Tuesday, September 9, 2014

We Are Womans

Given the opportunity, my mom will share two primary stories of my childhood. The time I told my kindergarten teacher that my dad had left us forever (he was only on a business trip, apparently I really craved the attention of my dinosaur of a teacher who smelled of cigarettes and stale coffee) and my Four Year Old Inquistion. With great curiosity one day, I turned to my mother and inquired, "Mom, are we womans?" 

I must applaud her for containing her raucous laughter. With almost all composure, she responded with equivalent dignity, "yes, Emilie, we are womans." What caused my great need to confirm this fact is a mystery. Maybe I felt slightly insecure with my child-version of the Hanson brothers haircut, or possibly I just wanted to hear that I belonged. 

Regardless, on occasion, I still find myself checking in. Not necessarily of my Woman-ness, but on the integrity of it. You see, I love being a girl. At times, even recently, I have robbed myself of some of that joy by allowing insecurity to override, but in general it is an absolute pleasure. Beth Moore recently reminded me that to be a woman (in reference to p31) is to be worthy of respect, and likewise to offer that to others. 

And that, dear hearts, is a job big enough in itself. Men fight their own bloody battle in the war of manhood, and we have to take some ownership of our fight. In my love of womanhood, I have often lived defeated under an umbrella of insecurity of women I thought better. I speak from experience when I say that no one benefits from creating a mental hierarchy of the women who surround us. It only leaves you on the bottom or top, both are lonely places to make a home. So here's the thing, we really can help each other in this and I wanted to share some of the ways we can. Even if this isn't your current or frequent battle, remember these for the sake of each other, because God knows we all need some allies. 

Also in theme with childhood moments, a montage of the Best (of the worst) Emilie Fashion Moments of 1993. 

-Stop comparing yourself. Stop Pinning quotes of this and just start doing it. We do ourselves and each other a great disservice and lose a lot of ground when we constantly mentally rank ourselves. Our time could be spent better. 

(I was a pumpkin for Halloween five times, mom made the costume and wanted her sweat equity out of it)

-Encourage one another. Be genuine and specific. We could all use more positive reinforcement, especially from people who we may feel threatened by. 

(I hope the black shoes distract you from my toe-headed mullet)

-Speak kindly of one another even when they're not around. We don't have to qualify our stories involving other girls if there is nothing but positive intent in telling it. 

(Why yes, I was the third child and those were all hand me downs....thank you for noticing)

-Know yourself. When you understand your likes and dislikes, preferences, inclinations, tendencies, it allows you to offer others the space to figure that out for themselves. It also enables you to pick out similarities or differences in them and enjoy them better for it. 

(I may not rock bed head-but at least I wore peplum 17 years before it was cool) 

These are things I'm finding helpful in my own day to day. There is room to laugh at ourselves and grace for mistakes with one another when we're not so afraid or feel the need to posture or extend ourselves past what is healthy. And that's what I'm after my friends, let's be the best damn womans we can be. 

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