A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do
As women, we often define ourselves by our relationships. A mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife. As all of those myself, I know that although these titles come with great responsibility and sacrifice, they are undoubtedly something to be proud of. In order to excel as a mother, a sister, or a friend, we go above and beyond, putting the needs of those around us in front of our own. This is something that I have always considered beautiful and respected in the woman around me. After all, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
However, over time these roles can take over and dilute our own identity. As I have witnessed countless times in both my personal and professional life, I know that this is an issue that resonates with so many women. Our sense of worth can become tied up with our external roles only. We begin to seek more and more validity outside of ourselves, and our inner dialogue becomes orientated towards those who surround us and their perceptions of who or what we should be/could be/are!
In particular, I have witnessed a destructive and subconscious sense of guilt in some women who deny themselves things because they don’t feel they have a sense of entitlement. This could be manifested in something as small as not giving themselves the time to sit and eat breakfast calmly, or waiting for birthdays and special events to treat themselves etc.
Each of the leading world religions includes some version of the following: ‘Do unto others, as you would have them do to you.’ The Golden Rule. Regardless of how old you are, or where you come from you will probably be familiar with some form of that wise saying. However, similarly, regardless of how old you are, or where you come from, you will probably also be familiar with the culture of self-sacrifice associated with the role of a woman. It is something which exists throughout the world and throughout history and is manifested and celebrated through many different practices. Therefore, many of us undoubtedly will feel a little lost, and a little guilty when it comes to paying ourselves some well-deserved attention. SO let reverse this golden rule for a moment and
ask ourselves: Do you do for yourself what you do for others around you? And the harmful things you do to yourself, would you do to others?
The way you crucify yourself for indulging, would you do that to your best friend who opts for the fries instead of the side salad?
Would you ever dream of criticizing your mother the way you criticize yourself in the mirror? (And if you did, would you live to tell the tale?!)
Would you tell your daughter she’s too fat, or not intelligent enough, to do something?
As both a mother and daughter myself, I cannot express how important it is to nourish yourself, to take the time to identify yourself independently from those around you. You can’t run on empty for long. Mothers, do not undermine the influence your behaviour towards yourself has on your daughters or the other women around you. It is incredibly powerful for a girl to grow up seeing her mother passionate about something, caring for herself, valuing herself and her time. As women, you probably know by now, that we rapidly become like our mothers. More importantly, we tend to pick up their methods of parenting subconsciously. Remember, you can’t change your habits if you aren’t aware of them first!
Caring for ourselves should come naturally but if it’s been a while, it may take some practice to become reacquainted with our inner self. Step one? Remember you are your own best friend! So:
Support yourself like a friend. Treat yourself like a friend. Believe in yourself like you believe in your friends. Be proud of yourself like you are of your friends.
Sometimes it may mean making yourself a priority which sometimes may mean saying ‘no.’ Why? Because…. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!
For more insight attend our 2 day 'I AM' Workshop for women in October 2013!