My very first blog post!

My very first blog post!

I’ve been a self-improver, learner, and weakness-strengther for long enough to know that practice and consistency are the only ways to make okay-ish things great. It’s never a comfortable process and unfortunately, (or is it, fortunately?) never really does. It’s simply, that my capacity for growth and harder challenges expand and my competence and talents improve.

My greatest accomplishment, for now, is getting my work out there without overanalyzing the process and scaring myself into quitting. That’s as much capacity as I have at the moment because, even now, I’m afraid to get messy. 

As far as your first impressions go, I’ll accept, “She just did a thing!” as a win because I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to “hit a home run.” With each unsteady step forward, perfectionism and fear are intimidating adversaries that I’m not very good at combating just yet. 

Should I start a blog?

I ask that poignant question because I’ve started and quit blogs so many times that to believe that this one is going to be different hangs by a very fine thread. Yet, I’m so compelled by blogging that no matter how deep I attempt to bury the idea, it bubbles back up to the surface like a fart. 

I had a candid prayer with Heavenly Father about it as I batted the idea around, again, for the bazillionth time. Ironically, and probably why blogging is so compelling to me, my prayer was in the form of writing.

It started as a mind dump. All the chaos bouncing around in my head needed a permanent place of residence. I can’t organize what I can’t see because thoughts and ideas are too vague, and fear too loud. Writing them down softens their power–they become tangible and, thus, manageable. I can make sense of the chaos–give it structure and a foundation. I can restructure, redesign, create, or eliminate whatever I want, however I want.

As I wrote my thoughts and ideas, my fear about blogging again was transformed into a conversation with one of my children. I pretended my child approached me for advice about something they were interested in, with the knowledge that they’d quit this “thing” several times already. I also adjusted the conversation to fit how I wanted Heavenly Father to talk to me –unfiltered and direct–leaving no room for doubt on what direction I should go with a slight bias toward an emphatic NO, so I could let the darn thing go already. 

At least, that’s how it started…

It went a little something like this:

If it were my child I would definitely give my opinion, which would take into consideration my child’s personality, tendencies, interests, and habits, as well as, her weaknesses and strengths, what I know about her chosen pursuit and her earlier attempts that ended in quitting. 

As I wrote that fictitious formulaic approach to my child/self with the intent to dissuade her/me from pursuing this incessant dream, something in me began to soften. A new realization took place, and I could feel my loving Father interject with His approach to a pleading daughter. 

The transition from my approach to God's...

Would I really just throw my opinions at her without consideration of her feelings or listening, first? I mean, I love her. I want her to be happy and I understand fear and failure and what it does to a person. I, especially, understand how much she wants to be successful with this “thing” but she’s lost faith in herself. She’s not sure she’ll be able to do it or that it’s worth the effort, time, and discomfort to achieve it even though it keeps nagging at her. And the whole reason she’s coming to me, in the first place, is that she wants someone to believe in her–to tell her it’s possible because her doubts are overwhelming and debilitating. 

As a loving parent, I would want her to discover new things about herself. Some pursuits ARE challenging, but she may find it’s worth the work and effort to try. And doesn’t taking on challenges, overcoming difficulty, and heaven forbid, failing, teach us more about ourselves than anything else could?

I wouldn’t want to talk her out of something that would teach her about who she is and what she’s capable of. I would want her to experience all the discomfort, joys, and triumphs of pursuing a dream that came to be because she decided to say, YES! She may just learn that failure isn’t really failure—it was the tool to help her realize how much she wanted it. It was the fuel to give her staying power because now she knows what derails her and what scares her. Fear is temporary when she focuses on consistency and forward movement rather than speed, logistics, knowledge, and perfection. Dreams transform into reality, and fulfillment takes the place of wondering and “what ifs.” 

I would tell her to go for it and that I would walk by her side, lift her when she felt defeated, and strengthen her when she felt weak and unsure.

His Promises are Sure

Reading it aloud transformed me back into a child looking to my Father for answers and receiving, in return, a gentle embrace of encouragement.

Fear continues to loom in the reachable vicinity, and likely will continue to threaten my forward motion in pursuit of this dream. However, I have a Father who is so much more powerful than my fears. When I lose faith, He doesn’t. “The grace of God is our great and everlasting hope.” (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf)

 So, today, I just did a thing! 

A very obvious call to action

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