Wednesday, August 20, 2008


What I wonder is... what purpose do our "Rachel's" serve? (I say 'our' because I have one too and suspect, as you do, that we are not alone.) Is she only there to distract us? Tempting us, pulling us from what we want the most, toward what we want in the moment? Does she feed unmet emotional needs, telling us that if we just TRY to placate her we'll be happy, but in reality, she's pulling us away from the things that give lasting and meaningful happiness? Or does she serve a higher purpose? Does she keep us on our toes, helping us to work harder, protect ourselves better, know who we are and what it takes to be our best selves? And finally- can I ever completely choose my "Alex"? My Rachel road looks messy and unhappy and while I can't see me embracing her, I can't quite shake her off either. Part of me is very comfortable with her taunts and tuggings. Part of me loves her and wants her comfort and companionship.... even though I know she'd destroy me if I let her.

Kimi asks some insightful questions.
First, as Latter-day Saints we know that in life we have opposition. Alex versus Rachel. Christ versus anti-Christ. Good versus evil, essentially. So yes, I think evil is there to distract us from our purpose, tempt us to make alternate choices, help us forget about the wedding feast by offering us fast food; and yes, I believe there is a higher purpose to opposition. It’s there for a divine reason. We know that without all of the above, how could we pass the test?

So if Rachel is in fact part of my nature, and letting her loose is not the answer, what is the answer? To fight her off for the rest of my life? I can’t imagine that being what I was meant to do. With the ups and downs of being female, it is impossible to quell her. And, like Kimi, I enjoy her sometimes. She makes life interesting. So I don’t think it should be about completely turning her off.

Because Alex is not all good, and Rachel is not all bad. Alex can eventually rise to all good status, but only with divine help; and Rachel could probably make it to all bad, but I’d have to not only take off her bridle, but her saddle and her horseshoes and let her gallop as she pleases, which I can’t even imagine myself doing.

So maybe “choosing my Alex” means allowing Alex and Rachel to walk hand in hand, but not as an equal partnership. Alex would walk one step ahead and have her other hand on that iron rod we talk so much about. And maybe with Rachel in tow, instead of in the lead, Alex can learn how to manage her better.

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