Monday, September 23, 2013

Fallout...and Life Lessons

So, wanna know how the Relief Society lesson went on Sunday??  

My lesson was almost that exact post that I wrote yesterday, but with a lot more discussion about the five principles of a happy marriage that Elder Clayton spoke about in his Conference talk.  You can read the whole talk here.

We can learn so much from watching and then considering what we have seen and felt.  From watching wonderful, faithful marriages, the following guidelines have become clear.

1.  The best marriage partners regard their marriages as priceless.2.  Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation of a happy eternal marriage.3.  Repentance and humility build happy marriages.4.  Good marriages are completely respectful, transparent and loyal.5.  Successful couples love each other with complete devotion.

I was super nervous.  And it didn't quite flow the way I had hoped, but I did what I wanted to do with it.  I was real.  I didn't sugar coat anything.  And I opened it up to a lot of discussion which is the best part of teaching a lesson anyway.  We ran just a little bit long, but overall I felt pretty good about the whole thing.  And I got some really nice feedback from some really nice people.  

And a few more people caught me in the hallway after church and said some really nice things, even a few people I have never spoken to before who I admire greatly...from a distance.  It was a nice confidence-building surprise to hear from them.  

But...even with all that positive feedback, guess what I've been stewing over for the last 24 hours?  The two people that I most wanted and expected a response from said nothing.  Like NOTHING.  (...crickets chirping...)  Now, that could mean a lot of things.  It could mean that they didn't have a chance to say anything because I was engulfed by kids and other well wishers.  It could mean they loved it so much that instead of commenting in that busy room, they preferred to send a note.  It could mean that they were just super busy and distracted by the things they needed to get to and didn't have time to say anything to me.  Right??  

But that's not what my head has been saying.  In my head, no comment means they hated the lesson, they are not impressed by vulnerability, they were shocked that I said out loud that I hated anything about Conference.  (I think I actually toned it down a bit and said that I didn't love the talk.  I rarely use that H-word.)  

But, after a little fretting, here's what I've learned from this experience:  It's entirely possible that they hated it.  I might wait for days for an email or a text or a note from those two women and never get one because they didn't actually have anything nice to say about my efforts teaching Relief Society.  

And I'm ok with that.  (Really...)

Because not everyone is going to love everything I do.  (Life Lesson)

In fact, every time I do anything, large or small, there will be people who like it and people who dislike it.  And in my experience, the larger the thing you do, the more of each kind of people you get.  

Here's an illustration of this principle.  I was reading a book the other day and happened to glance up and look out the window at my neighbor who was walking out to get the mail.  She is my age (which makes her well over 40) and she was wearing a denim mini skirt.  For a split second as I watched her walk out to the mailbox, I thought, "I don't think you can pull off that skirt if you're over 40."  

Did you catch that?  

I was a hater.  Right there in my bedroom, watching out the window as my unsuspecting neighbor did something completely innocuous, I became a hater.  I glanced up and caught 30 seconds of that woman's day and had a negative opinion of her skirt.  I criticized her in my head for daring to wear something so short at her age.  My hating lasted all of 20 seconds and then I got right back into my book and forgot all about her, but here's the point of that illustration...

Even something as trivial as walking out to your mailbox draws fans and/or haters.  Who knows, there may have been someone else watching out their window who LOVED her skirt!  I hope so.  

The point is that just the very act of making a decision to walk outside of your house makes you eligible for both positive and negative criticism.  And something as medium-sized as teaching a Relief Society lesson on marriage when you happen to not be an expert at that, and you happen to really dislike the talk you're using, will certainly draw a handful of both fans and haters.  

I lucked out on Sunday and had many more people in the FAN CAMP than in the HATER CAMP.  In fact, those two women who I've been waiting for are the only ones who didn't contribute to the lesson and who didn't say something nice to me after it was over.  

So, in the last few hours I've become ok with the fact that not everyone is going to love everything I do.  Because having haters means I did something worth doing.  It means I didn't turn down the opportunity to teach and just sit at home that day.  I did something mildly scary and I did it pretty well.  I may not ever be asked to do that particular thing again, but it won't be because I didn't try.  And that's really all we can do is TRY!

So, put on your mini skirts today and walk confidently out the front door!  Speak honestly.  Teach with passion.  Be real.  Be YOU.  And OWN it!  Because even though there is no way that everyone is going to love everything you do, YOU should definitely LOVE it.  


  1. Awesome, my very well written and so very, very true.

    Something I need to work on remembering. I can have 50 positives and I will obsess over the 1 or 2 negatives...ugh!

    But now I have something to remind me. Oh, wait I am singing that song in my head. Do you hear it too?!


    Good night, faraway friend. : )

    1. Oh, you are so sweet to read my blog while you're ON VACATION! Thanks always for the encouragement. I can always count on you to be in the FAN CAMP! Have a great rest of your trip. The pictures are amazing!! <3

  2. Gosh, well written indeed! And I agree with Billie Jo. I will fret over the 1 or 2 negatives (sometimes thinking they are multiplied by 10 when they really aren't), and miss the positives. Hoping you have a wonderful day today!