Lately, this quote has been repeating in my mind: “Well behaved women rarely make history.” It doesn’t really matter what I’m doing. I could be washing dishes, driving my car, or just lying in bed at night in the dark. The words continuously return.
I am fortunate enough to have close relationships with several women. Because of this, I have the honor of hearing their hearts, witnessing their individual journeys, and sharing sacred parts of our lives where we feel all the emotions.
Recently, while listening to these special ladies, and reflecting on the whispers within my own soul, I’ve picked up on a theme. This is an Alchemy of Women. And age, social standing, family background and other unique distinctions don’t seem to make any difference. There is a collective shedding of skin, and leaving behind what no longer fits us.
The Ties That Bind Us
For centuries, females have been revolutionizing the world. Indeed, this is not a novel occurrence. It is truly remarkable how resilient women are, and how they’ve passed that resilience, among countless other virtues, down to each new generation of daughters. If asked to visualize an image of a woman making positive, lasting impact, the catalog of names our brain could conjure is not limited.
Rosie the Riveter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mother Theresa. Those three came to me in less time than it took to type that sentence. Maya Angelou, Malala, Jane Goodall. The list of women in history doing remarkable works is long…and we are fortunate to hear their stories. Stories, after all, are what give life purpose and meaning. When we see ourselves in the stories of others, we feel our collective humanity, and security in the precious ties that bind us.
Honoring The Voice Inside
Yet the women in history books are by no means the only women who leave legacies. Grandmothers, Mothers, Aunts, Sisters, Daughters, Friends…in every girl’s life, there is a woman or two, or maybe 10, who blazes a trail and lights the way, until it’s time to pass the torch. Often, however, there’s a good chance the trailblazer has no idea how much impact she has. Self-doubt runs rampant among females. Have you noticed this?
Women make decisions all the time to prioritize the needs of others. But when it comes time to make a decision that demands she prioritize herself, she hesitates. Words like “selfish” come up in the chatter inside her brain…and self-deprecation begins. It is astounding, the amount of time a woman spends in anguish, uncertainty, confusion, despair, anger, resentment, frustration, and downright paralysis before she asserts a paradigm shifting choice to honor the tiny voice inside her.
A Call To Action
This is why the memoir Untamed was so groundbreaking for me. I told every woman I know about that book. Glennon Doyle forces females to look in the mirrors we throw sheets over to hide from our honest reflections. Through telling her own stories, she extends a call to action for all women to do the same. And not just to tell our stories, but to face the page dead on, and write them ourselves.
Wherever you are right now, whatever is tugging at your heart from the deepest wells within your soul, don’t turn away from it. Sit in the question and the answer will come. Maybe you’re dismantling beliefs that for so long served as bedrock in your life. Perhaps you’re looking to make an impact in a place you see injustice. It may be that, surrounded by males, you’re creating a role in your profession that claims your stake, and it’s important you don’t sell yourself short. Maybe you’re in a relationship, romantic or not, that you know in your bones is crushing your spirit. Or, maybe you’re exploring a whole new endeavor, and the unknown is daunting and daring at the same time. Whatever it is…let it lead you.
In Good Company
Well-behaved women rarely make herstory. Maybe it isn’t about being in a textbook that’s too often taken for granted in a high school classroom or a college lecture hall. When I look around me, and I see how the women I know are quite literally removing aspects of their world or belief system that no longer serve them, I am inspired, in awe, and grateful beyond language. I am proud of these women for writing their own stories and I know I am in good company while I write mine.
“Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing and uplifting people—people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories.” –Jack Canfield