When I was growing up, I was taught to be ladylike. Smile, hold pleasant conversation, use the correct fork for salad…walk with small steps…remain thin, no chewing open mouthed…it all seemed important at the time, but today I wonder why so much time was spent teaching me to be anything but myself. I have spent much of my adult life undoing this well meant damage.
The fact is, I don’t find most of it useful anymore. Why do we hang onto things that aren’t working? Are we that tragically nostalgic? Keeping a pattern going in perpetuity because it was taught by a loved one. I have been peeling myself down like an onion for a solid seven years. Trying to discard the nice girl customer service thing in favor of balance of self. I was taught if people are shitty to you, rise above it with a smile. Not always.
I’m not cynical about being nice, kind, empathetic even, but I think if you are a woman reading this, you may have a better understanding. I don’t know about any generation other than my own, but if you’re a baby boomer you likely grew up hearing this idea that standing up for one’s self is unlady-like and no man would want you. There is fear that we run the risk of being called hard or bitchy.
I got that covered. It really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. Hey, your people will find you, don’t worry. That’s the biggest mistake all of us, men and women, make…forcing the square peg in a round hole. We are fabulous in our uniqueness and there are people who are attracted. But not if you’re pretending to be happy, successful, fulfilled, loved…when you aren’t transmitting YOU, then it’s existing until you pass into the next life form. Which holds no promise for true contentment.
I’m involved in a course on creativity and after a number of steps, I had to paint/collage a self portait…as you see, a little mini me showed up….a puppet on a staff. The puppet has her back to the powerful rooted solid me. It was pointed out to me I often have mini mees in my paintings. I realized that she was my mask, my mouth piece, the nice girl that knows which fork is for the first course. She smiles, with big brown sympathetic eyes…the power me has a vacant stare, seeing inward, deeply rooted and the puppet takes care of some people that drain my energy. It’s also twilight, which for me, is the most magical time of the day…something about the transition from day to night, a merging of two worlds that couldn’t be more different. Yet it is seamless.
So, I have been thinking, why do I need a puppet to speak for me? She’s like a receptionist in a doctor’s office that’s paid to be the watch dog, keeping the space between you and seeing your doctor in their control. They are nice, but don’t cross them. They are the only people that can help you. My puppet makes sure I will remain protected until the situation at hand can be vetted.
Everything is about balance so instead of letting the puppet feel out the new energy, the power me should show up and make an assessment of the situation…stick puppet girl can take over if I need to pull away from a toxic situation. I guess I feel as if I’m missing an opportunity, a learning experience, by putting the polite me out there first. The power me is the real me and she can handle it. I no longer worry that I could be at risk for sounding rude or a bitch. That’s their problem. Men do it all the time and it is powerful. Cliche or not, it’s true. I’m not hating, I’m saying those of us that think by being our own powerhouses, no will love us. Which is the biggest fear of all…it just isn’t true. It’s a way to control people. There is no right way to live. We must each live our unique lives to attract love and abundance. Be the powerhouse not the stick puppet you.
You got this!