“The Boiling Frog Syndrome”(BFS) is an anecdote about how a frog placed in boiling water will jump out immediately but when a frog is placed in cold water which is then slowly heated, froggie will not perceive the danger and will boil to death. Although science disproves the truth of BFS, it’s cautionary tale of the cost of ignoring the small and subtle messages you feel of something being off, is truth.
Women’s history of being told to “behave and make nice” for being safe in life and love means women often dismiss and deny what they are feeling and noticing. Especially when paying attention to what they are sensing will “make waves” with people they love or are dependent on. Yet ignoring what you are sensing does not keep you truly safe in either life and love. Ignoring what you are sensing only keeps you from taking action in time to attend to what your wisdom is telling you is wrong.
More than one woman has come to me angry with herself for not listening to her feeling of something being”off”, for time had proven what she was sensing as correct. A women will often ignore her innate “early alert system” for not “rocking the boat’ in a relationship or where she fears reprisal for speaking up. Yet ignoring messages from the powerful sensitivities you possess as a woman can land you in troubles you could have prevented or mitigated.
So, just how do you balance speaking up and standing up for what you know with your desire for safety and acceptance in love and life?
1. Commit to learning about and loving yourself as a priority in your life. Learning about yourself is not optional for being happy and fulfilled in life. When you know what makes you happy, what you love, what’s important to you in life and relationships, you can care for your needs consciously. Expecting those you love to be your primary source of approval and support only places others as a parent with you as the child. And while we all need a little help from our friends, learn to love and support yourself as a job you are the best at and your privilege.
2. Update your relationship with anger. Anger is the element of fire offering its power to protect you as well as transform what challenges you. Instead of smothering (ignoring/fearing) your anger or letting it become a wildfire, develop a conscious relationship with your anger. Anger is not wrong nor bad; only when you do not tend to anger’s presence does anger cause you problems. Denying your anger for “not making waves” does not keep you safe in relationships nor in life. Learn to receive and decipher your anger, for within your anger is wisdom seeking to protect you and transform what IS dangerous to you.
3. Learn the difference between your sensory system and your intellect (aka your body never lies). The sensory capacity of a woman is intimate to her biology as a woman and offers women sensory information for her protection and for deep wisdom. ( No, I am not saying women are better than men, rather different and viva la difference!). Ignoring your perceptions and receptions of information is a cultural norm, not your innate capacity, and gets you in trouble. Choose to honor your sensory capacity, take action informed by your sensory information and perceptions, and watch your happiness blossom.
4. Get help outside of your family and friends for making the changes you want in yourself or your life. Family and friends at their best are your cheerleaders in life…. and family and friends can resist you changing. Just as cheerleaders do not serve as coaches for their team, don’t expect your cheerleaders in life to be your coaches in life. Your decision to take up your challenges as your opportunity for personal growth offers you being inspired by doing so.
The new normal in our world is change change change. One big change is relying less on outside of you for direction and support, and trusting in yourself more. Change can be really uncomfortable and challenging and going it alone is no longer a sign of strength. We all need help dealing with the angel and the devil on our shoulders. To live your life with heart, you need the strength of your soul….a soul clear and strengthened through transforming your challenges in life.