It's challenging to accept, admit, and live with the fact that I am not always sunshine. This role of bringing sunshine to the lives of others has been one I've carried, yearned for, and tried to execute since the time my Grandma gave me the nickname. I started realizing when I got married that Tyler tends to more optimism than I do. Wait. . .I thought, isn't that my role? Isn't it me that brings sunshine? I've had several conversations with loved ones of late (you know who you are) where I have stepped out of the sunshine role and stepped into a place of "this is me and if you love me you'll like me"--it's been met with resistance, frustration, some acceptance, and a comment that "the old Sundy wouldn't say things like that."
Hmmm. This is challenging, as I've mentioned. Doing a family therapy program wasn't supposed to change ME, it was supposed to change the lives of the people I help. I have spent the majority of my days of earth trying to "bring sunshine into the lives of others."
That's not to say that others have not brought me joy, nor that I don't enjoy serving and lifting others. Both are true. I am currently searching for the balance of being true to myself (which for many years I did not think was possible because that would break the sunshine role) and be a compassionate daughter of God. The words of Elder Holland ring in my head today:
"Negative speaking so often flows from negative thinking, including negative thinking about ourselves. We see our own faults, we speak—or at least think—critically of ourselves, and before long that is how we see everyone and everything. No sunshine, no roses, no promise of hope or happiness. Before long we and everybody around us are miserable. . .'The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience.' We should honor the Savior’s declaration to “be of good cheer.” Indeed, it seems to me we may be more guilty of breaking that commandment than almost any other!" (Tongue of Angels, May 2007).
So I admit it: I've been stressed, pressured, anxious, and yes, even grumpy. I'm trying not to 1) beat myself up for feeling this way 2)blame other people/circumstances for feeling this way or 3)abandon the ones I love while I "get over it". I am going to 1)be real about how I'm feeling, 2) "Look and live" and 3)keep pluggin' along.