Author: Emiliya Tsaneva
Many years ago when the girl was just about to start turning into a woman, her mother, grandmother and aunts would gather to honor this beautiful event and to pass their female wisdom onto the girl. Nowadays, however, there is no such sharing of family female wisdom about what it means to be a woman.
Many girls turn into women through trial and error, being confused, afraid and resentful throughout this journey. They observe their mothers and the women around them and copy their behavior or simply choose to do exactly the opposite of what they are doing, with the goal not to be like them. But in both cases there is no real understanding of what it means to be a woman and no real passing on of female wisdom from generation to generation. And this is not because the women in the family don’t want to share their wisdom with the girl, it’s just that very often they haven’t received this from their mothers and grandmothers themselves, nor have they realized the beauty of being a woman. This is why they only explain the practical side of things and what the society expects from a young lady, because they simply don’t know what more to give to her.
And so the girl embarks on her journey from childhood to adulthood ill-equipped with huge confusion and uneasiness. Her body is changing, hormones are fluctuating, her mood is changing all the time and often she has no idea what is going on with her. In this moment it would have been very precious to have a landmark, something to aim for, some proper understanding of what is going on and why is it happening. It is of extreme importance for her to know what it is to be a woman in this period of her life. But for the females who have already entered adulthood this is quite important as well. Better to learn something late than never.
Me personally, I didn’t feel like becoming a woman at all at the time and I was constantly protesting against everything that had to do with femininity. I wanted to appear strong, not to be less than men; I was constantly competing and comparing myself with them. I wanted to be like them, but at the same time I also wanted some special attention as a female from some of them. But it was impossible to be a rival and a lover at the same time. This was definitely a very painful and unpleasant period of my life. Luckily enough, today I am happy to know what a gift it is to be a woman and the struggle was totally worth it.
Looking back, I decided to shortly explain to my 12-year-old self and remind to my current self, what is important for a woman to have and to be in order to flourish:
– Wisdom – this is the quality that will help you take care of yourself when you are on your own, as well as to keep taking care of yourself and your own needs, when you have husband and children. Wisdom is knowing what joy it is to give, but at the same time realizing that you have something to give only when you have taken care of yourself first. And not only to know it, but also to put it into practice, no matter how difficult it is to resist the temptation to give, give, give from yourself, until you turn into exhausted constantly grumpy creature with no energy, unable to give any joy to others. Wisdom is knowing that it is your responsibility to make yourself happy and to enjoy life. Wisdom is being kind and understanding when the situation allows it, and being firm and assertive when you simply have to. Wisdom is deciding which people belong in your life and which ones is better to let go of. Wisdom is the quality, which is going to help you find your way and take sometimes difficult, but necessary decisions. Wisdom is what is going to help you manage every situation.
– Patience – this is the understanding that everything happens in it`s own time, together with the wisdom to wait until the right time comes and not to force things, because you want them to happen now. The same way a pregnant woman has patience to wait until all 9 months have passed in order to hug her child, any other woman needs to be patient in order to get what she wants. Sometimes the wonderful things you want will happen fast and with ease, other times you will simply have to put more effort and keep doing it until you succeed. Yet there are some other times in life, when you need patience and wisdom combined in order to realize something is not for you, to give it up and then wait patiently until what is good for you comes in your life.
– Perseverance – this is an extremely important quality for a woman. Nothing valuable gets created with attention and care from times to times. Career, relationship, health, home – each of them need regular care. And when you really want something in your life, you have to pay the price for it and keep in mind that this price is rarely financial. Yes, you are a gorgeous and unique woman, but have the wisdom to know that nobody owes you anything. When you keep focusing your heart and your efforts towards the things you want day after day, then you will get them and will be able to enjoy them. Perseverance is what will help you reach your goals and turn your dreams into reality.
– Kindness – to be kind towards yourself and the world around you. It is not necessary to be perfect, it is not necessary to do everything with gracefulness and taste. Yes, it might happen that you trip, spill something, say something stupid. You will do countless mistakes for sure, you will mess up and make a fool of yourself million times. Kindness towards yourself is what is going to help you enjoy life and try again even when you’ve taken a wrong step, in stead of beating yourself up with the burning criticism of the perfectionist in your head. Kindness towards yourself will help you be your own support when hard times come; caress yourself, when there is no one else to do it for you; give yourself the warmth, coziness and peace that you need; ask for a hug, support or help when you need them. When you are able to be kind to yourself no matter what, you will also be able to be kind to others. In the world outside, especially in the world of men, battles and competition never end. Only in the presence of a woman can a man find the kind and tender support he craves for. Kindness is powerful.
– Acceptance – acceptance and wisdom go hand in hand. To accept what it is, no matter whether you like it or not. Then use your wisdom to see whether there is something you would like to change; whether there is something you are able to change or whether this situation is good for you at all or you have to leave. Accept that not everybody will be fond of you, that sometimes you will fail, you will get rejected, hurt, alone. Because accepting what it is, is exactly what gives you tremendous power to find your own path, the most suitable partner for you or your real vocation. One door closes, another more suitable one opens. Acceptance helps you stop knocking on the closed door and give yourself the opportunity to find the open door, which is going to bring you a lot more joy.
– Trust – trust that it always happens what`s best for you, no matter how difficult the situation seems. Trust that everything is going to be fine in the end, but of course use your wisdom to walk away from situations that are not good for you. Trust in your partner; trust that he really does everything he is able to with his best intentions. Trust that your effort will bring you success. Trust that it is worth it. Have enough trust to let go of the control. Trust life, trust yourself and the partner you’ve chosen.
– Joy of life – no matter what happens, don’t lose your joy of life. You can cope with everything, unless you lose your joy of being alive. When you lose the joy of the pure fact that you exist, then everything else loses its importance. Take care of your joy of life, know what keeps it alive and make it your priority. The joy within you will nourish all other aspects of your life. Every problem can be solved as long as you don’t lose it, keep it safe and take care of it, because the joy of life is really the most precious thing that each of us can possess.
And so my dear, your journey as a flourishing woman begins with your first steps outside of childhood years and continues until your last breath. It is not easy at all to be a woman, nor is it easy to be a flourishing woman. The female qualities are within us, but it takes a lot of practice and awareness to develop them; they need nourishment every day. And although it is not easy, flourishing as a woman is beautiful, interesting and totally worth it! Enjoy this magical journey of yours!
The current article is inspired by Mathew Boggs. Thank you!