Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pride and Parenting Part 3

For me, often just having my eyes opened to a problem works wonders. So it has been with my pride. Once I began to understand the real root of my unrest, disappointment and often anger with my two oldest children, it was almost as if it evaporated. For many years, I had been trying to treat the symptoms (unrest, short temper, disappointment, anger, generally all of the things listed in the previous post) and the treatments always fell so painfully short. Once I understood and began treatment for the real disease, my pride, the healing began and the symptoms were almost immediately alleviated. 

Why didn't I recognize this earlier?

The problem with that question is the word I. Pride is always all about self, and my desires for my children were just that - mine. I cannot tell you how many sleepless, tear filled nights I spent counting all of my mistakes and be baffled as to why everything was going to badly. I cannot tell you how many prayers ascended, begging for help, begging to be changed, pleading for my children. It was almost as if I had to empty my entire soul in order for it to be filled with the understanding and the perfect light of healing that our Father in Heaven was so anxious to give me. I had to have the wicked spirit of pride rooted from my breast. Any earlier and I'm not sure that I would have been in a place where I could have allowed every single, last, and solitary root to be pulled. My Father in Heaven knew that. And He opened my eyes the very second He knew that I was ready to receive. 

I have no doubt that He has been trying for a very long time to help me understand, but I just wasn't willing to concede my pride. 

I hope that no roots remain, but I am certain that I am going to need to diligently weed each and every day, to root out any shoots of pride that now arise and most certainly will arise throughout my life. 

How is this practically done? I still have teenagers whose behavior has not changed one iota since my realization. When faced with the multitude of situations a mother is faced with every hour of every day, I try and ask myself - "How does a prideful parent handle this situation? How does a humble and charitable parent handle this situation?" This helps, this helps so incredibly much. 

But what helps the most is the repenting almost continually. The immediate recognition that a particular situation didn't go well, the acknowledgement of the manifestation of pride, the asking for forgiveness, and the power that comes from the atonement. 

I am learning, albeit significantly later than most, that as I lose myself in the service of my children with a humble heart, that is when the Lord helps me to become whom He wants me to be. I find the life the He has in store for me is so much more beautiful that I ever could have imagined. 

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