Updated: May 26, 2022
When we forget to take time for ourselves, we are teaching generations after us that it's ok to ignore our needs, our dreams, and put ourselves last; to become lost in the busyness of giving but never receiving.
For so many years I put the most important things last: most of all, me. How can God bless us, help us in our everyday lives, if we don't know how to receive? When our answer is "I don't need help, I'm ok... It's ok... I've got this."
We are here to learn, but how can that learning get IN us unless we choose to receive it or choose to let it in?
Ever since I was little I have been taught to work hard. My dad was definitely a HARD worker! He was a Geneva Steel employee working in the coke plant... the coal ovens. He was in direct heat where one wrong move would literally incinerate someone completely. He would work double shifts consistently because it paid more to support me and my 4 brothers and our mom. A double shift was 16 hours straight. 16 hours of indescribable heat and discomfort not to mention intense physical labor that would send most of the youth nowadays running for the safety of their sofa and video games. After sleeping (never enough), he would take care of the cars, lawn, and anything that needed fixing. He is BYU alumnus, thus a BYU sports fanatic.
My mom was absolutely a HARD worker as well. She knew how to do everything from cleaning, to cooking and canning fruit, gardening, piano, preschool teacher, encyclopedia, therapist, scriptorian, camper, could sew anything, road show director, actress, coach for all my brothers sports and cheerleader for the rest, motivator, ESP magician, cross word puzzle master, and she had the most beautiful, clear, soprano voice! She was asked to sing at many funerals and cantatas alike.
I learned hard work through example. It was such an amazing gift and I easily received it because, I believe, the adversary knew he could use it against me, knowing my tendencies towards perfection.
He spoke in ways to me I would accept because it's part of my 'spiritual personality'. Those 'words' and thoughts of being perfect, combined with my ever-present desire to please everyone around me and never let them down, was a recipe for discouragement and eventual depression. But because my parents struggled constantly for their financial existence and also in their marriage, it taught me that things in life didn't come easy. I knew if I wanted something I had to work for it which is actually really good. But as I've grown older, I realize that slowing down to enjoy life, relationships, and even myself , has been really difficult.
Receiving. It's easier said than done.
We naturally want to receive. But that big bully has convinced us that if we receive something, we should resist it because if we receive it too easily, we are being conceited or arrogant. But in actuality, as we accept a compliment someone gives us, we are really giving them a gift as well and both the receiver and the giver are benefitted.