I've been feeling incredibly judged lately. Seemingly innocent comments and jokes from friends and family who don't understand what goes on in my little world. (No, not in the 'you don't understand me!' with a door slam sort of way.) I've struggled with depression for a long time and have done what I could to deal with it including medication (which I am all for, when it works for people), counseling, exercise/activity. After Sophie was born, it was so bad there were days I couldn't even make myself get out of bed to eat, much less do anything else. I'm a goal/task/project oriented kind of person and that was a huge change for me. That just fed the destructive thoughts that I couldn't seem to control. Add to that a huge increase in anxiety that often comes with depression. Have you ever been afraid to get in a car to the point that you have a complete panic attack? Been so terrified of light posts, other cars, curbs and yourself while driving that you have to talk to yourself out loud to just get from one point to another? It took time, trying many different medications and some great counseling to get back to being a sane person. Well, as sane as I've ever been. On top of that, I felt like I shouldn't talk about it or tell anyone other than Craig what was going on. Why am I sharing this now? Because when I was reading the talk last night I kept wondering how many people I have judged or ridiculed simply because I didn't have all of the facts. Who have I made feel worse or struggle more because I expected more or something different based on some silly artificial standard of what it means to be something? I hope I never do that again.
"Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” The Savior has admonished, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” I ask: And I answer—with Mother Teresa: no, we cannot."
I also hope that others can be a little slower to judge, too. Just because I (or Craig, for that matter) am away from home doesn't mean I don't care about my family. I find it incredibly rude/hurtful when someone makes a comment about me not taking care of my family (example: "why aren't you home making dinner?") and that I'm "only thinking about" myself. When I'm home by myself without much in the way of adult interactions, those scary, nasty thoughts try to get to me. By getting out, I am able to avoid a whole lot of that, I'm a "fuller," happier, sane person and can often do more and be more for those around me, like my little family, because I have been able to take care of myself.
"My dear sisters, each of you is unique. You are different from each other in many ways. There are those of you who are married. Some of you stay at home with your children, while others of you work outside your homes. Some of you are empty nesters. There are those of you who are married but do not have children. There are those who are divorced, those who are widowed. Many of you are single women. Some of you have college degrees; some of you do not. There are those who can afford the latest fashions and those who are lucky to have one appropriate Sunday outfit. Such differences are almost endless. Do these differences tempt us to judge one another?"
If someone wants to call me selfish for taking care of my individual needs, I suppose they can. Lucky for me, my needs and subsequent choices are between me and Heavenly Father.