Taking The "Cutter Off The Cookie"
A lot of stress-exacerbated illness could be alleviated if we acknowledged the fact that "God don't have no cookie cutters." I think somewhere along the way we are indoctrinated (either by ourselves or by others) to believe that holding to the Iron Rod means there is one stereotypic way of living that will bring exaltation. We bring upon ourselves undue pressures in trying to squeeze ourselves into a paradigm that isn't even close to being "one size fits all." (The Iron Rod may be straight and solid, but not that skinny)
We don't need to make ourselves crazy trying to live up to some ridiculous standard set by Martha Stewart or Arnold Schwartzneger. I personally don't have the time, nor desire, to plant, tend and harvest an herb garden each year; and I don't have the foggiest idea how to can peaches (nor do I intend to EVER tile my bathroom with cut up credit cards).
One day while feeling like I didn't quite measure up, I expressed my feelings of inadequacy to a friend, and her comeback was, "That's okay Kim, Broulim's has a great "case-lot" sale every fall." That insightful comment prompted me to evaluate my self criticisms, and to realize that "Hey yeah, there is no cookie cutter way to be a productive Latter-day Saint." Just because we don't bake six loaves of bread every day or wear handmade gingham bonnets does not mean we are short on talent. And though our skills may be less than conventional, we are certainly not excluded from celestial candidacy.
Further, I feel quite confident that our children who are in day-care are NOT destined to become serial killers. Each of us (women in particular) need to stop booking ourselves guilt trips, and understand that the degree to which we are able to align our lifestyles with those of the mythical "Molly or Matty Mormon" does not necessarily correlate with the strength of love we have for, or our testimonies of, the Savior.
Surely we'll need horse trainers and psychologists in the next life, won't we? The pearly gates are not locked to those who can't quilt. I am certain that our individual talents and desires are specific attributes of, and gifts from, God. How we express our divinity is as personal as are fingerprints. And that very divinity ought to be our greatest source of "stress management"- - knowing that we are seed of deity enables us to calm the soul and to "soothe the savage beast" during the times when we seem most odd and out of synch.
So there you have it, another of Andersen's cathartic editorials - (Besides, I think Martha Stewart needs to get a life...)
Submitted by Kimberly Andersen, Wellness Committee