- Posted by Shasta on August 30th, 2007 filed in Advice, Does All Her Own Stunts, Emotional Angst, Ethics And Morality, Mating And Relating
I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about personal strength and being a woman.
Before I get rolling on this let me say first that I do not really consider myself a feminist, nor have I ever claimed to be one. I’m not trying to say “Hooray for women, we are so great”. I’ve never been able to identify with the feminist label, nor have I done a lot of research into what being a feminist entails. What I do know is that save for a select few, I have strongly disliked most of the women I’ve met who claim to be feminists, mainly due to their tendency to be victims of their life. Also, even though they claim to want equality, most of them seem to harbour a smug superiority complex towards men, which I find revolting.
That aside, what makes for a strong woman?
Many people have commented to me that they are inspired by my personal strength. While I find this highly flattering, it got me to wondering what it is about me that they perceive as strong?
Don’t worry, this post isn’t going to be of the “Yay Me!” variety.
Foremost I believe that strong women refuse to play the victim role in their lives, no matter what the circumstances. Even if they actually WERE a victim, suppose of a rape, they refuse to let that define them, or to control them forever after. The strong women I know tend to be independent (yet still vulnerable) with a solid self image and a clear sense of who they are. Well, as clear as any of us can get, LOL. They do not feed into co-dependant relationships, or allow themselves to stay in situations which force them to compromise excessively.
Generally speaking they seem to live their lives to the fullest they know how. Doing the things that bring them joy and fulfillment without trampling others in the process. They create friendships and connections that are genuine, honest, and open. A strong woman will be upfront with you when you have pissed her off. Rather than avoiding the situation or pushing it aside in order to prevent conflict. She will address the situation at hand, speaking her truth while being accountable for her own experience.
I’m really getting so tired of women who settle for less than complete happiness in life and in relationships. It’s not impossible or unrealistic, and I find it sad and pathetic that any person (man or woman) would rather sit in their own shit, instead of getting up and doing something about it. Why sell yourself short? Don’t you think you deserve the most out of life? Stop letting your partner, your family, or your friends convince you that you can’t do it on your own. Don’t let them tell you that you aren’t capable of doing anything you want to do.
A lot of what drives us to settle or not to strive harder to get what we want is fear. We all get scared sometimes, and if anyone tries to tell you different they are either full of shit, or delusional. Fear doesn’t need to control you however. You know what my motto is?
Fear is the opportunity to be courageous.
It really is you know. Being afraid of something is the perfect reason to tough it out. Stand up, show your strength. Why do you think I get pretty much everything I want in life? Believe me, I do, but not through questionable means. People tell me all the time that they have never seen me fail at anything I have put my mind to. I can be terrified, which I know means I’ll feel totally awesome when I come out the other side successful. What an awesome way to live, don’t ya think?
Of course just resigning yourself to mediocrity is less work. FAR less. You’d best stay on the porch if you’re not up for a lot of pain and ugliness. Getting the most out of life isn’t easy, but then again, nothing worth doing is. Knowing that is part of what makes a woman (or man for that matter) strong.
You all know I get scared. You know I fall and doubt myself and cry and scream and rage. I want to give up sometimes, more often than I care to admit. Maybe the fact that I never do, the fact that no matter how down I am I always get back up, is why people remark on how strong I am.
Maybe it’s all an act right? I am sure people think that, but you can’t fake real strength for long. You’ll crack under the pressure if you’re all talk and no walk. Real strength, the kind that comes from deep inside you, can’t be pretend. You’ve gotta really believe it, and yourself..
Strong women are not manipulative, nor will they be pushed around. They will gracefully admit to being wrong, while fiercely defending what they feel to be right. Most of them are protective of the people they love and will not shy away from emotional situations. They speak their mind without being arrogant or overbearing.
Being strong doesn’t mean being pushy or insisting on having your way. It also doesn’t mean being cruel, proud (in the negative sense) or haughty. Be proud of yourself, and who you are, but don’t be a braggart or a snit. Strength comes not from a sense of superiority, but from fairness and equality when dealing with other people. Really strong people don’t feel the need to prove themselves, ever, to anyone. They are comfortable and confident with themselves, regardless of the opinions of others.
I know that I am not always everything I’ve discussed here. I don’t think any of us are. People tell me that I am strong and instead of shrugging it off or trying to be modest, I say “Thank You” because I know that it’s true. I AM a strong woman, and I won’t pretend to be otherwise to avoid making people uncomfortable.
I’m really proud to be who I am, and I embrace myself, warts and all. What I don’t like, I’m working on turning around, without blaming my shit on anyone else. The only person who can make or break my life is ME.
My wish is that all of the awesome women (and men) I know will be able to say those words and really mean it, to the depth of their soul. I know I do, do you?