“Are you doing the best you can…?” The (almost) impossible question.

Today, I am writing in response to one of the comments I received on yesterday’s posting. The comments were from a person named “Anonymous” I will start with the first part of his or her comments.

“Are you doing the best you can with the information you have?”

My answer – probably not, but I don’t know how to do any better. I assume I have the information, but I don’t know which information is the right information, or what to do with it.

I find a very common pattern, especially among women, is a deep, unignorable awareness, that they are not living up to a “Celestial Standard”. I have also noticed a very common pattern of how men typically respond to this dilemna. They just say, “Do what I do, and lower your standards (expectations of yourself) and then you will feel better about yourself!”

What a neat (and somewhat pathetic) solution! 🙂 Having been raised with all boys, it was easy for us to nod heads and grunt in agreement that this is the best solution. “If you cannot live up to a standard, then lower your expectations. I can’t tell you how many men, when dragged into my office for marriage therapy, will spend a portion of the first few visits hoping I will convince the wife to lower her expectations of him (and of herself for that matter).

Here’s what I have figured out. Men and women are predesigned to have certain strengths. In order for men to fulfill their role as providers and protectors (as described in the Family Proclamation), they need a certain set of paradigms with which they see the world. For women, they need a different set in order to fulfill their stewardship as nurturers.

Being a skilled nurturer is not different from being a skilled botanist, one who cares for plants. A botanist cannot control how the plants grow, but they can care for the environment (temperature, soil, water, light, etc) in which the plant grows.

I am convinced that women bring with them to this earth in their spirits, an almost unignorable awareness of the ideal (Celestial) environment needed to nurture their children and their husbands and themselves (and their extended family and their neighbors and…). This is part of what I call “Celestial Orientation”. (Why can’t our home just look and feel like a temple all the time?)

Ironically, paradoxically, and yes painfully, along with this Celestial Orientation is the distinct awareness that she is not living up to that standard. As you can see, this awareness can lead to a great deal of depression.

(More on this topic and what to do about it tomorrow.)

About Maurice W. Harker, LPC

Director of Life Changing Services, Director of Sons of Helaman, Facilitator of the WORTH group, Consultant for the Daughters of Light program.