Looking Back

A darling lady in our ward made a comment in church today that got me pondering. She is in her mid-sixties and has been working on a scanning project of the last forty years of her life. She said, “I looked back at these photos and remember how I felt about myself. I didn’t think I was skinny enough or pretty enough or whatever. But when I look at my self ten, twenty, thirty, and forty years ago I have so much empathy and love for that person and think how beautiful that person was!” It really made me think because I too have been scanning photos from my life. Mine only spans back 36 years, but I too had thoughts in my teen years of “I’m not pretty enough, or maybe some day I’ll grow into my ears… etc.” But I look at these photos now and think “Wow! how were boys not lined down the street for that girl?” I don’t mean it conceited but I just really thought at times that I was unloveable, but looking back with that wisdom, love, knowing that I got to where I am today because of the choices that younger version made, gives me such admiration for who I was. The teacher urged us to not knock the daughter of God we see in the mirror. If we were in royalty’s presence we would revere, respect, admire, and love them, not criticize and condemn them for imperfect skin or whatever. We need to treat ourselves– both the outside version of ourselves and our spirits with the same due respect we would royalty– for we are. We are daughters of the Highest of royalty. I think of my friends. Some are short, some are long and skinny, some have curves, but when I look at them I don’t see that. I see beautiful, strong women that I admire and want to be around. I look to lift them up and look to them to lift me up when I can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other. Relief Society is the LARGEST women’s organization in the world! What we could do if we worked together and were kind to each individual, including ourselves. This world is not kind to the meek. They overlook nurturing as a valuable trait. They undermine and belittle the greatest work we can do as women. This is cause for greater focus and fervor in the home. Those cuddles and kisses. The encouraging words and kind guidance are the most important efforts we can make for our future generations.

This week we “celebrated” the end of Beverly’s 3’s preschool year. I put “celebrated” because it was more of a celebration for her than I. I love spending time with my kids, I just wish that their preschool ended the same time as the boy’s school, because Max and Maverick seem to be the masters at entertaining the younger ones.

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