What interesting times we live in. Being a student of woman’s history and potential, I find the dynamics of the president campaign fascinating. Some of the earlier missed takes of women’s empowerment are repeating themselves, but progress not perfection is how creation works. What is it to exercise power as a woman? What is it to be supportive as a woman yet still be true to myself? How can I live my precious life with integrity to my values and purpose and honor the roles I engage in my life as a woman?
We live in times most interesting, a time when so much of what we’ve been taught is true, is changing before our eyes. Truths such as what is power? what is family? what do we give authority to? are breath-taking in their change. And terrifying can feel the degree of change in what we once believed kept us secure and safe in life.
Even planned revolutions bring unplanned challenges to staying true and on purpose to the heart of the revolution. Women are being asked to heal the wounds of the historical rage within them while also birthing new forms of power and relationship with those who wounded them in the past. Yet, while all revolutions have their traps as well as their treasures, navigating the choices and changes showing up in your life simply needs you to live the grace and grit your birth as a woman bestowed upon you.
I am truly blessed to work with women who courageously take up change for being happier in their life and relationships. They are tired of compensating for their unhappiness with food, or shopping, or by (always) complaining to their friends and family. These women have spent years being the good girls they were taught to be as children. But being a good girl hasn’t brought them happiness and tired of being unhappy, they reach out for help for being happy again.
Being a good girl can serve to make important adults happy when you’re a child. But being a good girl as an adult not only keeps your happiness at bay, it keeps the happiness of those you love at bay as well. The saying “If Mama ain’t happy, nobody be happy” is not a judgment about unhappy women, but a truth about the impact a happy (or unhappy) woman has in her relationships and life.
How happy/unhappy you truly are is felt by all you care for in life. Putting on a smile and pretending to be happy does not fool anyone but yourself. When I invite a woman to be silent less and share herself more with those important to her, fear of being rejected is often the reason she has not done so. Yet the price of not being authentic in your relationships erodes your self-respect and trust of yourself and others. The woman begins to realize how pledging allegiance to relationships or institutions which don’t honor her, are relationships and institutions she can ill afford for being happy in her life.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- If you no longer believed you needed to be a good girl for being happy in life, what would you change in your life or relationships?
- What would you stand up to-that you now only complain about or feel helpless to make better-if you had support?
- Would you be more willing to make different choices if more happiness and self-respect would be your result?
- If you could be happier if you reached out for help, what stops you?
The questions above are not meant for you to answer by yourself. Only recently have we embraced a belief of strength as being solitary. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty clear how that’s (not) working for us. Talk about these questions with those you trust and I’d love to hear from you!