REAL LIFE STORY FEATURING JUDY COOLEY
Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation:
“she accepted both the good and the bad with equanimity”
I like to compare my journey as a mother, to a hike to the top of a mountain peak.
On the hike, the trail starts out exciting and we are admire the beauty along the way. There is a quickness in our pace and anticipation of the summit.
As the elevation increases, the incline becomes steep and rocky. Thirst, hunger and fatigue begin set in. We become keenly aware of the pains, the heaviness of the load, and perhaps some hot spots where blisters are forming. Words of encouragement are spoken, arms are extended to help each other over big boulders. Often, hearts become discouraged and some want to give up.
Sometimes, we notice the storm clouds gathering, we hear thunder clashing and the temperature quickly drops. Quickly we find shelter to avoid the danger of a mountain storm. Gathering together we wait out the storm. Extra clothing is needed for warmth, and prayers are said for protection, courage and equanimity. The storm eventually ceases and together we start climbing again, once again helping each other upward, onward to the top. We are chanting “We can do this! We go Forever!” Joy and relief wash over us while standing on the summit, beautiful vistas lay at our feet, and we feel a great sense of accomplishment.
We pause a moment to kiss the sky, say prayers of gratitude, and take pictures to remember. Then it’s back down the mountain, which is a whole different adventure, with it’s own joys and trials.
I remember starting out on adventures with my little family- what fun! The biggest worry was if I remembered the sunscreen and snacks, and trying to keep up with them as they scampered off in different directions. Motherhood is full of fun and precious moments all along the way. You just have to stop and notice them and enjoy the scenery. Take the time to create traditions, family vacations, laughter and fond memories because this will be the shelter they seek when the lightening strikes.
The anticipation of reaching the top is the dreams and hopes we all have for our children. I have high expectations for my children, of course. I want them to be happy, but even more then that, I hope they’re self reliant, honest and accountable, and have a determination to reach the top for themselves. I also hope for kind and helpful travelers along the way and for them to find an eternal traveling companion to begin their own family and adventures. (who doesn’t want to be a grandparent?)
We will all struggle over boulders and feel the heaviness of the weight on our shoulders. The threatening storms may be when your child deals with bullies, has been exposed to pornography, hindered with sever anxiety, develops an eating disorder, struggles with depression, participates in destructive behavior or addictions. This is where reaching out to each other and cheering each other is vital. Family prayer and time set aside to teach correct principles is the gathering together to wait out the storms and wrapping them up in warm protection.
Recently a violent storm caught us off guard threatening our family; a child battling a faith crisis, willful rebellion, and suicidal thoughts tested our equanimity and resolve. There was a one point where every single one of us was beaten down by the storm. Some didn’t want to continue on the climb and had lost vision of the summit. This is when we each had to dig down deep get on our knees and remember why we where on this journey and remind each other, “We go Forever” Hold on this storm will pass.
I don’t think I’m unique. To a parent ALL storms feel threatening to getting the whole family safely to the peak. Those summit moments for me have been when my children chose the right, found good companions, my sweet grand babies, graduated, served missions, increase their talents, tenderly take care of each other, and still found time to go on adventures with us. What I’ve learned and what my words of hope to you are: Enjoy the journey, All storms will pass; equanimity is found in faith in Jesus Christ. I also know that everyone, especially our children, have their own journey to experience to the summit.
It is in the hard climb where we learn and gain strength. We are given weaknesses and struggles to humble us and so it is for our children. “All these things shall give thee experience.” That is not easy on a mothers heart or nerves but this I know- we will all enjoy that bliss on the summit!
I have been blessed with the gift of a joyful spirit and the ability to overcome sadness and darkness. But, I allowed the dark storm clouds to over shadow me. I felt abandoned and beaten. How grateful I am for my family and loved ones picking me up and wrapping me in love. I reached out to friends, a support group and a counselor. Most importantly I reached out to my Heavenly Father; where I found hope again, and peace in sacred moments in prayer, scripture study and quiet holy places.
Do you remember a great storm once on a sea where the waves beat into a ship. Some cried out in fear, “carest thou not that we parish!” And The Savior arose, and rebuked the wind, and said, “Peace, Be Still” and the winds ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, “Why are ye so fearful? I envision Him speaking these words to me each time my fears of the storm arise. His peace washes over me. I’m finding my joyful spirit again and the strength to continue onward and upward.
I once had a friend tell me. All will end well, and if it isn’t well it’s not the end.
Keep climbing dear friends! I wish you a happy and joy filled journey, I Believe you can do this!