Sunday, June 9, 2013

Be ye therefore an airplane

M—'s Child Psychologist

There's an adorable woman in my ward. We're about the same age; I consider her my friend and I look at her and marvel. She's got five sweet, rambunctious children, and the sixth is on the way. Her husband is Choice Athletic Staff, and they have a great relationship. Her house isn't clean, but her children are kind. She has a hard time getting her kids into a routine during the summer, but they are happy. 

Today in Relief Society she confessed that every day for the last week she has felt like a complete failure. I felt a crack form in my heart.

I'm not perfect, obviously. I make mistakes, sometimes on an hourly basis. I don't think it's a problem I'm likely to overcome soon, so I've learned to give myself a lot of breaks, perhaps more than I should, because like the hymn says "trust in His redeeming love and try His works to do." 

The whole Star Wars/Yoda, "Do or do not. There is no try..." Not buying it. Not one little bit.

I heard this wonderful analogy today about how a pilot, en route from La Guardia International to, say, Hong Kong, China spends 90% of the flight off course. It is the 10% of course correction that gets the plane to its final destination.

I live in a community of wonderful people, and I don't just mean in my exclusively LDS University of Choice faculty saturated neighborhood. (Although, living amongst academics definitely has it's perks.) The people I encounter in town—at the Coffee Shop, panhandling on corners, students from both Choice and Pie Tin, the questioning, the skeptic, the devout—they are all wonderful.

It's true that sometimes I find I need to share from that collection of breaks that I give myself. I call those particular flavors "forgiveness" and I follow up with myself and a dose of "humility." I must remind myself, even when I might have stuff figured out, that doesn't mean I'm perfect. But if I love people the way I claim I love people, living conscious of common molecular structure, the common basic necessities of life, philosophical inherent value, and my chosen belief in our common pre-mortal origins it is not only necessary to hand out the breaks, it feeds my reserve when I need them for myself.

But when I encounter people like my friend, I would be willing to give away all of the breaks I'm saving for myself, just so she can get through the next week and not be so down on herself because she's not perfect. I think she's amazing, and even if she feels stuck in the 90% of off course I bet if I followed her lead we'd nail that Hong Kong landing, hands down.

I believe this applies to most of the women I know.

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