365 Ways To Wellbeing – 352nd Way
It’s not easy to be a woman in a modern world. Nor that it ever has been. Our great-grandmothers, grandmothers and mothers – all of them have had their own challenges in life. So has our generation. Nowadays many things are better but many challenges still exist. Perhaps the most difficult and complicated ones are the ones that have to do with common womanhood, challenges that combine generations of women of the world.
There has always been, and still is, a lot of contradictional expectations towards women. We need to be strong and tough but sensitive and caring at the same time. We need to be wives and mothers. We need to be sexy but pure. We need to be feminine but also masculine. We need to take care of others but we need to take care of ourselves too. We need to get along and be able to stand ourselves in a harsh working life but be loving and compassionate at home towards our children and spouses. All that at the same time.
How do we manage to face such challenges? Unfortunately many of us choose to harden ourselves. We harden our souls. Consciously or more often unconsciously. We pretend to be all of those things. We learn to be chameleonts so that we could meet up all of those expectations. We try to be like men. We build up a resistance so that we can survive. And still deep inside there’s a feeling of insecurity. Fear of being rejected for what we are. Fear of being not enough. Fear of showing our true self.
Hardening ourselves is not good for our wellbeing. It makes us to forget ourselves and loose our softness. It suffocates our emotions and makes us numb. It prevents us from seeing who we really are. How we would like to live our lives and how we would like to be. Along the way the amount of joy in our lives diminishes and anxiety increases.
I’m not a feminist. I know men have their challenges too. Both genders have their own burdens to carry.
But it’s not about complaining how things are. It’s about asking what can we do about it?
We have to dare to be who we are. We have to dare to feel. We have to break our resistance and have courage to be soft again. We need to look within ourselves and ask “Is this really me? Is this the life I want to live?” And when we have found the answer, when we have learnt to know ourselves and heard what our heart has to to say, then we need to act according to it. Carefully, wisely, but without hesitations.Stop pretending who we supposed to be and start being who we really are. That’s what we ought to do!
This day I ironed my husband´s shirts. While I was ironing I was thinking about the years that I´ve been home with children. These years have included many challenges, like the money issue that I told you last week, but they had also included many advantages. One has been the chance for me to find my softness again. A possibility to be at home has given me an opportinity to think about my life from a different point of view and realize how my years during the busiest working life, and everything I experienced affected me. It has done so good to me! A possibility to find myself. Yes, that’s what the years home with children have given me.
One of my goals in life has been that I want to stay soft but grow strong. This day I felt that after this year the goal may actually actualize some day in my life! 🙂
Read more about my “Wellbeing Challenge 2013 – 365 Ways To Wellbeing”.