The strength of one can be the strength of many or even all, but we cut ourselves off at the knees.
This summer, while enjoying a sunny day at the beach with one of my most beautiful friends – in looks and more importantly in INNER beauty, this topic randomly came up, in a way.
We were talking about a younger female we know, about her struggles in life (we all have them) and she said to me “is she prettier than these other girls?” Which took me aback at first, not drawing the connection right away. You see, I see beauty in others that some people never see in themselves. It’s one of my many gifts in this life and one that I am most grateful for, but it does draw me into things that others would avoid. Anyway, that’s another topic for another time. My point on bringing it up is that I see beautiful differently. Outer beauty doesn’t register to me first like it seems to for others. I see a person as a whole first and then the other parts become more obvious to me. Back to the subject though!
Seeing I was perplexed she said, “Donna, you know how that works. Is she prettier than them?” The answer was “yes.”
My friend was right. Sadly, this fact has become such a natural part of life for me that I had temporarily forgotten it.
Yes, this young lady we were discussing is beautiful inside and out and yes, the challenges she faces in life often times come from others judging, criticizing and then treating her unfairly for it. Girls and women are often mean to those they are jealous of, whether they realize they are doing it or not.
Take this example: Sarah Palin. Beautiful – yes; smart – yes, how else would she have become Governor and then a VP Candidate?!; and strong – yes! Again, back to the point on smart. What happened to her? She was savagely attacked every step of the way by people trying to discredit her smarts and undermine her strength and even attack her beauty by calling her a lipstick something or other. Why do we do this to ourselves and each other?
Please, take this example and use it on another person you know of. Run the scenario through and see where you come out. Likely at the same end result, unfortunately.
My friend had brought up something both she and I could well relate to. We have learned to hide our strength and our smarts behind the smile. We instead put forth our inner light and strong hearts to help hide ourselves and blend in better. We shower others with love and kindness, which takes away their ability to judge and condemn us on our brains and strength. (They still do, but it makes it harder on them as they look like the petty person for trying.)
The looks we can do nothing about so we have to downplay the others positives. Many women out there have this ability or rather – disability. We should not be hiding any part of our gifts, strengths or our light. We should also not be condemning others who do so.
You see, when you are a woman, it is okay to be smart OR pretty OR strong, but is against all of the socially accepted rules of American society to be all three! With one of these traits people can and do use the other two to discount you. “She’s pretty sure, but not very bright.” Or, how about, "She's the smartest person I know, but not much to look at." Heard that one before? I’m sure you can come up with your own examples of others.
Marianne Williamson has the perfect quote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.”
Now, going back to the opening line in this blog. “The strength of one can be the strength of many or even all, but we cut ourselves off at the knees.”
We are all one. We are all connected. We enrich or endanger each other and ourselves based on our actions in every moment.
We should not be shrinking violets, dumbing ourselves down so others can earn their participant award for showing up.
We should be shining our lights brightly, raising each other up and showing each other the way to being the biggest, brightest, most wonderful selves we can be.
Flowers grow and bloom in the sunshine. Shine your sunlight (or rather heart light) so that others may grow with you. Be the tallest poppy and encourage the other poppies to catch up. Don’t let them chop you off to make themselves feel better because in the end taking others down does not make anyone feel better. What goes around energetically comes around. Stop attracting negativity by expecting others to be less than all they can fully be.
Encourage greatness in everyone – especially yourself. When you love and believe in yourself others will love and believe in you. When you love and believe in others they will love and believe in themselves too. Who cares if they have a higher IQ than you? Who cares if they make more money than you, or weigh less than you or believe in different things than you? Does that make you less of a person? No. You have other gifts that they may not. Big deal. Move on and move upward.
Strength is a good thing. It is through courage and perseverance that we achieve our greatest accomplishments. Foster this in yourself and all you know. Don’t condemn or criticize them for having the guts to do something you wish you could do. Instead, pull on your big girl or boy pants and muster up your own courage to do what it is you really want to do. All boats rise together.
Intelligence is a good thing. Beauty is a good thing. A kind and generous heart is biggest strength there is - I believe! There are many good things that we should be focused on and promoting in ourselves and others. Let’s get out there and start doing it, shall we?!