Monday, June 17, 2013

Your Worst You

Do you ever feel like you've become your worst you?

All the petty smallness you stash away in the dark recesses of your soul somehow escape and wreak havoc on your carefully built relationships??

This seems to happen to me from time to time a lot.

It strikes me as funny and sad that most of the time it's over stupid stuff, and within the realm of deep and important relationships.

The worst part is KNOWING while you are doing it that you are doing it, and you still say something stupid to yourself like "I don't care," but you really do, and you know you are going to be sorry later and pay for your misdeeds.

And for some reason we think that our relationships, especially family relationships, will survive these emotional sieges.

If you don't already know this, they won't.

"But we're family!" some protest. "They'll understand!"

That is the saddest excuse for treating people poorly, and the fact that they are family makes the behavior and the subsequent betrayed trust and hurt all the more tragic.

If anything, we should treat close relationships like they are special. Just because someone is close to you doesn't mean you can vomit your bad behavior on them and expect them to still want to be with you.

That's not to say we should be uptight or rigid around people. But we should try and be our best selves, and give the respect and love we would want when we associate with others.

That goes for any relationship: Parent to child, sibling to sibling, child to parent, friend to friend, whatever.

When the Savior was baptized, a dove descended and a voice was heard saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

There have been other occasions when the Father has commended His son, and that impresses itself on my mind. Jesus knew what he was doing was the will of God, and God verified it, expressing His joy in what His son did...a father speaking well of his son. Heavenly Father set the example of how we should treat our children; Jesus set the example of how we should treat others, our literal brothers and sisters.

We need to cherish our earthly relationships so that they become eternal ones. There's no guarantee. Just because you have family here, doesn't mean you'll have them there. That is strictly based on how we behave on Earth. I don't think God will nod knowingly and sympathetically when we explain to Him that we treated people unkindly because they were family and they should understand.

I think we'll be more accountable for it.

"But, I loved them, doesn't that count?" some may ask.

And my answer is this: If you love them, show it by treating them with love. Bite your tongue when stinging words dance on the tip of it. Hold your breath when you feel the swelling that often turns into yells. Build where you want to destroy. Rejoice in accomplishments when jealously tempts you to withhold praise. Soothe the soul, don't scathe it. Forgo pride in favor of peace. Encouraging progress, instead of bombarding with perfectionism. That's love.

It's a tall order.

But if you truly love someone, or desire them to continue to love you, it something worth striving for.

It's something I want to do. And I know at times I'm really bad at it.

But, as they say, it's not how many times you fall down...'s how many you get up.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Beautifully written!

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