Oh, jealousy. You are a spiteful, mean-hearted lover, that’s for sure.
Your little cousin envy’s not so nice, either.
For a painfully long time, I would look at other ladies and think, “She’s a powerful, gorgeous Goddess, far too enchanting for words. If I could be like her, then maybe, just maybe, I could love myself and lead a vibrant life.”
Yep, I thought I had to change to be empowered.
I see now that altering my insides is the exact opposite of standing in my power.
I see that there are no rules, no should’s, and absolutely no how-to’s.
I see that being an empowered, bad-ass, force of a woman can mean anything we want it to mean.
But—so often, we see women out there in the world owning it, shining so brightly, attaining unbelievable success and we get jealous.
We feel threatened. We feel small. We feel utterly inadequate.
I would always get especially envious of those amazing go-getter ladies who are so productive it seems they must be hiding extra arms somewhere.
Their no-nonsense, unflappable personalities and fiercely independent spirits wear high-heels effortlessly. They speak their minds boldly, embody their truths intensely and announce their presence proudly when entering rooms, unafraid of ruffling feathers or causing upheaval.
I tried to become that.
But, the thing is—I teeter like a baby deer in high-heels, get lost in trains of thought and strings of sentences and delicious daydreams about once every other minute. I soak up other’s emotions like a sponge and often stutter to speak my truth, shaking a bit to make my opinion known and voice heard.
But, this isn’t some huge, glittering failure. It’s who I am.
I’m a sensitive, empathic, head-in-the-clouds dreamer, more creative than executive.
Do those things make me less empowered?
And they also don’t make me better or worse than any other lady.
We are who we are, and being empowered is to stand in that truth, even if we’re shaking a little (or a lot). It’s about seeing the brilliant beam of light that emanates from our super-delicious, individually flavored, uniquely kick-ass souls.
Each flavor is equally beautiful, downright succulent and each is worthy of respect.
Because there is no “right” way to be an empowered woman.
There is no idyllic snapshot of what it “should” look like.
There is no map telling us what streets to traverse, what turns to take or not take.
If there is, then we can throw it right in the trash along with moldy old bread and sticky pieces of already-chewed gum.
Because the truth is this: you are the face of empowerment.
We all are.
We are our own maps.
Our bodies, hearts and souls are the best guides around.
There’s no point comparing ourselves to one another, for we all know how much that hurts. How little it inspires.
And, there is absolutely nothing we need to measure up to, except the juicy potential in our own sweet souls.
Because being an empowered woman means whatever the f*ck we want it to mean.
It’s on our terms.
It means getting up at 5.a.m to commute to the office every day, sporting a pin-striped suit, reading the newspaper on a crowded train and sipping a piping hot latte.
It means being an artist, waking at noon, grabbing a brush and getting lost in stormy blues and grassy greens and ferocious reds, painting until exhaustion strikes.
It means being a stay at home Mom, changing diapers and wiping tears all day long, then summoning the strength to make a home-cooked meal almost every night.
It means deciding not to have kids or settle down or get married.
It means wearing draping cotton dresses, shimmery eyeshadow and cherry red lipstick.
It means preferring a naked face.
It means being a bit of a wallflower, choosing to observe curiously from the sidelines.
It means being the life of the party, bubbling with an extra-serving of sparkling effervescence.
It means having a wanderlust heart that thirsts to traverse every corner of this earth.
It means being a grounded, down-to-earth spirit, embracing the awesomeness of organization and practicality.
It means being an incredibly complicated mix of so many things that words will always fall short to describe.
It means seeing that we are infinitely more than the lifestyle or career decisions we make.
It means shaking in the boots of our identities.
It means trying to stay true to ourselves, no matter how easy or terribly painful that can feel.
So, sisters, let’s throw each other huge handfuls of yummy support and love, encouraging one another tirelessly and compassionately to stand in our own power.
Because we all deserve to embody the lusciousness in our bodies, hearts, and souls—whatever sweet or spicy or raw or shy or elegant form that may take.
It is all equally beautifully.
It is all equally powerful.
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Wikimedia / Public Domain