So I was teaching a voice lesson the other day and I was a little (okay, a lot) frustrated. I mean really, it was so obvious what she was doing wrong and just so easy to fix, but even though I talked myself blue in the face and demonstrated the concept hundreds of times she just plain did not get it.
And then when she left I really thought about it. For a minute I decided I was a horrible teacher because I obviously wasn't conveying the message. I quickly threw the self-degradation out the window when I remembered just how difficult this concept really is and the fact that it took me quite a while to get it. My student is only 14 years old and really trying. I am 30 years old and I have been doing this a while now, so obviously I have a much better understanding than she does. Because she doesn't know what I know and doesn't have the experience I do, what is totally easy breezy for me is quite difficult, if not impossible, for her. (But still incredibly frustrating...because it seems like she is not even getting 1% of it.)
It's perspective. From my vantage point I can see exactly what she is doing wrong. With the knowledge I have I can also see exactly what needs to be done to fix the problem. She does not have this same perspective. The problem is too close to her for her to recognize it is even there. It's like the experiment you do when someone holds something up right in your face and you have no idea what it is until you step back...you can maybe tell what color it is, but that's it. When you do have the right perspective it is always surprising to see what the object actually was.
So can you see where I'm going with this? I think Heavenly Father must look down on me every day and and shake His head because I'm just not getting it. He can see exactly what my problem is and exactly what I need to do in order to correct it, but I can't. Sometimes I realize that something isn't working, but I don't know what it is because I haven't stepped back enough yet. Other times I can identify the problem but not the solution. It takes a lot of trial and error to finally get it right. And then, of course, hindsight is 20/20 and I can look back and see my life so much more clearly than I could when I was living it.
It is so fun to see the lightbulb go on when I am teaching a student. It's as if something inside of them finally clicks and suddenly they can finally do what I've been demonstrating and explaining for ages. And they always say, "It's so simple! Why couldn't I figure this out before?" The student really teaches herself at this point...I'm just kind of a guide. I think that's how our Father in Heaven works, too. We have plenty of guides in the scriptures and the prophets, but until the lightbulb goes on we just don't see them or understand them. In the case of the student, if she isn't putting forth any effort to understand or practice a concept, that lightbulb moment probably won't come. Same with us and our gospel learning...gotta put forth the effort to understand and do our best to live the commandments, and eventually we will receive more light.
My conclusions? Basically, I am too hard on myself and perhaps too hard on others. Gotta remember that I am NOT perfect or anywhere close to it. I just have to keep doing what is necessary to be a little, tiny bit closer to perfection today than I was yesterday. And I need to apply this concept as a mother. My children's perspective and place on the learning curve is totally different from mine. I cannot allow myself to be frustrated because a 4 year old has not learned what I have. Pretty ridiculous when I think about it like that. Sheesh...gotta be better. Gotta do the hard stuff, like I always say, and someday I can look back with a new perspective and smile at my ignorance, glad that we are always given new chances to learn what we didn't get before.