President Dieter F. Uchtdorf once gave a talk entitled "Forget Me Not". He delivered this address to women, but its message is equally powerful for men and children.
He told of an old German legend about the forget-me-not, a small, blue flower that is easily overlooked. According to the legend, the forget-me-not was the last plant to be named by God. It cried out, "Forget me not, O Lord!". And so the plant was named.
President Uchtdorf explained that there were five things that he wanted us to "forget not". They are:
- Forget not to be patient with yourself.
- Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice.
- Forget not to be happy now.
- Forget not the "why" of the gospel.
- Forget not that the Lord loves you.
Now, I've always been very scatterbrained. I tend to lose/forget things easily. And one of the things that I forget the most is to be patient with myself.
Here's something that may shock you: I mess up. A lot. (Crazy, I know.) I'm constantly trying to improve, and when I don't get immediate results, I get really down. I'm hard on myself, wishing that I could be better, while not knowing what I can do to be perfect.
But here's the thing--I'm not going to be perfect for a very long time. (Again, that may come as a shock. It's difficult to believe, but humor me here.) And hey, Satan is working pretty dang hard on me. He attacks me on every side. It's hard to maintain perspective when the master of all lies is telling you that you aren't good enough, you aren't strong enough, you aren't perfect enough.
Luckily, I am perfect enough. I am perfectly me, and that is all I need. Perfection will come in good time, but for now, I just have to keep picking myself up when I fall. (See, Bruce? We fall so we can pick ourselves up.) President Uchtdorf asks us to "stop punishing" ourselves. He tells us to recognize our successes--our Heavenly Father sees them, no matter how small, and they are important to Him. So let me ask you this: if God, the creator of innumerable worlds, cares about your small successes, why don't you?
Learn to stop punishing yourself for your failures. Perfection will come, but for now, learn to be patient. Revel in your successes, and the rest will come.
"Our journey toward perfection is long, but we can find wonder and delight in even the tiniest steps in that journey." ~President Dieter F. Uchtdorf