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There are many millstones around a woman’s neck.
These are beliefs that have been absorbed unconsciously or have been imposed upon you by a patriarchal culture.
Here’s a list, based on my own experiences and observations, of the beliefs that weigh down women and hold us back in life.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. (Contribute your own in the comments!)
1. Feeling that you and you alone are responsible for the ”reputation” or ”honor” of the family.
2. Feeling ”shame,” even if something wrong has been done to you and not by you.
3. Feeling that you have to hide some things that are totally not your fault in order to safeguard the family reputation (see points #1 and #2).
4. Feeling that you have to be nice even to people you don’t want to be nice to.
5. Feeling responsible for cooking/organizing all meals in the family.
6. Feeling responsible for all academic and extracurricular activities of your child.
7. Feeling responsible for all arrangements, decorations, meals, and gifts during festivals.
8. Feeling guilty and selfish for taking time off from your family even if you have made arrangements for them to be well taken care of.
9. Feeling guilty after saying “No.”
10. Feeling obligated to always say “Yes,” even when you don’t want to.
11. Believing you really are as bad as someone says you are.
12. Not believing you are as good as someone says you are.
13. Feeling uncomfortable with compliments.
14. Feeling uncomfortable owning and expressing your sexual needs.
15. Feeling not good enough—no matter what you have achieved so far.
16. Not knowing what your time, effort, intellect, and talent is worth.
17. Feeling unsure of what to charge for your work, services, or products (because of point #15).
18. Feeling your worth depends on a man choosing you to be his wife.
19. Feeling your worth depends on becoming a mother.
20. If you become a wife and/or mother, then feeling your worth depends on being the ”perfect” wife or mother.
21. Feeling obligated to be forgiving, time and time again.
There are many, many more.
Revealing and unraveling all the patriarchal conditioning may take a lifetime.
Just when you think you’ve successfully cast off one weight, another springs up from nowhere.
But believe me, no matter how painful it can be to rip off one more false belief from your psyche and expose your wounds to be healed, you will feel freer.
The more of these weights you throw off, the closer you get to your authentic self and living a truly fulfilling life.