Monday, December 31, 2012

Taking Criticism with Love: A Bitter Pill to Swallow

I was given some criticism yesterday that hurt me to the quick.  Brothers and sisters, I'm trying my very best to be gracious, and to realize that what was said was done so out of love.  I'm also trying to get beyond myself and get to the kernel of truth within the criticism.  Maybe you can help.  Here is what was said, as best as I can remember it:

"Sister McGinnis, why do you think you have so much trouble with the jobs you undertake?"

What I heard:  Sister McGinnis, you are lazy, and you complain too much and make up too many excuses.

The truth:  Ever since I resigned from the program I was working for when I first moved here, I've had to take the first jobs that came along.  I accepted the hospital job because it was close to home and the pay was better.  I wasn't very good at it though; I knew it, and so did everyone else.  Going to work made me so nervous that I developed IBS, and jumped every time someone called my name.  I never quit that job, just transferred to Dr. Feder's office... and life was so good there.  Doc was kind and patient, and constantly looked out for the health and happiness of his staff.  When he had a stroke, I cried for a week.  I applied for no less than 30 jobs, between doctor's offices and hospitals.  OMG! was the only retail application I put in, and they are the only ones who called me back.  Thus, I am a retail manager.  Considering the health issues I'm dealing with, between the MS, the fibromyalgia, and the chronic headaches caused by hydrocephalus, isn't it obvious why I would have issues with standing for 8 hours at a time and trying to motivate teenage workers who just want to stand there and look pretty?

"I've dealt with some of the people you've dealt with, and I don't get the same animosity from them that you do."

What I heard:  You are oversensitive.

The truth:  Yep,  I am, and I know it.  But show me one abuse survivor who isn't.  Show me one who doesn't run from confrontation.  I cannot stand to be yelled at, disapproved of, or talked down.  When I asked my husband about the person in question, he said "I've heard it.  She's nice to me, but there's a tone in the back of her throat that says 'I was just a total B to your wife, but I'm going to tone it down for you because I can't push you around like I can her.'"  To the brother who said this to me:  OF COURSE she doesn't talk to you like she talks to me... you're the one writing the blessed check. 

So I'm a doormat.  Sorry.  I'm working on it.  I've been working on it for years.

"Sister McGinnis, we can give you a calling.  But what's to say that in three months, you won't be miserable again?"

What I heard:  Sister McGinnis, if we give you a calling, what's to say that you'll actually show up and do it?

The truth:  Yes, I am unhappy here.  But not having a place in the Church is only making my unhappiness worse.  This last year has felt like 365 days of headache and heartache and bad luck.  I feel as if I didn't pray enough before I came home; that I did what I wanted to do, and didn't listen to Heavenly Father's plan for me.  Though I wasn't terribly happy in Michigan, things were turning around.  I was working in the temple and being blessed for it.  I had found a wonderful riding instructor and friend with a kind and healing band of horses to love.  I had finally found my place in the Grand Blanc ward.  We should have stayed.

But now we are here, and I have to make the best of it.  I have to find within myself the strength to hand it over to my Father and say "I've made a terrible mess.  Please fix it.  Please fix... me."  I don't do well with being so far from a temple.  It's as if a life-giving source has been taken from me.  I pine for the peace that I could always find within those walls.  I believe that I'm meant to be a Utah Mormon, with a temple in my back yard.  Does that make me a bad person, because I don't function as well or as happily without regularly participating in those sacred ordinances?  Really?

To anyone who feels the same way about me as this brother:  Please accept my apologies.  I have not been doing my very best, and for that, I am sorry.  I hope I have made myself clear, and I acknowledge that no harm was meant.  I look forward to proving you wrong, and hope that you do, too.


  1. You are welcome here. Always. Anytime. No matter what. You could go back to the Temple weekly (or more), you could go back to the horses that you love, you would find great friends in the Flint Ward, and we could all save more money to get out of here quickly and move West. You could get away from the stress of the job you hate. Your husband would not feel so unhappy and lonely. Pray about it. Ready when you are. (I purposely looked for a house with a fenced in yard for Amber.)

  2. I don't know your story and I don't know your life. But you seem to be way too hard on yourself. All I have read sounds like it was written by a good person.
    I also am not well versed in your religion but I would think that as long as you follow your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ...well He is the one you have to please. And He loves you unconditionally.