Friday, December 26, 2008

My identity . . .

"Our Father in heaven needs us as we are, as we are growing to become. He has intentionally made us different from one another so that even with our imperfections we can fulfill his purposes. My greatest misery comes when I feel I have to fit with others are doing, or what I think others expect of me. I am most happy when I am comfortable being me and trying to do what my Father in heaven and I expect me to be.

"For many years I tried to measure the ofttimes quiet, reflective, thoughtful Pat against the robust, bubbly talkative, and energetic Jeff Holland and others with like qualities. I have learned through several fatiguing failures that you can't have joy in being bubbly if you are not a bubbly person. It is a contridiction in terms. I have given up seeing myself as a flawed person because my energy level is lower than Jeff's, and I don't talk as much as he does, nor as fast. Giving this up has freed me to embrace and rejoice in my own manner and personality in the measure of my creation. Ironically, that has allowed me to admire and enjoy Jeff's ebullience even more.

"Somewhere, somehow the Lord "blipped the message onto my screen" that my personality was created to fit precisely the mission and talents he gave me. For example, the quieter, calmer talent of playing the piano reveals much about the real Pat Holland. I would never have learned to play the piano if I hadn't enjoyed the long hours of solitude required for its development. The same principle applies to my love of writing, reading, meditation, and especially teaching and talking with my children. Miraculously, I have found that I have untold abundant sources of energy to be myself. But the moment I indulge in imitation of my neighbor, I feel fractured and fatigued and find myself forever swimming upstream. When we frustrate God's plan for us, we deprive this world and God's kingdom of our unique contributions and a serious schism settles in our soul. God never gave us any task beyond our ability to accomplish it. We just have to be willing to do it our way. We will always have enough resources for being who we are and what we can become.

--Patricia T. Holland, LDS Women's Treasury: Insights and Inspiration for Today's Woman.

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