Does anyone else do this?? I feel like the pressure we put on ourselves is often the heaviest load we carry. I know I do it. That’s right. I admit it.

Today, my sweet friend Bernie reminded me to try a little harder this week to not be so hard on myself. She assured me that I have so much to offer and something big is right around the corner. I don’t know why she believes in me so much, but I love her even more for it.

As I listened to the lesson today in Relief Society, one specific point leapt out at me…it was not even the main focus of the lesson! But it was exactly what I needed. (That is something I just love about the Holy Ghost. We have a constant companion available that will lead us to what we need to hear personally! It is never just a generic message that everyone – young and old – saints or sinners – must try to apply. It is a wonderful gift of guidance that will touch our hearts with the exact answers we need if we are open to direction.) 

Kris shared a picture of an olive press.

It may or may not be this press specifically, but it was similar. She explained how these work, pointing out the bags of olives stacked up in the little space. The porous bags allow for the oil to drain out as more and more weight is applied. The log has notches along it to hold the rocks on and squeeze out as much oil as possible.

A similar event happened in Gethsemane.

Kris explained this perfectly, and in a way I had never thought of. I will try to share the main idea the best I can. When the Savior went to Gethsemane (a literal garden of olives), he knew there was something that he had to do.He suffered for the sins of the world.

The weight of all these sins piled onto him were much like an olive press. The “log” was burdened down, each notch loaded to capacity with the sins of his brothers and sisters – much like the rocks hanging to press each drop of oil out. He bled from every pore…

I love this image by Carl Heinrich Bloch, which depicts an angel by Christ’s side….

The pressure of the sacrifice made in this garden would have been unbearable. Unthinkable. Beyond any amount of pain I could bear.

But…He already endured ALL of my pains and sorrows. The pressure was applied and it was taken care of. And just like in this picture, Christ, and all of his angels are right there all along. We may have to feel some of the consequences or “pressure” that comes from the sins we commit, but one thing is certain.

We will never be left alone.

So this week, I am going to be a little bit less hard on myself. The pressure I put on myself to be perfect doesn’t make me any more flawless…. The dings and scratches are still there. The scars remain. But it sure makes things a lot heavier to carry.

So join me this week. Take Bernie’s challenge with me and find something good or worthwhile in yourself each time you feel a “beat-yourself-up” moment is coming on.

Let’s all be a little less hard on ourselves this week.  <3

XOXO – Heath


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