What defines me?

Hello, my lovely friends!I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted on this blog, but it wasn’t until today that I have felt the need to publicly express some of my personal thoughts.
Today in Relief Society (the Church’s women’s organization) we talked about self worth and what that means. I feel that in today’s society (the society we live in, not the RS.) there is too much emphasis put on the way we look, how wealthy we are, how many friends we have, and how many dates we go on. These things are all external things that we may not even be in control of. The world has decided that the artificial defines us, not what we truly are. Looks fade. Businesses fail and people lose jobs. Friends come and go. Why is is, then, that we are defined by the things we can’t control? If we don’t chose that lot, why is it who we are?
The secret to life is actually pretty simple. Those things do not define who we are. What defines us is our thoughts, our words, and our actions. We are in control of those things. We get to decide how we act.
After today’s lesson I realized how much I still need to learn. One of the things I love about going to church is that I get the opportunity to become more humble. There are always things that I can work on. The beauty of it is that I am not alone. I may not have the right words to describe how I feel, but I can say that I know that what I am feeling is true.
Because I am not currently able to come up with the words that would properly express my thoughts, I want to include a few quotes that remind me of self worth and how we are not (and should not) be defined by the things that we cannot control.
This one is by Aaron Tveit, whom I find absolutely amazing for a lot of reasons:
“Awards are not something that I measure my work by. I’ve been so fortunate, and I’ve gotten to do such terrific things, that it seems petty to look back and say, ‘Oh, I should have gotten that prize.’ I’ve been so blessed, it’s hard to look back and think anything but that, so I have no disappointments.”
When we recognize our self worth, things like awards do not affect us. When we are not recognized for something that we did or said, it can sometimes be easy to say “Why me? Wasn’t I good enough?” Instead of being glad we had the experience.
Someone once asked me why I wanted to get into the acting major when I had expressed my concerns and nervousness attached to those concerns. He asked me if I was doing it to impress someone. Of course, my answer was that I was doing it because I loved it, in spite of what others may think of me. I love acting and I want to be in the Acting major because acting makes me feel alive. His response? It shouldn’t matter, then.
Although we were speaking about acting, that conversation struck me to the core. It was important for me to think about in terms of my major, but it also rings true in other aspects of our lives. Why do we do anything? Is it to impress someone? Are we in college to get an education, or are we doing it to impress someone? Why do we do anything? When we recognize the deeper meaning inside of us, we are able to realize that we are worth much more than what someone else thinks of us. The opinion that matters about us, is our own opinion about ourselves.  

Arnold Schwarzenegger said:

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
How true this is! When we fail, we learn more than when we succeed. We all have our own trials in life, but we can still make it out alright. The important thing to remember is that we are all learning and growing. None of us are perfect!
Consider this quote from Michael Jordan:

“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.”

No one else can define who we are. We decide. Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you define your actions. Be who you are! You are beautiful. 
To quote Kathryn Stockett from The Help: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

It can be easy to get down on ourselves because someone out there is better than us at something. NEWSFLASH!! You will always find others who are better than you at something and you will always be better than someone else at something different! That doesn’t mean that you aren’t great, it just means there is room to grow and to learn. If there wasn’t, how boring would life be?
 Likewise, we should recognize the beauty in others. 
I don’t have a lot of time left to finish this post, but I want to share the video that we watched in Relief Society. It is so sweet and so simple, yet it teaches great truth. 

Remember: None of us are perfect, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t worth it.

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