Have you seen it before? You look around and everyone else seems to be thriving and living these amazing lives? You’re in church and everyone’s kids are sitting (mostly) nicely except yours. The other women have perfect hair, make-up and their dresses and skirts all seem to be adorable on their slim figures. Why does everyone else seem to lead these lives that are full of perfect and lack struggle? Why am I the only one who has a hard time being a mom, or cooking dinner for the family, or why don’t we have enough money to buy all the cute clothes everyone else seems to have?
I’ve learned something over the past couple of years. When we don’t really know someone, their grass is always greener. One hundred percent of the time, it is greener. However, when we take a few minutes to reach out and get to know the people around us, we realize something profound. Their grass looks like ours in some ways. There are patches of brown and yellow throughout – they’re in different places, and vary in size from yours, but they are there. When we look at their grass differently, we see that they don’t have green grass – they have different grass than we do.
Every single person struggles. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. There are no exceptions to this. We are all given trials. Some trials are so hard, and I think all of us would agree. There are things we see happen to other people and we are grateful we aren’t struggling with those things. However, there are plenty of things that we don’t see people struggling with. There are plenty of things others don’t see YOU struggling with. Others may see your grass as the brightest green of them all, but you know better, and know there are patches in your grass too. We may not see their struggle. We may see their struggle and not understand how that it is a struggle for someone because it is so easy for us. We must realize that the things we struggle with are sometimes the thing that others thrive through. The things we find easy and wonderful will paralyze others with fear.
We must be patient and loving towards each other. We must be patient and loving towards ourselves. We need to remember as we look around us that everyone is struggling in some way. We have more in common with each other than we’re sometimes willing to share. When we are willing to follow through with the thought to text, call, or visit someone we will break down a barrier. When we feel prompted to say a prayer, add someone’s name to the temple roll, or maybe just doing your visiting teach and follow through, we are breaking a barrier. The barriers may be tiny, even invisible to our eyes. However, as we follow promptings we receive we can begin friendships and start to work together through our struggles and self-doubt with the help of others.
We are all great at seeing our shortcomings. Isn’t it so easy to look in the mirror in the morning and just nitpick? Isn’t it so easy to look at your life, and see where you’re lacking? Satan is so great at getting into our heads like that. He’s so great at telling us that our neighbors are so much more put together than we are. He’s so great at making sure we don’t feel our Saviors love.
The truth is, Satan really is the father of lies. He really is the one that is so excited when we belittle ourselves, our lives, and when we just can’t see any good. He is THRILLED. We have to take the initiative. We have to tell him we will not allow him to empower us. We have to make that choice to get him away from us and to speak louder than him.
When you look in the mirror, find that voice, the one deep inside that says, “You are beautiful,” or “You are a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves you,” or “You’re doing the best you can, and that is enough.” Find it. It is absolutely there. Your Father in Heaven does not abandon you. Satan will, but our Heavenly Father will not. If you can’t find that voice, ASK HIM to hear it. Ask Him if He loves you. Have you done that before? He will answer you. He will tell you. He will allow you to KNOW that you matter to Him. Sometimes we have to ask, and when we do, He is ready to answer. We read in Doctrine & Convents 8:2, “Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.”
I love Elder Anderson’s talk from April 2011 called <em>As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten</em>. Elder Anderson talks about an experience that President Brown had with a currant bush. He tells us about how there was a currant bush that was 6 feet tall and needed to be cut down. The currant bush was crying as it was cut and seemed to be asking why the farmer was cutting it down. The farmer explained that it was for the currant bush’s good. It was meant to be a currant bush, not a fruit or a shade tree. He goes on to say,
“If we sincerely desire and strive to measure up to the high expectations of our Heavenly Father, He will ensure that we receive all the help we need, whether it be comforting, strengthening, or chastening. If we are open to it, needed correction will come in many forms and from many sources. It may come in the course of our prayers as God speaks to our mind and heart through the Holy Ghost. It may come in the form of prayers that are answered no or differently than we had expected. Chastening may come as we study the scriptures and are reminded of deficiencies, disobedience, or simply matters neglected.”
Our Heavenly Father is molding us and shaping us with all these trials and hard things. He is testing and trying us. However, He is there for us through it all. We may feel hopeless or alone or deep despair, but He is there always. He will comfort us when we feel less than, and when we can only see the greener grasses. Let Him in. He is the way to comfort and self-love.
Hi! I’m Kara, the founder of Today I am Enough. I have 6 kids, 7 years apart. I am a stay at home mom. I don’t have a college degree, and I don’t wear a tiny pant size. I mess up all the time, and I probably spend too much time on the computer and my phone.
I am also a great friend, compassionate, a good listener and have a passion for making sure that other people understand the value their lives hold.
In life we need to be reminded of how great we really are. We need to remember that we all have a story to share. It may be simple, it may be full of lots of trials, and really hard things. There is joy along the way. There is joy in the hard things we go through, and if we look for the good, we will see it.
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