I'd mentioned in this post that I'd been having a lot of hard days. Part of what was so upsetting on Sunday during church was the lesson in Relief Society. It was all about finding joy in life. It really was a good thing for me to hear, but hard to hear. I was emotional so anything was probably going to set me off. And pretty much anything and everything the teacher shared left me crying, if not about one thing about another. And to top things off the closing song was Teach Me To Walk in The Light, the song that I would sing to Luke when I was pregnant and often times at the cemetery. My sorry napkin was running out of places to wipe my face by the end!
During the lesson the instructor shared this quote:
If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly. (President Thomas S. Monson)Which is truly a good quote and reminder for any mom, but for me it just hurt. Not only do I long to have the toys scattered and the kid messes fill my home (which I am more hopeful will become my reality now that that I'm pregnant again) but this quote reminded me of how my time with Luke is over. It has already passed. Those nine months came and are gone. Tears wet my face as I wish I would have relished in that time more. Guilt filled me as I considered that I am possibly not loving this pregnancy enough right now. Lack of sympathy consumed me as I heard a young grandma talk about her sorrows as her newest and only grandbaby will be leaving after her kids move back to school now that their internship is over. I felt like I couldn't be sympathetic because my baby is buried in the ground.
The teacher went on to talk about coping with difficulties. One of the suggestions from this talk by Elder Wirthlin was to laugh. Which I honestly should be doing more -- like when I get lost driving around all the new places. But instead, aside from continually learning to cope with the emotions of losing my son and being pregnant with my next son, these are the things that are leaving me frustrated and upset. Things like getting honked at as I am completely lost in the middle of New York, encountering grumpy sales people that aren't very kind or helpful, feeling overwhelmed by still not being really settled in to our new place because either Trevor or both of us have been out of town, trying to cope with the new lifestyle of a husband that is working out of state (even though that's not what we signed up for), trying to deal with the cost of living in the state of Virginia, being fed up with a medical system that doesn't provide the type of healthcare I want. All of these things that I know don't really matter have stacked up and were really getting me down. So even though I know the guidance to laugh is what I need to do, when I heard another sister talk about "faking it 'til you make it" and laughing even when you don't think it's funny--I had had it!
I've spent almost the past year trying to be positive, trying to get out of myself and serve others (not that I was always the best at that, but I did it), trying to notice the things to be grateful for, and being good at accepting what I had been dealt.
I just wanted it to be okay that right now I feel like things are lame. I just wanted to be able to be upset about all the various things weighing me down. I just wanted to pity myself for just a bit.
Monday I decided to read the talk by Elder Wirthlin in its entirety. These are the words from the talk that the teacher or anyone in the room neglected to share, but that I needed to hear:
How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can’t—at least not in the moment. I don’t think my mother was suggesting that we suppress discouragement or deny the reality of pain. I don’t think she was suggesting that we smother unpleasant truths beneath a cloak of pretended happiness. But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.I felt like I was being asked to suppress and deny my discouragement and frustration when the fact of the matter is that coping with the changes in my life since the move and since finding out we're having a boy have been hard. It's July now and I feel like I've been homeless since I left my life in Payson in April. I miss my old life and I miss my son.
Thank you, Elder Wirthlin, for giving me permission to feel the struggles that I am facing and then in turn give me guidance on what to do to make sure that I don't remain in this place of self-pity and frustration.
Now don't get me wrong life isn't all that bad right now and I am happy most of the time. I even notice and take joy in the small miraculous things in life that I am able to enjoy because of my circumstances right now. Moments when my niece or nephew present a flower to me and tell me that they love me. Moments of magical fireflies miraculously lighting the big grassy spaces of Central Park as I walk hand-in-hand with my best friends and sit on a bench and feel my baby moving inside of me. The actual fruition of a fortune cookie message (and prayer in my heart), received only days before we departed Utah, about making new friends in the coming month. The Lord has not forgotten me and there are many good things in my life right now.
I am grateful that it is my choice on how I react to things. And hope that I can laugh a little more and keep my focus on the things that really matter.