Back in March I attended the temple. I was thinking about why I had to endure this stupid depression. Here is my real problem with it. I get that crappy stuff happens, I really do. What truly bothered me about it was, it was affecting my kids, and I didn't think that was a fair. It worried me most people have memories of their parents by the time they are 8 or 9. I didn't want my oldest son to look back and remember how his mother never got off the couch unless she was yelling and screaming. It wasn't fair to him. It didn't seem fair to my other kids but I assumed the toddler wouldn't remember his mom didn't know how to smile on his second birthday. Although I also worry about my daughter, I have crazy mad remembering skills, and I worried she would remember the summer she was 5.
Anyway, so that has been a struggle for me. So back in March I was trying to figure out how I had to be so dang miserable. While in the temple I thought ok. I get it. Out of the temple, I didn't. But that night while driving home, I listened to Elder Richard G. Scott's talk Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority, from Fall 2014. In it he says,
Because they had never experienced hard times, they did not know they could be happy. They had never felt turmoil, so they could not feel peace.
I do not declare that your life will cease to have challenges. Remember when Adam and Eve were in the garden, they were free from challenges, yet they were unable to experience happiness, joy, and peace.7 Challenges are an important part of mortality. Through daily, consistent scripture study, you will find peace in the turmoil around you and strength to resist temptations. You will develop strong faith in the grace of God and know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all will be made right according to God’s timing.
I am not suggesting that all of life’s struggles will disappear as you do these things. We came to mortal life precisely to grow from trials and testing. Challenges help us become more like our Father in Heaven, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible to endure those challenges.10 I testify that as we actively come unto Him, we can endure every temptation, every heartache, every challenge we face, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Hearing that was immensely comforting. It was as if the Lord was telling me directly, I am aware of all your feelings. It was the first time I had felt that in a long time. After that I slowly started to accept that its alright for children to see their mom on the ultimate breaking point if she has no where else to be.
A few days later I was packing for a trip. I mentally prepare myself to see people I haven't seen in a long time when we visit family because you never know when you'll run into an old friend or acquaintance when you visit family in places you use to live. (The same trait that makes me never look back, never have regrets, makes it sometimes mentally hard for me to revisit past me/past living areas.) So I thought what if I ran into someone I use to know. We would exchange pleasantries, we would say hey how are you doing? I wondered what I would think, what I would say if someone asked me how I was doing. I'm so very blunt/honest/transparent, I usually tell people exactly how I feel. After a second or two of thought, I knew I would say, "I am doing so very good". I would hope I would keep the rest to myself but I would think, I didn't know how well I could be doing. But after knowing how bad I could be doing, I know how amazingly awesome I'm doing. When I finished that thought I thought oh my goodness! Elder Scott was right. "Because they had never experienced hard times, they did not know they could be happy."
As a footnote, Elder Scott in that same talk said, "Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures." I need to remember that quote and post another post about it. That and railroad tracks.