Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Things That Matter Most

by Jewel Leann Williams

I think Heavenly Father is trying to help me do some decluttering in my life. I've had a couple of experiences that have been.....enlightening, to say the least, and have helped to remind me about the things that matter most in my life.

I saw some pictures on Facebook of friends who were having a great time doing something all together, which was like the umpteenth time I'd seem some sort of picture/post like this on Facebook. You know, the one where all these different people who are your friends, are all hanging out doing something fun, and you weren't invited... do you ever see those? Well, this time my internal voice, the one that sometimes sounds like those middle-school boys who were nasty to me, and sometimes sounds likes a sibling when we would fight growing up, and a LOT of the time just sounds like my own voice, well that internal voice reminded me that I am not fun, and not good company, and why on Earth would anyone want to invite me to go do fun things when I am not even pleasant to be around? I'm not one of the cool kids, I never was and never will be.  My internal voice is nasty and knows exactly how to push all my little self-esteem buttons. I subconsciously decided that these people I thought were my friends, were really just tolerating me, and didn't really even like me, or else they would've included me in The Neat Thing They Just Posted On Facebook. I found myself feeling alternately sorry for them to have to put up with a schlub like me, and angry at them for not including me in the Fun Thing. This downward spiral makes my tummy hurt and sort of ruins my day/days until it fades back in the back of my mind and then I forget about all the terrible terribleness.

I was in the middle of one of these cycles, sitting in church wallowing just a little when my son snuck himself into a position where he could lay across my lap and have me tickle his back. He turned up his adorable little face to me, smiled dreamily, and said "I love you so much Mommy."  My heart did the little squeeze it always does when I hear those words and see those smiles.  I also had another thought. I can't necessarily say it was the Spirit because it sounded a little too rebellious and snarky, but the other voice in my head said, "Who cares about any of those people? This little boy loves me with everything he has inside him." I thought how I have five other kids and a husband that I can say the same for.

They are the thing that matters most.

This week, I was bemoaning the annoying state of my Facebook feed with my sister-in-law.  I was complaining about how I had all of these things on my feed, from Facebook friends who were leftover from my days in ANWA, but for the most part were people I didn't even know in person and would never meet. I was getting caught up in their opinions and stories and posts about things that sometimes infuriated me, and these were all people I had no actual relationship with. WHY was I investing energy in any of this?  She suggested I unfollow them. There was this fleeting moment where I thought, "But I'm going to miss out on..." and then nothing.  I couldn't think about what I would miss out on. So I unfollowed every person in my feed who was not someone I knew in real life. No more time wasted on pretend relationships.

At the same time, thanks to Facebook, a couple of weeks ago I got back in touch after 20 years with a beloved family from my mission, who I will get to visit with tomorrow all the way from Mexico. I can't wait to meet the 4 kids of the girl I knew as an amazing and smart teenager so long ago, and to give a hug to one of the sisters who showed me so much love.

These are the things that matter most.

I am grateful for these little opportunities to declutter and to get back to basics.  I know that I have some really solid friends, the ones whose regard for me I never have to doubt, and with whom I never feel less than. I have an amazing husband and kids, and people from my entire life who I am blessed to be in touch with thanks to technology. I know that I am exceedingly blessed, and that sharpening my focus to those people makes me a much happier person than when I worry about  superfluous pseudo-relationships.

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