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Sister Burton on Depression & the Danger of Comparisons

I recently had the privilege to visit a Relief Society whose members are all elderly sisters in their 80s and 90s. Because it is winter in this part of the world, it is a time that can be challenging for those who are shut in or have difficulty getting around.

In an attempt to cheer up these older sisters who have their fair share of health challenges, aches, pains and other trials, one sweet sister shared something she remembered to have heard an insightful little girl say. Apparently she had heard someone was sad and “blue.” The little girl had innocently suggested, “If it makes you sad to be ‘blue,’ paint yourself a different color!” Sometimes this sunny approach is all that is needed. Simply squaring our shoulders and choosing to look on the bright side of things can often turn the tide of our feeling “blue.” Choosing to act positively when times are trying rather than reacting emotionally can lift, bless and brighten ourselves and others.

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Beware of comparisons

Another challenge to our emotional well-being might be slipping into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. We might be tempted to wonder why we are not as healthy or creative or cute or smart or … or … or. You name it and we can easily slide down that slippery slope of comparison if we are not careful.

I love Sister Rosemary Wixom’s wise counsel to look vertically to the Lord for our validation rather than looking “horizontally to the world around us or from those on Facebook or Instagram” (“Discovering the Divinity Within,” General Women’s Session, September 2015 general conference).

Lead image from Deseret News.
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