I recently posted on Facebook:
Life is hard. The end. Seriously. The details in each individual's life don't even have to be known for us to have a little compassion and realize that life is hard for all of us. There is always another trial around the corner.
However, life is beautiful too. I dare say, it is more beautiful than anything else it can be, will be, is. Yes, it sometimes takes great effort to see the beauty beyond the thick fog that trials and hardship can lay before us, but it is possible. Focus on the light, focus on the love. There is beauty all around. Find it.
Here's the thing, it's not just the beauty that gets lost in the fog of trials, but, sadly, the people do too.
On another blog, a friend commented that she hopes her daughter, and who her daughter truly is, doesn't get lost in the school evaluation process. I've been there and done that and it is valid concern. Four out of the five children in my home have been through rigorous testing and evaluation processes, usually being prompted by behavioral problems and challenges. And it's always a concern of mine that who my child is and all the good that comes with that isn't lost in the process. I don't want my children to be treated merely as a list of diagnostic codes. And I don't want those codes to define them. I don't want others to simply see them as ADD, or Anxiety Disorder, or Asperger's, Eating Disorder. I want others to see them as the kind, intuitive, creative, generous, brave, curious, funny, caring, problem-solvers that they are.
But you know what, it happens to me too. To all adults really. What I mean is, what I don't want to happen to my children, I often do to myself and I think as adults, we do it to ourselves a lot.
With all that I have been individually going through lately, I have a tendency to define myself as depressed or numb or even lazy. And I have to remember that's not who I am. It may be how I am from time to time, but never who. Just as I have to remember, and help others remember, that those things are not who my children are, but rather a symptom of what they are going through, I have to give allowances for myself and other adults as well.
My dear sister recently bought me an apron. I love aprons. Mostly because I am a very messy cook. I love to cook and I am actually pretty good at it, but I am not a tidy cook at all. But that's beside the point. The point is the apron. Why an apron? Because it is me. When she gave it to me she said, "I bought this for Christmas for you, but I want you to have it now. I want you to have it to remember who you really are. Think of it as your superhero cape. Put it on and remember who you really are."
And you know what, when I put it on I feel so much more human. That might be because when I am putting it on it usually means I am doing something to require the apron, but... I do feel so much more me when it's wrapped about my waist. I feel like I can do anything, be anything. I can create and love and nurture the way I long to, the way I was born to. I feel my strength and human compassion come back to me. I feel invincible. I feel like people can see me, like I can see me, through the fog of life's challenges.
When I was contemplating these things this week, my mind recalled an address by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The following is quoted from his address entitled, Forget Me Not: