How to Be a Woman
HOW TO BE A WOMAN (by Barb D.)
How does one give instruction on how to be a woman when there is no longer a clear definition of “woman” in our society? A man’s attributes seem to be crystal clear when we hear the old battle cry, “Be a man!” But what if someone were to say, “Be a woman!” What would that mean to you? You can’t get a clear picture of that, can you? We all know women who are stay-at-home moms, and/or are career women; some women call themselves feminists, others call themselves new traditionalists; some women are called bitchy and others are doormats. As they say, you just never know what you’re gonna get.
To tell you the truth, I’ve been confused most of my life about what it means to be a woman. As I was growing up, I was prepped by the media to get dolled up so I could “catch a man.” Then I was coached to get a college degree, “just in case.” But following others’ directives only built up fear and desperation in me. I thought, “Oh my god—what if I can’t catch a man and my college degree doesn’t help me either, then what? Who will take care of me?” Well, after many years of catching and losing men, plus obtaining two college degrees that didn’t do much for me, I discovered the answer had been inside myself, the whole time. With each “failure” I experienced in trying to be a woman, I experienced “gains” in trying to be just…myself…to be real…to be a genuine woman. I learned that a genuine woman is one who:
1)…knows herself. She has her own belief system based on knowing right from wrong, and from deeply thinking about what she values most. She knows what rubs her the right (and wrong) way. She knows what’s best for herself. She knows her strengths and weaknesses. All this helps her define herself on her own terms, not on society’s or anyone else’s.
2)…trusts herself. She gets her “woman’s intuition” from knowing herself, and this, in turn, gives her a belief in herself. It is God within her, her inner voice, and she listens carefully to this One. There is no need for second-guessing.
3)…thinks for herself. She sees the big picture in all areas of her life because she can step back, look at all the angles (including accepting input from others), make plans and take action for her greater good. She doesn’t let the behavior of others, whether it be through intimidation, manipulation, or pressure to conform, tell her what to think or do. Since she already knows and trusts herself, she knows she can make a decision that’s right for her.
4)…takes care of herself: Physically, by proper nutrition and exercise, so that her mind will be sharper to make better decisions; so that she will have more stamina to enjoy the physical realm and help care for her loved ones; so that she will have an energy and natural beauty that will attract others to her. Mentally, by seeking knowledge and being willing to take risks and face fears in order to grow as a person. Emotionally, by asking for what she needs in a relationship and by removing herself from an abusive or unhealthy one. Spiritually, by keeping communication lines open with her inner voice (God within her), and spending time alone each day to check in with herself. When a woman takes care of herself, she shows respect for herself; in other words, she loves herself. This opens her up to love and care for others in a genuine and unconditional way.
This last point brings me to what is at the heart of every woman, and is what she is hard-wired (and famous or infamous) for: the capacity to feel and show emotion openly. In a positive light, a woman’s emotional pulse keeps care and nurture alive in her relationships. On the other hand, women are often described as being “too emotional,” and this is generally used as a direct contrasting definition to what it means to be a man. This can be true for women who are not living in harmony with their true selves. As a woman, your emotions are the thermometer of your state of self. If anything is out-of-whack in any of the four areas discussed above, you will feel it in the emotional realm. This is a red flag that you aren’t taking care of yourself. As such, you should consider your emotional tendency as a gift—something to help guide you to being real and in control of yourself and your life. Because when you are in harmony with yourself, then you can truly be a genuine woman.