Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Three Good Qualities

Gems of Reflection: Week 30
It's hard to believe that we are already on week 30 of our little Gems of Reflection project. This week was a tough one for me because I am often my own worst critic and sometimes find it difficult to overlook the qualities that I would like to improve about myself, focusing instead on the good qualities. In my heart though, I know that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, that I have divine potential, and that ultimately, he doesn't create any imperfect beings. So, I am determined to get over my inhibitions today and focus on my positive attributes. So, here goes nothing...

1. I am a good mother. Though I may not be perfect, and often have to repent for losing my temper, or handling a discipline situation in a less than perfect manner, I devote my heart and soul to my children and I honestly always have their best interest at heart. Everything I do, I do for them. I love them unconditionally and strive each day to express my love for them, and to instill in them correct morals and a sense of self worth. My children are the light of my life and I am truly a better person because I am their mother. They each have so much to teach me, and I thank Heavenly Father for them every day. I am thankful, too, that I have the guidance of the gospel to attend me in the learning process. I honestly don't know how I would do this parenting thing without it;

2. I am a good writer. I went to a writer's conference with The Purple Lady back in May of this year, and I left there feeling truly edified and educated, I also left there feeling severely inadequate; though, because being in a professional environment with so many successful authors made me realize how much further I have to go as a writer before I am even remotely ready to join that playing field. Still, for as long as I can remember, I have had a deep-seeded passion for writing. It seems to be in my blood - it's who I am - and though I have a long road ahead of me, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I look at stuff I have written, for I know that I pour my heart and soul into every written word. I know that this gift is a blessing from God, and I know that we must work to hon our talents if we wish to master them. I know, too, that one day I WILL accomplish my goals as a writer, and I look forward to the growth I will experience in the process;

3. I have a natural desire to forgive others. For most of my adult life, I have cherished a quote by Mark Twain in regards to forgiveness. He said:
"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."  
I know that I have referenced this quote in previous posts, but it is especially fitting for today because it perfectly illustrates the beauty of forgiving others. Not only does allowing forgiveness release you from the burden of holding a grudge, but as a general rule, I try to see others as Christ sees them, to be accepting and tolerant of their faults, and to be forgiving of their mistakes. After all, I am human too, and I would hope that others would grant me the same courtesy. I am not always perfect on this score, and I do sometimes lose my patience with people, especially when someone I know continues to make the same mistakes on a continuous basis - but again, do the scriptures not tell us that we are required to forgive all men (D&C 64:10)? 

Sometimes, I know that I can be too forgiving, and it has gotten me into a bad spot a time or two. I have found myself wanting to forgive people that I probably shouldn't because of choices they have made in the past - things they have done to me that were completely hurtful and deliberate. I have come to learn, however, that there is a difference between forgiving someone and trusting them again. Matthew 18:21-22 is one of my favorite scriptures. It says:  
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 
I don't think the Lord was telling Peter to allow people to walk all over him and continuously take advantage of him in these scriptures. However, if we expect the Lord to forgive us for our own repeated transgressions (I know we all have them), then we must also be willing to forgive others continuously and repeatedly. I think too, though, that you can forgive someone and still choose not to associate with them; especially if they are potentially poisonous to your eternal progression and happiness. I just try to see the good in everyone; though, and take things on a case by case basis - relying on the spirit to guide me in the right direction. 

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