they talked with each other. They weren’t superficial, they wouldn’t bask in the negative, they weren’t competing with each other. They also wouldn’t pretend. She said that they would talk about a problem they were having, or a triumph they were having, and share how they got through things. Which is always what I want to know from people, things I haven’t heard before, real things.

I have this awful habit to put myself down in front of others. Definitely not so other women will reassure me or tell me how great I am. It is because I feel like I am waving a flag shouting, “Don’t expect anything for me!” Don’t expect my house to look professionally put together and cleaned when you peek inside. Don’t expect me to be thin or dressed cute or have my hair done. Don’t expect to not hear my kids shouting at each other when you walk by. I am not the one you compare yourself to. I don’t have anything that I do really great in my life.

It’s awful. It goes beyond being real or honest.

We all don’t like for people to pretend. But also it isn’t fun to be around someone that is always so down on themselves. So I’ll open my mouth more to say what I’m going through (good or bad) and share the experience behind it. The deeper experience. This is my goal.

We are having a hard time with my oldest daughter, just going through a difficult phase. It’s ever more so difficult for me because all of my bad qualities are coming to light. She has found my bad habits, made them her own, and they drive me up the wall. This is going to be an awful phase to get through but also a very rewarding one. I am having to work on myself; my self confidence, not being so hard on myself, loving myself, thinking the best of others, not dwelling on negative, not taking emotions out on the people very closest to me. And then I have to teach someone that I am in charge of how to fix themselves too. Every word that comes out of my mouth I have to think about before it comes tumbling out. Because man oh man that little girl of mine soaks up everything and copies it.

Lots of personal changing going on over here. But it is good for all of us, really good.

Right now we are working on thinking the absolute best of others and not dwelling in the negative. For instance if someone hurts you. Sure you can talk about it with someone, pray about it, be told you are loved. But then we move on, we don’t dwell. Then we focus our attention on things we DO have. We aren’t always looking behind at the negative things. Our focus goes into the positive. A goal we are working on, connecting with someone who reaches out to us, etc.

When my husband blessed Abby as a baby he said that Abby would need to look to the example of her mom. I remember hearing that and becoming so sick inside. WAIT, WHY ME? Pick someone else! Surely an aunt, or a grandma, or or or or…someone else. But this little girl is so much like me, it was a strong message to me. She follows my lead so strongly and it really has come to light lately!

Lastly, the most important thing of all we are working on, is loving ourself. I can look at my daughter and see how amazing she is. I can start a list and not be able to stop by nightfall of all the things she is wonderful at. I have to see that sort of love in myself. So she can see it in herself too. Because she already is starting to not be able to see how wonderful she is. And it is heartbreaking.

Man this mom business keeps me on my toes!

6 Responses to “Working on…”

  • sarah Garcia
    October 28th, 2013 at 2:29 am

    not an easy thing to think about and share with others congrats. I’m going to reread this a few times and let it soak in

  • jessie hansen
    October 28th, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Something that helped me with this a lot was Jenny Lawson. Check out this: and my take on it:
    It was amazing. I’ve always had image issues but this experience, including the relationship I’ve formed with the photographers afterward, was amazing and it made me feel amazing.

  • Linda
    October 28th, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Amen. I understand you worry that Abby is picking up some negatives but I know as she watches she will be picking up lots of positives. Can’t be helped. You are a great role model to your girls. Believe me and see the good qualities you have. Good luck

  • Betsy Fox
    October 29th, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Hi Vanessa,
    It’s time to share one of my very most favorite quotes:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
    Marianne Williamson

    This quote was shared with me from one of my most unapologetically awesome, talented friends.
    Vanessa, you are a remarkable lady. I regularly look at pictures of your girls and think how lucky they are to have you for a mom.
    But I know that’s not really what you need to hear. I think you need to hear that it’s okay– more than okay– it is healthy for you to admit to yourself and anyone else that you are wonderful. That doesn’t mean you don’t have flaws and weaknesses. It just means that you are wonderful and your daughters are and everyone else is as well. We’re all wonderful because we’re children of God.
    Once again, not news to you. Embrace your gifts and by so doing, it will allows others to as well. And it will attract positive wonderful people to you.
    Love you and miss you! Wish we were still in the same ward.

  • Emily
    October 29th, 2013 at 5:07 am

    I’m with Linda. That girl will pick up on all your gazillion wonderful qualities and she will, as my friend likes to say, “rock on with her bad self.” Shall I list all the things I love about you? Yes, I think I shall: loving, kind, fun, creative, charitable, caring, adventurous, supportive, freckled (love this!), thoughtful, great shopper (another thing I love), humble…

  • Jamie M
    November 10th, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I see this so much in my Samantha too, and then I have to be very careful about what I say and do, and then try to change those things, which is hard. But the change is so good for both of us, I know that!! You are doing a great job as Mom and they have a million good qualities to mirror also!!

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