In a society where “Queen” Beyonce is most little girls (and most 20-30 year old’s) version of what it means to be a strong woman, I decided to interject a little with my own thoughts. I’m only in my 20’s, so I can’t imagine how much more I will learn along the way, but this is something that has really been interesting me lately.
What makes a woman strong? Many of us have gotten it confused with being ‘fierce’ (read: snarky) and independent (“I don’t need your help, I can do it on my OWN!”). While being fierce and independent are great qualities on their own, these qualities are not what makes a woman strong in my eyes.
In fact, I think sometimes they can be a defense mechanism.
Here’s just some of the things I’ve been thinking about lately. These are totally opinion, so if you don’t agree, no stress 🙂
- A woman is strong when she is vulnerable and honors her sensitivity. There’s this belief in society that when a woman is strong, she does not cry, show emotion, or feel scared. I think when you can acknowledge your emotions but not become them, then you are balanced and strong.Good things come from vulnerability. Love is born out of vulnerability, as are most deep friendships. Vulnerability allows people into our most sacred space where we can either be hurt or become closer. This is not to say we should be vulnerable with everyone we meet, but to those in our lives who matter most, vulnerability is strength.
- A strong woman knows kindness is more important than beauty or intellect. While I would argue that intellect is much more important than beauty as well, I have to say that kindness trumps them all. I believe we’re all on this earth to experience and give love, and the main way we can do that is through kindness. In a world where being a real asshole is much easier than being kind, kindness is a sign of strength.
- Your energy is what makes you strong and beautiful. This one doesn’t need much explaining because i’ll just call to mind an example we’ve all probably experienced. Have you ever met someone and within moments been captivated by them, regardless of their physical beauty? This is energy. There’s lots of ways to amp up your energy so that when people meet you, they can feel this captivating feeling towards you! Not only that, but when you work on your energy, you will attract experiences and people that align with that inner energy. Pretty cool stuff.Another way to look at the power of energy is to look at its impact on the negative side. Have you ever walked into a room and known that something bad happened? You could quite literally feel the tension in the air or the sadness. Even if your best friend is acting ‘normally’ on the outside, his/her energy is what gives away the truth of how they are really feeling.Even if you don’t believe in energy, you feel it and interact with it every single day. Why not do things to increase your energy?
- Strong women make self-care a priority. Self-care means (to me, at least) taking time out of my day to do things that are just for me, no matter how inconvenient it is. Sometimes I feel selfish for needing my alone time, but in the long run (or the short run…), I can’t be who I desire to be for everyone around me unless I take care of myself.Since i’ve tried about a million different self-care methods, I’ll come back to the ones that get me feeling good in the shortest amount of time. Time and time again I am amazed at how these things can turn my mood around. Journaling (putting on music and journaling for at least 15 minutes), getting creative, meditating (at least 10 minutes), a hot bath with epsom salts and essential oils, and yoga or a run. These things get me out of my head and into my body which is really what makes me feel my best.I respect people who put self-care as a priority on their list. This leads me to my next one…
- Strong women know their worth. Know your worth. Know your worth. For years and years I attracted people or situations into my life that really …sucked, for lack of a better word (just bein’ honest.) Maybe if you find yourself saying, “I always attract douchebags, I just can’t find a good guy” or if you say “Nothing works out for me, my life sucks” – i’ve been guilty of both , oops – you are not respecting your worth.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
I feel really strongly about this because only when I started to know my worth is when my life started changing. Of course I have days where I forget, but I have so much more respect and love for myself now than ever before.
Knowing your worth means you won’t let a friend or a boyfriend treat you like crap and stick around for more. When you hold people to this standard, people start to rise up to meet you. Anyone who doesn’t? They won’t last because you know what you’re deserving of and anything less just won’t do 🙂
- Strong women respect their femininity. This one I feel is a little controversial because of the feminist movement that is so prevalent (and also extremely close to my heart). I am all about women being able to support themselves, do the work a man can do, and getting equal pay for equal work. I’m supportive of women being able to walk down the street without getting cat called, and I get furious when the legal system lets down women time and time again in favor of a man’s word.This being said, feminism is not resenting men. These days it seems like a lot of strong women have the wrong idea that if they let a man love them or take care of them in any way, they are weak. Having a man open doors for you, buy you flowers, or offer to help when there’s loads of physical labor to be done is not evil or misogynistic.
Chivalry is not anti-feminist. Not even close! We as women have to stop treating men as if they have done something wrong just for being men. Let him open the door for you – not because you’re incapable, but because it’s just a polite gesture.It’s important for women to honor a man’s masculinity just as it is important for men to honor a woman’s femininity. Two masculines in a relationship just don’t work as well. (Masculine does not mean male, it is simply the energy of doing/pushing/achieving – femininity is about rest/receiving/emotion).In the day of Beyonce when “I can do it like a man” is many woman’s idea of strong, I think this is super important. Do it like a woman because femininity is not weak. Femininity is just as strong as masculine, just in different ways 🙂