One of my brilliant clients said something like this to me recently….
“Betsy, I’ve been asking myself why things haven’t REALLY changed for women over the past century. I mean we’ve certainly made gains, and in many ways in American society we have more freedoms than ever before…at least on a surface level it seems that way. But at the core of us, AT A DEEPER LEVEL—we still have such a long way to go.”
The answer that came to her was that, it’ because as women, WE keep doing the same things!
WE keep putting everyone else and everything else before ourselves because we think that’s what we’re “supposed” to do.
We think that what’s healthy for our kids, our marriages, our loved ones, our communities is to just keep doing, doing, doing. Put our heads down, do the work, day in and day out.
We keep taking more and more on….the career, the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking, the parenting, the finances, the social calendars, the family gatherings, the birthday parties, the holidays, the errands, the kids activities….oh yeah, and did I mention we’re supposed to do this all perfectly AND look perfect with a smile on our face while we’re doing it?
Holy moly, just compiling that list gives me feelings of burnout!
And ummmm…..here’s the thing…..LOOK AT WHERE ALL OF THIS HAS GOTTEN US. We’ve currently got a bunch of misogynistic ego-driven maniacs as the elected leaders of the world.
Don’t get me wrong, I love men and what masculine energy has to bring to the table, but at this point, it is just STARING US STRAIGHT IN THE FACE that in terms of power regarding masculine and feminine energy, things have been out of balance for a weeee bit too long.
And ladies (especially those of us with the FREEDOMS THAT SO MANY AROUND THE WORLD DON'T HAVE)….if we’re gonna continue on with this mindset that it’s our job to be the caretakers of everyone else but ourselves, then ain’t nothin’ gonna change for the better in this world.
If we want our DAUGTHERS, our sons, our friends, our students, our co-workers, our sisters, our brothers, our nieces, nephews, moms, and dads to learn how to take care of themselves, develop self-worth, live thriving lifestyles….then we need to SHOW them how to do that. We need to BE the change we want to see in them (thanks for that, Ghandi).
Because here’s the dealio….words don't teach. Let me say that again, WORDS DON'T TEACH.
As parents, teachers, counselors, nurses, whatever….we can talk about this stuff until we’re blue in the face. But if we set the example for our girls that we will grind ourselves into exhaustion by trying to do it all---and oh yeah---do it perfectly btw---then they are SCREWED! If we show our sons that this is how a woman does and should operate, then how are they supposed to know any differently?
Ladies, if we can’t change our minds about this, then we can’t change anything. And that’s actually really good news. Because we CAN change our minds (we’re actually pretty good at it) and that will give us the POWER TO CHANGE EVERYTHING.
So take a moment and look at your own life. What things can you do today to promote more self care?