Why is it so hard to show weaknesses? Is it because I think people will laugh? Or think I am foolish? I do feel a little silly, but I also feel less heavy, less weighed down because I shared a moment of weakness with a friend. She didn’t fix it, she knew I didn’t expect that but she let me share my feelings and reminded me of who I was. My usual “go to” is the theory of focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t, and that has gotten me through so much with a grateful heart. But there are times when things build up and they just need a way to vent out.
Reason 1: I think its hard to share my weak moments because they can be complicated and I don’t want to be misunderstood. I think that is true for most people. The outburst or the hidden feeling is a symptom of other things that are going on. I totally get that. I tend to act mad when I really feel sad, and usually towards my favorite people. Sorry Jonathan!
Reason 2: I don’t like to share my weak moments because I don’t want others to think I ALWAYS feel that way. Most of the time my life is my normal, its just occasionally that it all catches up and I feel certain feelings. So….. if I don’t give you ALLLL the details (see Reason 1) then you might end up feeling (horror) sorry for me or think I don’t really love my crazy unique life and all it entails, I do!
But there are lots of reasons it’s good to share our weak moments as well. Once a friend of Jonathan’s said “your wife’s posts make it seem like her life is really hard.” Oh dear. That’s not what I was going for but at the same time, lots of people have hard moments and I want to share what I do to get through mine. Anytime someone has said “if you can do that then I can do this” it makes me feel like we are all in this together (yes I sang from high school musical in my mind as I typed that.) But still- its easier to share that I had a hard day because of my handicapped child’s surgery for example, than I had a hard moment because I was totally jealous of my friend’s chandelier even though that’s totally what happened. One is understandable, one is lame right?? Are you with me?
But there were layers….. I had been having a really hard week because I was sick of planning family trips that weren’t family trips. We used to go camping, go visit family all the time, do things as a UNIT. But once Ben and Ty came along obviously that got to be un-doable. (New word?) But it’s been 10 years and I can get so frustrated with all of this splitting up! My side of the family has a big reunion over the 4th of July and I really wanted all 7 of us to go. Some of my siblings haven’t met all my kids, and I wanted our families to all spend time together, especially because I knew my kids would love running with their cousins. But with the equipment required for the boys and Jonathan’s already booked up summer (scout hikes, helping at girls camp) it just wasn’t something we could work out. And I was feeling really, really sad about it. Of course Instagram doesn’t help- seeing whole families doing their spring break vacays just furthered my pity party.
Here is some more essential backstory. (See what I mean about reason #1?) I love our home, but we have the same old fashioned lights in the entry way and living room that were originally placed. And I hate them. Always have. So when Jonathan buys pointy light bulbs for them I groan- NOOOOO just get rid of them! But of course paying an electrician to do something cosmetic is way far down on the list of where our money needs to go. And actually- most days I don’t even think about those classy lights.
But when I walked into my friends home and noticed that months after moving in she had already replaced all those lights with fun modern chandeliers it just hit me out of the blue. I cried all the way home. Like ugly cry. “We cant even replace our stupid lights OR go on a family vacation together!!” Really it was probably just the fact I needed a good cry, but who wants to admit they ever got jealous?? Especially when I actually AM so happy that my friend is making her home so nice. But I realized it wasn’t about the lights, and when we talked about it later she understood that too. (How lucky to have a friend like that?? But I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t told her…)
I was listening to a chapter in my scriptures that I had heard so many times before but I wanted to be more familiar with it so I kept repeating it. About the 3rd time something jumped out at me that I hadn’t really put together before. Moroni was talking about how the Lord made him powerful in speaking but weak in writing, and the Lord said “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
And then Moroni, who thought his writing was weak, went on to write one of my MOST FAVORITE invitations ever written….. “And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written…” it just brought tears to my eyes when I heard it again in this context, he thinks he is weak in writing yet his words have always had a powerful impact on me.
Maybe sharing weak moments makes us more humble. Maybe seeing weak moments in others helps us feel less alone in our struggles whether they are minor or major. But the older I get, the less I seem to mind sharing my own shortcomings because I dont seem to worry so much about how others see me and I’ve grown more confident that whatever the storm, it passes!