I can do it myself.
One of my first words when I was little was, “Self!” Early on, I established that I could do things by myself thank you very much. My mother instead of fighting with me constantly, let me go out in the stream of ridiculous outfits I picked for myself, matching or not. This stubborn, independent streak has followed me through my life. Especially the part about not letting other people help me out. The hardest things for me to admit are:
1. I cannot do it alone.
2. I am wrong sometimes.
So there you have it, my two biggest issues are centered in pride. I am not even sure why I am admitting these two things publicly, but something about the blogosphere feels safe. And I am guessing I am not the only human to struggle with these two things.
Why do we like to lie to ourselves? Why do we feel the need to be right and to be seen as right?
The truth is, we all crave control. It feels like control when we can do it ourselves, when we can find the correct answer on the other side of the equals equation, when we pretend.
Before I decided to serve a mission, I went through a long process of my pride slowly being degraded and worn down. I thought to myself, God can’t make me do anything. I get to choose. I get to decide. So I decided to stay. I planted my feet and said, this isn’t for me. Instead of berating me or pushing me down, Heavenly Father still loved me through this decision, still accepted me fully and completely. More than that, He gently told me all my righteous desires would still be fulfilled even as I broke a promise I had made to serve a mission.
Along the way, I had something of a faith crisis. I began to pull at the roots of my deeply implanted testimony and started to turn away from the things I love most. As I did so, I felt fractured, upset, and hurt. I told myself the same lie over and over: It’s okay. I can do it alone. I can be happy without the Church. It’s okay. I’m okay alone.
I hurt in the deepest part of myself as I turned away from my Father in Heaven who had loved me through everything. This hurt though, was for my own good. Because eventually, with gentle and loving encouragement from friends and through communion with God, I realized this hurt and this distance was completely unnecessary. I stopped telling myself the lie. You can do it alone.
YOU CAN’T. YOU CANNOT DO IT ALONE.
Think of it. Every single person out there deeply craves and needs connection and acceptance. Every single human being that has been or will be needs love. This is the whole point of life. To love and to be loved.
And out of all the relationships out there, friendships, partnerships, romantic-ships there is one that tops them ALL. There is one source that will always be there, through thick and thin. There is one relationship we can always count on.
It is your personal relationship with your loving Heavenly Father. No matter who you are. No matter where you come from, the color of your skin, your disabilities, your flaws, your socioeconomic background, your family issues, your sexual orientation, your career, or your education. No matter what, the most important relationship is with a merciful God that loves you with all of your flaws.
I did not always know this. It is through being broken hearted over and over again that I have learned this. It is through the human angels God has sent to teach me this. It is through knowing fully well that no matter what I do, my worth to Him is unchangeable.
The best thing for me is not always what I think it is. The best thing for me is not to be comfortable in my own stubborn human independence. The best thing for me is not to always be right. The best thing for me is to know God better, to develop my relationship with Him who knows all and loves all perfectly and unconditionally.
To what end? Some may ask. To the end that I can be encircled about in His arms and that I may enter into His grace. That I can always have the love of my God.
From the Book of Mormon: