March 16, 2017

no more 'BUT's

I learned a life skill that I would like to attempt to share with you.
It involves removing the word "but" from your vocabulary. Who knew the difference three letters could make to a statement.

It isn't a big secret that I harbor some hard feelings towards my time as a full-time missionary. I struggle when conversations of mission stories roll around at social functions. I find myself caught between wanting to be honest and not wanting to come across super cynical. I will never discredit the value of missionary work.
my responses have traditional been
"My mission was hard BUT I am grateful I went."
"I'm glad I served a mission BUT you couldn't pay me enough to go again."
"I loved being called as a Spanish speaking missionary BUT I don't speak very well."
Almost every single time my responses include a but.
I credit it to my attempt to be true to both the good and the bad. I always want to be honest.

Turns out it has been doing some rotten things to my emotional well being and I was taught a way to do it better-
replace all the buts with an and
My mission was hard AND I am grateful I went.
I'm glad I served AND you couldn't pay me enough to go again.
I loved being called as a Spanish speaking missionary AND I struggled with the language.
Both parts of those statements are true. However, it feels different to say AND instead of BUT.

I'm working through all the things that stop me from living my life with no regrets AND it is hard AND healthy AND scary AND liberating.
In life it doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be both, and in my opinion most times it is.

I imagine motherhood to be wonderful AND hard.
I know school is overwhelming AND enlightening.
Losing a loved one can be the right thing AND heartbreaking.

So how about that.. no more buts. Try it- I dare you!