I don’t know about you, but I’m done giving away my power! I’m done trying to live the fairy tale that was pounded into my head from a very early age. It first started with the books, the old classic fairy tales, my family dynamic and history, then it was followed by the Disney princess movies and the romance novels, both classic and modern, and finally driven home by the romantic comedies. In most cases, the female character is somehow sad or “broken”, whether she is caged, being raised by an evil step mother, in an unhealthy relationship or portrayed as a neurotic and emotional woman. In all these cases, the female character is set up to be rescued by a man or a prince from whatever sad situation she finds herself. It’s time to change these stories and find a new story. A story that depicts a strong, intelligent, resourceful, capable woman who does not need to be rescued or saved. These are the stories I want to share and encourage with my children.
I applaud the women and men that are creating and promoting a new take on the classic fairy tale. When my daughter was five, I was introduced to the Barbie Princess movies that portrayed the princess’ as resourceful, intelligent and capable of rescuing themselves. There was a prince, but he was a secondary character who only assisted in the rescue plan. And there is that wonderful book called The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, which is a hilarious take on the princess/prince rescue story. These two examples are definitely a step in the right direction, showcasing smart, intelligent and resourceful women that are very capable of whatever task is at hand.
It is wonderful to see some changes, however, for the most part, I still see this classic story being told in what I see on TV and in movies. The media, entertainment companies and society make it difficult to find the stories that showcase an empowered woman. And what about us 30, 40 and 50 year-olds who have already bought into this fairy tale? What patterns have we been living? What messages have we been accidentally showing our children? Are we showing them a powerful, powerless or empowered mother and woman?
What does it mean to be powerless, powerful or empowered?
Powerless means being selfless, passive and an excessive giver under the guise of goodness or selfless giving. Powerful means operating in high ego, being selfish, arrogant, busy and in need of accolades. Being empowered means having self-love and self-worth with truth, understanding, confidence and boundaries.
How have I been living? Which one will bring me closer to what I truly want in life and closer to kindness?
For most of my life, I have operated in the realm of powerlessness under the guise of goodness and giving to others. I over-committed, over-volunteered, said yes when I really wanted to say no, I was available to others first, and had no personal boundaries. I became a resentful, unhappy, busy, but unchallenged and a bored version of myself. No wonder I had little kindness in my life, I was living and trying to love without listening to my truth.
How can I/we become empowered and live a life that is loving, kind and truthful?
- Understanding & Living Your Truth: There is only one you. Understanding and accepting yourself, your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, unique gifts and beauty. And then living, creating and operating from there.
- Self Love: The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you can have. Learning to love yourself and give yourself exactly what you need without looking to others to fill you up. Doing the things you want to do with all of your heart and feeding your soul with your passions and desires.
- Establish And Enforce Personal Boundaries – Be clear about what is acceptable and unacceptable to you. Once you establish your personal boundaries you must continue to demonstrate them because it is your job to teach others how to treat you by showing them what is acceptable and unacceptable.
I think this is a good place to start. Please share any personal stories of empowerment or stories about other woman you have read about.
With Kindness & Love,