I reached out to readers on Facebook and asked what things scared them the most. I’ll confess: I didn’t anticipate the answers that soon filled up the reply section. Of course there was the typical and yet, still scary spiders, snakes, heights, clowns, mice etc. But some of my readers allowed themselves to be a bit more vulnerable. They included the following:
1. Being diagnosed with cancer.
2. Losing a loved one.
3. Being alone.
4. Growing old without living and leaving a legacy for their kids and future family.
5. Fear of our country losing the values it was founded upon.
6. Not feeling as if they have a purpose.
7. Worries about their children’s well-being after they’re gone.
By just reading the answers, I felt a knot form in the pit of my stomach. I not only prayed for all your fears, but asked myself the same question. What scares me the most? The safety and health of my family is always at the top. Being a former pharma rep and in a family with lots of health care providers, perhaps I dwell on it a bit too much.However, in the midst of so much anger and judging in this country, I have a new answer:one of my greatest fears is a woman in costume...Read on, you'll see why.
The news channels are constantly spewing reports of sexual misconduct by news anchors, actors, politicians, etc. What has been going on for years has finally been brought into the light. HOWEVER, (and please hold your anger until I finish my thoughts) there has to be both accountability and rational thinking when it comes to such accusations. This country has become overly sensitive to a fault. It now seems that anytime an adult woman chooses to dress or act sexual, there must be something wrong with her thinking, that she will be victimized and exploited by the masses. Not so and we can't gloss over that fact. On the one hand, any woman should know if she's scantily dressed and goes alone to a man’s hotel room, she could be placing herself in a compromising situation. THINK. On the other hand, if a female chooses to dress in a manner in which some might label provocative or sexy, she is justified in her right to ignore the crowd and embrace her own form of womanhood. It's her body, her choice. No, we are not always the victim.Even the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders have fallen under the radar with a documentary claiming many were abused and forced to dress in those scantily clad costumes. However, it was interesting to watch one of the now 40-something year old women being interviewed. When the news anchor asked if she now felt horrible over the way she was instructed to look and dress, the former cheerleader shut her down quickly, “We knew exactly what we were doing and I’m still proud of what I did-- then and now. I chose to do that.” Needless to say, the news anchor was not expecting such a reply.
If women choose to embrace their femininity in whatever means they see fit, then what's wrong with that?! The same goes to empowered women who choose to protest against our government and wear whatever they're like that garners attention. It’s ALL a matter of perspective and freedom of choice. We have no right to judge other women for the decisions they make. I’d hate to know people’s thoughts about me if I were judged by every action of my past. For sure, some of them I very much regret and yet many I’d do over again in a New York minute. Others would be aghast if they knew the ones in which I had zero remorse and those in which I seriously lamented. But I’m finally learning to be real and honest with who I am and who I’m not. It’s the women that point fingers at others, not thoroughly seeing the big picture of those they accuse, that worry me the most.
Some believe if we allow a man to open the door for us, then we’re acting like helpless females. Good grief, nothing could be further from the truth. Personally, I’m from the South. I appreciate a man acting like a gentleman and performing such gestures. I’m secure enough in my womanhood that in no way do I feel like a helpless, weak woman just because a man opens a door for me. To the men out there, I’m sure you’re confused on what to do these days!
It’s also not fair for women to judge one another when standing up for a principal in which others may not agree. From sexual orientation to political policy, we have no right to judge another person. Sure, we can have an opinion, but always keep in mind,
you haven’t walked in their shoes, lived their childhood, or struggled with issues inside their hearts and minds.If we could all come to this single agreement, we’d feel more peace inside, not to mention, live in a society with more love and less violence.
Instead of judging everyone else, how about we take a closer look at ourselves? Take off the costume of who you WANT to be and accept who you REALLY ARE. Many of us strive so hard to be the tough, fearless and hear-me-roar woman, that we don’t allow ourselves to love, cry and be vulnerable to other human beings. That, sweet friends, is heart-breaking. Some of us embrace our femininity to the extreme. We choose to channel Scarlett O’Hara, expecting men to cater to our every need, preferring to be “taken care of.” Help me Jesus. It’s 2018, ladies. But again, it’s a CHOICE. Regardless of which type you identify, be forewarned and ready to accept the consequences.
Yes, being a woman in 2018 can be very confusing. Thank God for other female friends. Over the years, we have endured struggles ranging from the disability of a child to divorce, debt, and depression. Empty-nests, empty promises, car accidents and cancer fears add to the strife. The bottom line is this: we all have a mental list of things that scare us. All. Of. Us. Some suppress it to the point of numbness and some sink into a pit so deep that they dare not claw out. And of course, some of us wear our fears like an ugly tattoo but cover it with a fuzzy pink sweater.
So what do we do with that?
Quite simply, we own it. We pray. We take one step at a time. And as we grow older and more confident in our faith, our fears will diminish and our mask thrown aside. We find God and we find friends that choose to nurture us. We find our “me- too’s,” those girlfriends that truly know us, warts and all, and still love us anyway. I enjoy seeing pictures of girlfriends on Facebook: giggling at basketball games, wedding showers and vacations. The joy in faces that beam, “yeah, these women get me and have my back,” is such a blessing to my heart. And yes, I even enjoy the selfies. If a woman is pleased with how she looks, then more power to her! Sure, some can overdo it and drive the rest of us crazy (I’m not a fan of an Instagram accounts that contain nothing but self portraits. Have mercy) but I love seeing awesome pics of my friends and I tell them so. We need to lift one another up, not tear each other down.
A few weeks ago, my husband went golfing with a good friend and came home commenting on what a great time they’d had. When I asked, “How are his kids doing?” you would have thought I’d asked for the codes to the nuclear bomb. “Angie, I have no idea,” he said, sighing, “We men don’t ask one another stuff like that. We don’t have to get so deep.” And he’s right. They don’t. Mars and Venus. Night and Day. God made us different for a reason!
As I finish up this blog post, my Taos tribe is texting back and forth, planning our next Bible study. We make time to laugh out loud, help one another accept reality and process those things that will never be. We hold a wine glass in one hand and hold our friend’s hands in another. We are learning to love, accept, and empower each other as women. We squeal, moan, scream, cry, and giggle.
But there’s one thing we won't do anymore: we won't wear another single costume. The masks are off and the capes are now allowed to blow in the wind. I hope you've thrown away yours as well. Hallelujah, that Super Woman costume had gotten way too tight.....
Lastly, please know how much I greatly appreciate you subscribing to my blog. My heart felt so much love with over 30,000 views. Most importantly, know I'm committed to writing a raw and real blog with which you can relate and find joy. Find it today and enjoy your womanhood, regardless of what that might look like!