April 8, 2018

wisdom from Kyler on a sunday

I have always had major anxiety about speaking in public, in a crowd, to a group, to an acquaintance, in a class, etc. I am talking about major anxiety here! My face turns red, I shake, my brain shuts down, I feel nauseas. And then I worry even more because I am quite aware that my face turns red, I shake, and my brain shuts down. It was awful in jr. high and high school. Didn't get much better as a young adult (once in college when my professor called roll by asking a question, a question like what's your favorite movie, I couldn't answer. even though it could've affected my grade. I was that paralyzed.)

When I finally recognized it was anxiety, called it what it was, and accepted that it was me but it didn't define me, then I started to stop stressing about it and to try not to let it hold me back. Perry was part of my therapy in this, too, because he taught me to let things go and stop worrying so much what other people think. So that is when I learned to speak up a little more often in classes, at a party, or in front of a group.

When I moved to Arizona, one of my goals of my fresh start was to speak up in classes and reach out to others more often. I'm proud to say that I am living that resolution. I raise my hand in RS classes, I participate in group discussions at book club and article group, and I've tried really hard to be more friendly to people I meet at the park or at church.

And I'm still really awful at speaking! I still shake sometimes. And things hardly ever come out of my mouth right. Why did I say that?? And why didn't I say that?? Those are questions I often ask myself. I've made some comments in RS or I've taught a portion of a lesson and then thought afterwards that I can never, ever show my face at church again. And that I should just keep my mouth shut.

Then I bore my testimony today in sacrament meeting. I was actually prompted to share my testimony months ago. But I came up with a good excuse then and many other excuses since then--I am holding a baby, I need to take Perry out to the foyer, I didn't do my hair today, Eric's not here, I'm not sure what to say, That lady who just spoke said it so much better than I ever could. Stuff like that. Today I got tired of my fear controlling me and told myself their will always be an excuse and I just did it. I did it!

This evening though, I was stressing about what I said/didn't say and sharing some of those anxious feelings with my family (and putting myself down about it). Kyler finally just said "At least you weren't one of the losers who didn't bear their testimony at all." 


I'm super grateful for Kyler's 14-year-old boy wisdom here about sharing my testimony. It helped me to settle down and remember something important. You know what, we really don't need to be eloquent and perfect, we just need to be willing. We just need to stand up and do it. We just need to raise our hand and say it. I do believe that Heavenly Father accepts our humble offering when we muster up the courage to share our testimony, experiences, and thoughts with other people. When we try, we show Heavenly Father that he can count on us and use us in whatever way he needs. And I think when the time is right and if he really needs us to say something in a certain way, if he knows we are trying and willing to be his mouthpiece, he will totally help us. And if we stutter or stumble or make a complete fool out of ourselves or fall, well that’s a great learning experience, too (if only to learn how to pick ourselves up and keep going). All of those experiences can work together for our good.

So, for today at least, I wasn't "one of the losers who didn't bear their testimony at all." ;)