My beautiful daughter is away at Girls’ Camp this week! (In the United States, our Young Women 12-18 attend a week of girls’ camp, where they learn outdoor skills, build unity and friendship and increase their testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ. For me, I gained most of my testimony from my experiences at girls’ camp. I LOVE IT!! –even as an adult! But this year, she is there without me…that is a post for another day.) The point is, that since she is gone, I can share this story.
One of my sons was having difficulty in his relationship with his sister. She was trying to play and he was not in the mood. He got hurt and snapped at her, verbally, and hard. It really hurt her feelings.
In talking to him about it and how he should have responded, he told me that he didn’t have to be nice, it wasn’t in his job description. You can imagine how well that comment went over with me as his mother. Being that he holds the Priesthood, I called him on it immediately.
“Wrong! Do you hold the Priesthood?”
“Then you represent the Savior, especially in your interactions with others. Being kind is in your job description. Man-up, and do your job!”
He was not very happy, but the message was received.
Earlier in the week, I had an experience where I was particularly emotional, which is unusual for me. As I was relating the experience to my sweetheart, I said, “I think that is why I have a difficult time with touchy-feely women. I think of it as a weakness. I am one, it drives me crazy, and I do not like that characteristic about myself. Real- women should just man-up.” Real women should man-up………my husband thought that comment was really funny.
Not a particularly glowing report of myself. A dear friend reminded me that the part I do not like about myself, being emotional and particularly sensitive of negative comments, looks, etc.. is exactly what makes me who I am: compassionate and cognizant of others feelings and emotions. If I wasn’t that way myself, I wouldn’t be able to be as nurturing as I am. Her comments helped me to frame my character in a different light. I still do not yet embrace the idea, as evidenced by my previous comment, but I am working on it. I recognize the truth in her words. Now I have to learn to apply the information and change my attitude. Repentance, anyone?!
That concept, that things we don’t like in other people are sometimes reflective of our own personalities is actually a concept in psychology. It is called Projection….where we project some of our flaws onto others. So I am not really projecting, because that also implies that it is really not a part of the other person’s character. But I do recognize a characteristic in others, complain about it and see it as a weakness, when in reality, it is a part, a large part, I might add, of who I am. Now I need to recognize it for the strength it can be.
What parts of your personality do you not like and want to change? What are you doing about changing it? Do you blame others for that part of you? Is it really a strength in disguise?
I think I should learn to embrace that part of my woman-hood and not feel the need to Man-up!