By: Sarah Young
Pride has always been one of my downfalls. As nearly the youngest of 13 children, I learned independence early on – if I wanted something done, then I had to do it myself or I may be waiting a long time. I came to believe no one could do as good a job as me, or my way was the best way. As I grew older, however, life became more complicated. Work, family, life…happened.
I became a mom right around the time that social media really began to take off. I loved sharing the good moments of my life and reveling in others lives as well, but it was rather amazing how quickly I was brought down by the seemingly perfect lives I was now surrounded by. I received the message I could do it all and have great success right now. Wife. Mom. Full-time employee. Not only that, but I felt I needed to handle my problems by myself and society seemed to support this need to be strong and not show my weaknesses – that asking for help was a weakness.
My brain would begin to think of everything that needed to happen: clean the house, feed the family, finish schoolwork…the list goes on. I became paralyzed thinking about it all as my brain tended to believe it all needed to be done now. This ultimately carried into the rest of my body and I shut down. This meant that nothing got done. Kids were finding their own food, we were stepping over the dirty clothes or trash, and I would put off schoolwork…all while I was playing Candy Crush on my cell phone.
One painful memory was when my ministering sisters from my church outright commented that “we don’t need to worry about you” and that “you’re fine.”
I was not fine.
Somewhere in the middle of thinking I could do it all…I realized I could not do it all and I found myself comparing my style of parenting and apparent lack of achievements to others while constantly thinking I should be able to do what they do.
I felt very alone.
Something great happened though, I was forced to turn inside and really evaluate myself. I learned that the emotions I have and the trials I experience are normal. No one escapes them, we just experience them and react to them differently. This helped me to realize I was not alone, and I learned to recognize the temporary nature of my situation and about the various seasons of life.
These seasons also seemed to have a rhythm to them. I could recognize the ebb and flow of the need for help in my life depending on where I was and what I was doing. I learned that asking for help is not a weakness, and there is more than one way to do something the “right” way. The plan was never to come into this plane of existence expecting to do everything by myself without rest.
I have learned to recognize and accept my personal limits and boundaries while also remembering the need to stop to take care of myself. Something I remind myself often is that even fishermen need to stop to repair the nets, which means I can stop to repair my own “nets” as well.
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