Nicole Marie Hilton, Monday June 11, 2018
Not much good comes from comparing ourselves to others. We are either lifting ourselves above another to feel “better,” or demeaning ourselves below another to feel that we are not enough. As long as we are looking outside of ourselves for our own value, the dark side is winning. If we could only see ourselves the way God does, we’d know the truth about our individual worth and divinity.
I woke up this morning after a restless night, filled with anxiety. For me, this type of anxiety can be a slippery slope down into the depths of hell. It is an oppressive presence, like a monster living behind my heart, spreading its tentacles throughout my whole body.
I flexed and released different parts of my body in turn for ten seconds each, a relaxation technique I learned some years ago. This relaxed me a bit until my alarm went off.
The thought came to me, pray.
I felt like I needed more comfort than kneeling by my bedside and praying would provide. I wanted Heavenly Mother.
So I asked, Mother, would it be okay to rock me right now?
The answer was immediate: Yes. I believe now that the answer to this is always yes for when we really desire it.
So I headed to “our” rocking chair. It’s a big brown leather La-Z-Boy chair covered with a feather comforter in the basement. Mom and Dad bought it for me a week after I broke my back in 2009, when they decided to transfer me from the Provo Hospital to the St. George Hospital in the back of the Expedition…a decision which saved us a ton of money. When we arrived at the ER three and a half hours later in St. George, a flabbergasted doctor and receiving team were incensed that the Provo team had released me to be transferred without an ambulance in the state I was in.
But Mom, Dad, and I were quite happy about it—it had been comforting sitting there in that sign of frugality and love in the back of the SUV, my parents looking back and checking on me, talking to me. It was healing to be on a road to recovery with so much love and with faith that I would get better and be able to walk again. (Not to mention, one of my favorite smells is leather.)
So that’s what this big brown rocking chair symbolizes to me. That, when I’m most broken, I can be held here and transferred to a place of recovery for what is broken inside of me.
Sitting in my comfy chair was like a hug, and I trusted it to get me through this anxiety. I collected my pillows and got situated, with the foot-rest up and a quilt covering me. My whole body ached, and so did my emotions. As I went into that place of complete stillness both in body and mind I have learned to go to over the past couple of years, I reflected on the movie Mom and I watched last night. It was Love, Kennedy and we cried like babies through it. This true story is about a girl who has an incurable disease, where she loses all function of her body, and eventually passes away. Since she was a baby, her grandmother’s rocking chair played a key role in comforting her in her life. Her grandmother on the other side of the veil and her mother would rock her there, and the last scene before she dies at age 16, she is held there again.
As I watched the movie, I couldn’t help but compare myself to Kennedy. I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be like Kennedy, and I was even jealous of her. When in the hospital with my broken back, I was like her. The constant opposition of mental illness and Lucifer was gone, and I had a clear connection to the other side, and I felt unconditional love for everyone and everything. The Spirit was palpable whenever I was alone in my hospital bed, interacting with visitors, or doing my therapy. There was a sacredness in my life, and every moment seemed precious. I willingly suffered through the physical torture of having a broken back because I knew…deep down that the Savior was with me, and that I had chosen to go through with Him. This drew me closer to Him.
Because of that memory, I was jealous of Kennedy and her incurable disease. I missed that feeling of being so focused on the present and so connected with Heaven. I hope I can explain this properly…some of us just don’t want to be here, on this earth. We miss the other side so badly, and the amount of emotional, mental, and spiritual suffering we’ve had here seems to be too much to handle. But this is how God works: those of us who long for death, live. And those who long to live, die. After all, we are here to work on what’s missing inside of us.
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that no matter how many near-misses I’ve had, both physical and mental, I’m here for good.
So I sat there in my recliner and went into stillness. I felt pure intelligence and comfort flow into me. It’s a curious thing—once I identify where it’s coming from, I’ve learned I can open the gate a bit more and actually receive more. I felt in my heart that Heavenly Mother was, indeed, the one who was rocking me back and forth. It’s a physical sensation but more of a refined physicality. As she rocked me, I sensed from Mother that I am just as special as Kennedy. We are completely different—so why compare? I have my own brand of beauty, my own mission, and Heavenly parents who love me.
That was the question I needed to hear: Why compare? Why do I so naturally fall into comparing myself to others? What do I really want? What things am I jealous of that I believe I’m lacking, or will not eventually receive? Do I believe God will withhold any truly good thing that I desire?
The truth is, what I really want is to be genuine and lovely. I want to give unconditional love and receive unconditional love. I want a close relationship with Heaven. I want to create happiness here on earth and fulfill my role here.
Maybe I was jealous of Kennedy, because I saw those characteristics in her, and I thought, she has what I want, and since it’s not showing up in my life, I’m not good enough or worthy enough to have it, too.
The truth is, the good we see in others is most likely something that’s seeded deep within ourselves, and our righteous desires will bring forth this fruit in its time. And of course it’s not going to look like the other person. Would the color pink be jealous of the color blue? No! They are both perfectly happy to be their own color!
I realized, while sitting in the rocking chair, as I felt the very real sensation of being rocked back and forth, that what I really wanted was to be the most me I can be—as Kennedy was the most her she could be. We want to be who we truly are—to merge our spirits with our bodies completely—and be unconditionally loved for who we truly are.
I felt Heavenly Mother’s love. She was pleased with my realization and added, I want every beautiful thing for you, too. Rejoice in Kennedy’s story as others will rejoice in yours. You are needed right where you are, how you are.
Then the rocking stopped.
Let me back up a moment to relate my first memory. My first memory is of being in my earthly father’s arms—Daddy’s arms—in our old pink La-Z-Boy chair in 1989. I must have been only a few months old. Our ritual was that he would hold me there in his arms on his chest, and I would completely relax and feel safe. I remember the rise and fall of his breathing, which would become rhythmic and slow. He nearly always fell asleep, and I did, too.
I don’t know what happened to that chair (we got rid of it at some point—with how old and weathered it became). But now I’m connecting the dots between my mom, my dad, and this big comfy rocking chairs.
The feeling of safety and unconditional love is crucial in a child’s life. It’s interesting to me that this is my first memory, and how it connects to my parents being there with my broken back, this chair they got for me, and to what I am going through now.
I then felt like, instead of being rocked back and forth by My Heavenly Mother, I was on Heavenly Father’s chest, cradled in His arms, and I felt His breathing. I’ve felt this many times before.
Is everyone always being held by the Sacred Ones?
I believe, in one way or another, we are. We are all being held by them.