This quote is one of my all time favorite quotes. Throughout my life I have dealt with more adversity than I feel anyone would ever want to. From a young age, I was bullied. I was bullied to the extent that my parents held me back a grade. I have always been different compared to everyone else, and looked down upon as something or someone inferior. When Jon and I got married, there were things attempting to pull us apart, and some days I told myself life would be easier and have less drama if I wasn’t engaged. However, I perservered. (And I am so glad I did!) Those are just a few examples.
That is what I really feel I need to talk about today: perseverance. As you know, I am LDS. I believe in a higher power. In this blog post I am going to get much more personal about those feelings, so if you don’t want to read on, I suggest you stop now.
For several years now, one of my biggest life goals has been to be an esthetician, but the timing had never been right. 2 years ago I enrolled in a school, only to find out that I had to move to Utah for my husband’s schooling. I was devistated, but also extremely happy for my husband, and for this incredible opportunity for him! Fast forward to April of this year. I started school again. I loved it. I was getting great test scores, I felt like I was learning exactly what I wanted to. I had even had my first day of clinic floor.
The school I have attended has a strict no bullying policy, which I fully agree with. However, yesterday I was accused of being a bully. I was accused of religious discrimination, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and discrimination towards adoption. (For anyone who knows me, you will know that I am adopted, and that the last one is somewhat hilarious!) My personal integrity was put on the line. Conversations that I had had outside of school with a former student somehow reached administrative ears. These conversations were taken out of context, and were reworded and reported in a way that made me look like this horrible person. Conversations outside of school, off of school grounds, prompted this institution to start investigating me, and questioning my morals, all while I was completely unaware anything was going on.
These harmless conversations were had, and now I am painted to look like a horrible, judgemental person. I was accused of being prejudiced and a bully towards adoption, gay people, and religious people. Ironic, considering I myself am adopted, I have gay friends, and I am also religious. When I was approached about this by educators, they didn’t offer any evidence, did not care about my side, and seemed to only care about what they had been told, not what actually happened.
I was so emotionally distraught, that yesterday, my depression took over completely. I was fighting off negative thoughts about myself, and my future. I was trying to tell myself that I was not a bigot, that I was not a failure, and that everything would work out the way God wanted it to. I was fighting off suicidal thoughts, I felt like I had hit an all-time low. I have never felt more low or hated than I did yesterday after the accusations were made by my teachers, classmates, and people who I considered friends.
I don’t know why they chose to twist my words the way they did, and put words and intentions in my mouth, and I don’t think I ever will. But yesterday while I was sitting and feeling sorry for myself, the above quote by Jeffrey R. Holland popped into my head. I decided to Google the entire talk. It is called “An High Priest of Good Things to Come” and it has brought me more comfort in the last two days, than I have felt in months.
Yesterday I didn’t want to go to school ever again. I had resigned myself to working fast food for the rest of my pathetic existence. However, after reading that talk I asked myself, why should I stop trying to achieve my dream? Why, when I have the most amazing, heavenly, loving support out there possible, should I give up?
God is love. I have ever been taught that from a very young age. God loves you. God loves me. God loves everyone unconditionally, even when we mess up. We are taught to do the same. To love everyone despite their flaws, regardless of their life choices. Regardless of any hostility we feel aimed towards us. That last one is something I have struggled with for a long time. I can love someone if we disagree on life choices, but I have a really hard time loving someone who is or has been hostile towards me. Do any of you feel that way?
I hate holding grudges, but to be completely honest, I hold them more than I should. I still harbor negative feelings towards people who have wronged me, and every day I try to be better. That is all we are asked to do. We are asked to try. Today, I am going to try to forgive those who have wronged me, and those who have accused me of being something I am not. Today, I am going to keep going. I am going to walk with my head held high, and I am going to press forward knowing that I have love of family, friends, and my Heavenly Father. I am going to perservere.
We all face hard times in our life, and I know that if we perservere, we will get through them. Things will get better. On dark days, when it seems like it won’t, know that it will. That dark day has to come to an end. Those feelings of doubt you feel, are not God. God is love, and God will love you through whatever trials you are facing. Whether you are facing a similar situation to mine, or whether you are newly married and trying to make ends meet, dreaming of a better future. Don’t give up on that dream. I don’t plan on giving up on my dream. It may not happen now, it may not happen for a few years, but I promise you one day it will happen. As my former educator would say “put it out in the universe.” Give out good intentions and positive vibes, and positivity will always come back to you. Keep going, and don’t let the bad days get you down.
Looking down at my smiling baby boy, I don’t know how I could could feel anything but hopeful and loved? I am choosing to be hopeful, happy, and to perservere.
*all names have been omitted from this blog post to protect those parties.*