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“Do what frees you and don’t hold yourself to ransom, EVER,” says this mom in an extraordinary letter to her daughter, full of all that a woman should know. Do read.
I wish there was a manual for women on leading better lives (read: navigating the bumpy road with élan, self love, and dignity). As it stands, we are almost left to our own devices. But that may not be such a bad idea either.
You know, it takes a really strong girl to figure out who she really is, and we must work hard on it. And it won’t even be easy.
Most of us never get past the trappings to really meet ourselves.
You, I, and all women grew up hearing, like, nine thousand voices telling us how we should talk, walk and most of all, look like. All this inculcating of the ‘acceptably pretty girl’ syndrome is shitty business, baby. Trust me, all the very forced, highly conditioned ‘nice and pretty’ girls grow up to be seething old women.
We don’t have to pay the tax of prettiness to live in this world. We don’t walk this earth for the ‘higher purpose’ of being eye candy and general entertainment for all and sundry.
Read that again.
This so surrounds us that we fail to see ourselves clearly. For you will then matter may be till your 30s or best case 40s …
Yep its lethal! We fall in too easily with the tyranny of slimmer waists and lighter or darker skin. We are expected to have exacting and often cruel checkpoints for the simple task of walking out of our doors and meeting the world.
Don’t comply with all this foolishness my love. You will attract the wrong sort.
Eat well at all times, run a mile, take care of your body, treat it and talk about it lovingly. Stand tall in front of your mirror; look into your eyes with admiration for what god created you to be. Tell yourself that you are beautiful and there will never be anyone who can convince you otherwise.
Young girls such as you have a lot of attention from males. Good or bad, it’s always there. It affects us so, this male gaze. It has the power to make us feel special or to decimate our self-Image.
But the thing to remember is that to most, or at least to some of them you are only a shape, a statistic, a feature. Why bother getting so het up about that? Try doing that to a man and see a how quickly he’ll try to put you ‘in your place’!
Take the attention with a pinch of salt. It will never amount to anything anyway. Hardly worth letting your life revolve around it. I know it won’t be easy – ignoring attention is not easy. But look beyond it, and build what is on the inside. That is what will sustain you. Laugh at the man who doesn’t go beyond the cover. He just objectified you.
Have you learnt to love, honour, respect, and live in balance with yourself? Only then get married.
And then take that label and throw it right outside the window.
You heard me. It has such a death knell ring about it. Call it what ever you want, just not that! Do you know why marriages fail? They fail because we feel married – not in love – not passionate – not alive – we feel married. And then we proceed to hate each other cordially for the rest of our lives.
When you marry don’t marry as a part waiting a to be a whole. Marry as a whole marrying another. True marriages happen between two complete individuals who are not needy. Who are interdependent but not co-dependent. Then you will see how your marriage will be made up of lasting stuff.
When you pick your man, make sure he is your best friend. When you lose your youth, you will still have your friend. Pick out the man who allows your world become a bigger and a better place, and allows you to be a woman on your own terms.
Admiration is great to have, but respect from spouse goes a long way. Don’t renegade on that, and make sure you earn that and are worthy of it.
Cherish your marriage. Work upon it at all times. It’s a decision you did not make just once, but will be making every day of your marriage.
Assess and reassess it and work on the problem areas. No matter what, keep communicating. But also do not expect perfection. The expectation shatters your relationships.
Make a time and space in your marriage when you can be alone in your thoughts, where your spirit can take flights of fancy. Use this time to put your inner world in perspective.
That which allows us to stand outside of ourselves betters us. Find those things that can nurture you.
When you work at home or outside, make sure you have someone to take care of your needs. Home, rearing kids, and bread-winning together is a challenging task.
Do not burn the candle at both ends. Have a support system to take care of you. Our health and peace are not tradable things.
Do what frees you and don’t hold yourself to ransom. EVER. There are too many slaves who call themselves professionals. It kills your soul to go against it day in and day out.
Take time to figure out what you really desire, and not just what you wish for. There is a difference here. Your desire is your mind and not your brain. Yes there is a difference there too. Feel what you want to do, and use your brain to execute it.
Be patient with it. It will come when not hustled. Your work should be bigger than paychecks or impressive profiles or other success indicators.
One life right? Make it count, and as hell.
Girl, this is important!
Make a connect with the world around you. Learn from the wise, empathize with sorrow, forgive the angry and the bitter, and eschew negativity.
Above all, make a connect with yourself. Be honest in your thoughts. Let speech and action flow from that. Let your voice ring true and clean. Stand tall and speak your truth. Learn the art of non violent communication.
Read books that help you understand yourself and others better. Keep a healthy library.
Keep an image of a perfect self in your mind. Keep carving yourself. Set aside time to dream unabashedly. It is the most freeing experiences. You will be amazed how your life will replicate your thoughts.
Wait and be patient for good friends. They are like a collectors’ treasures. Do not confuse counterfeit interactions for friendship. They muddy the waters of clear thought. Have a friend for all moments your life.
You will always have one in me.
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: pixabay
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