As I contemplate my own strength gained through life experience, I think of women who are amazing examples to me of those things. Not that they have reached some idyllic destination, some end all be all or that they got it all figured out.
It's their journey and their survival that amazes me. It's watching how they learn to cope. It's seeing how astounding the female creature is in reaching new planes, new heights through trials while sometimes seeing their male counterpart let life affect them quite the opposite.
Women GO ON. We improve. It's not that we don't wallow or cry or even shut down completely for a time. We eventually find a way, almost subconsciously, to use difficulty to flourish. There is something about what we do with any crap that life dumps on us. We become seasoned- more and more seasoned as we get older and move further along our unique paths. We embrace the knowledge that is gained through hard experiences as a gift.
We turn loss, weakness, and hurdles into GIFTS. We are magical...
I think of my friend, Awesome. I am amazed at what she can do on her own while her husband does virtually nothing. Six kids, no money, never a spare moment. When we talk about how hard it can be, she can find a way to laugh about it. She takes what she has to work with and makes it beautiful. That is strength.
I think of my friend, Southern Sister, who became a mother later in life than us Mormon gals. What she has had to do on her own has made her grow in Love and Compassion. It's beautiful. I feel such peace and safety in her presence. She has struggled with health issues. She has been heartbroken time and again by her male counterpart's cold feet while uprooting herself because of loyalty and hope, leaving behind those who would buoy her.
I think about my friend, Candy. Her journey has led her down an unexpected path where she finds herself all alone. Some people would see that as a crisis. Candy sees it as growth. Her immense love and devotion to her family is something she would never want to compromise, but at the expense of honoring her true self. That paradox forces her to dig so deeply within herself that I think it hurts her. But she goes on and embraces the joy and fulfillment that she gets from her soulmate/husband and beautiful children.
I think about my mom. She is a grown woman who has chosen her life. She keeps going. She gets up in the morning. She finds joy in simple things. She knows who she is. I watched her while growing up as she would take care of other women. It's her mission in life, I think, because she means what she does. There's no obligation there, only compassion. I don't know if I'll ever be able to reach that.
I think about my sister. She has chosen an unorthodox path, because she is giving herself the freedom to find her Whole self. There is much sacrifice, but through that, the Universe balances out by giving her Awakening and Metamorphosis.
I think about a mother I know whose male child started literally asking God in his prayers for a vagina before he knew how to tie his shoes. After much love and distress and searching, this mother has now embraced her unexpected daughter. Love unconditional.
I think about another mother I know who lost her only baby. And yes, the child was a baby when she lost him. Because of a rare genetic disorder, she was given the gift of bonding and loving that we mothers with healthy children can't fathom. And then she lost him through a simple accident. As she travels this journey of grief and pain, she grows ever brilliant and full of love.
It's not that we women have some trick to rid ourselves of pain (No, no- not even late night ice cream). But on some level of consciousness, we understand that our pain is a Tool, perhaps the greatest tool, toward immeasurable illumination.
It's about the journey. It's how we travel through it. It's not just surviving, but becoming greater.
We have the makings of miracles within us.
We are literal goddesses.