I made it to the Provo City Center Temple yesterday! This temple feels like home to me, and looks like something out of a fairytale.
You know… I don’t know if anybody else does this, but… I’m very good at viciously beating myself up over things. At this acquired skill, I am the master. Every flaw, every shortcoming—trust me, I am well aware of them all.
But while I was there, in that beautiful fortress, this wave of perfect love filled my heart, and with perfect mildness and kindness, this feeling came to my mind, “Stop this. It doesn’t do any good.”
I got this image in my head of a tiny wound on my arm—representing some small mistake I make—and then, when I beat myself up, it’s like taking a razor and cutting that tiny wound repeatedly until it becomes massive. And it really hit me—this doesn’t do any good! It doesn’t heal anything. Rather, it’s crippling. It makes me want to give up. It makes everything worse. It would be far better to simply take a deep, calming breath and, with words of encouragement, press forward.
I think it sometimes gets drilled into our heads that we are not allowed to make mistakes, which makes us either narcissistic (where can never admit mistakes or apologize) or viciously mean to ourselves (or both). Either way, we become frozen in time, unable to progress or sufficiently make things right.
But, we simply are not perfect. We can’t be. I am not perfect. Oh man—I… maniacal laugh I am soooo far from perfect.
But you know what? That’s perfectly okay. Because I am sincerely, with all of my heart—no matter what it looks like to anyone from the outside—doing the best I can. I really am. And I look at what my best is today, and I know that, as long as I keep chasing my best, I’m guaranteed to grow and get better. Collapsing in on myself over mistakes isn’t going to get me to where I want to be. But making things right, being forgiving, letting wounds heal, learning and growing—that is what will get me to where I want to be.
We can’t grow when we keep cutting ourselves down. Look at what your best is today, and forgive the rest. Keep doing your best each day, and you’ll grow!
Whatever your best is, it is enough.