By Nicole Marie Hilton, March 2018
I discovered this trick while walking around Costco today. I was a bit sullen because there was a huge blemish on my face, which felt like the size of Jupiter. Honestly, I didn’t want to look anyone straight in the eye, and I quickly pushed my cart towards my destination (a big bag of lemons in the fruit section).
While I quickly maneuvered the enormous cart around equally hurried and harried people, I started thinking about the movie Wonder, which I saw recently with my mother. It’s about a young fifth grader who was born with a facial deformity and who has had to endure surgery after surgery to even look passable. Even then, he endures the most intense bullying at the hands of his peers.
While I thought about this character, I thought about what it would feel like to have my face taken away and replaced with something more like the boy’s in Wonder. It was somewhere around the milk aisle where I came up with what I call The Godmother Game.
The Godmother Game is where you choose something in your life you really, really cherish. It might even be something that you haven’t thought about—like your ability to walk, or your face. Once you have chosen the item (or person, place, or thing), spend a couple minutes meditating on what it would be like if you had never had that thing. Really go into detail here. Use your imagination. (Most of us with mental illnesses are actually quite fantastic at using our imaginations…this is something I’ve noticed. Go on—try it!) Imagine, if you will, that you couldn’t walk from the day you were born or that you were born with a facial deformity. Imagine how different your life might have been.
Now, after doing this meditation (and it really can be done anywhere), imagine that your Fairy Godmother shows up right beside you. Mind you, your Fairy Godmother can look like just about anyone. (I chose my Savior, Jesus Christ.) Now imagine that your Fairy Godmother waves a magic wand, and POOF! The thing that you never ever had is suddenly bestowed upon you.
I’m sure the people who were walking towards me were confused when I went from being sullen and stressed to beaming in .023 seconds flat. My shoulders squared up and I cheerfully said, “Hi!” to the couple who were walking towards me. I couldn’t believe it! I had a face! I had a gorgeous wonderful amazing face! I felt like I had just won the lottery. I had experienced life with a facial deformity, and now I had a face that any mother would be proud of.
I marched around Costco feeling like I had a new lease on life. The smile on my face was so large, some people were staring. But really, I couldn’t wipe it off! I said hello to multiple people and even joked with a lady in the checkout. I was so grateful to have my face, and I’ve had a happy heart for the rest of the day—where before I would have been sad for the rest of the day.
I know that it is hard to hear quotes like this one, from Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “We can choose to be grateful, no matter what,” especially when you are suffering from depression. If this trick doesn’t work, trust me: I get it. I’ve been dealing with depression for twenty two years, and only just now have I come up with this trick. And why did I come up with it now? Because I’m finally ready—and healed enough—to receive it. So be patient with yourself.
I’ll end with a quote from our late prophet, Thomas S. Monson, “Regardless of our circumstances each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.” For those of us who aren’t dealing with depression, or who have enough strength to play The Godmother Game with enough imagination to make it work, I testify that we truly do have the ability to be grateful with just a bit of contemplation of our innumerable blessings.
2 thoughts on “The Godmother Game”
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Wow 😭 thank you for this comment. I needed to hear what you said. Today I’m going to be grateful that I actually have legs—even if they don’t work!