Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Measure of a Woman

Every Wednesday on social media, there's a big movement called "Woman Crush Wednesday" -- which has become this awesome platform where thousands (if not millions!) of people shout out their biggest female inspirations, or girl crushes of the moment. It got me thinking about what it means to be a woman in today's world -- where the pressure is sky-high to balance work, family, your body, your friendships, your passions, etc. There's no question that right now, at this point in history, women simultaneously have the most pressure and also the most support of any generation that's ever lived. This double-edge sword often leaves us feeling conflicted and unsure of how exactly we want to live our lives. 

For this reason, I so value movements like #WCW and #goddessrising that help raise women up so that we can ALL collectively feel supported, inspired and necessary. May the girls of our generation start to value the elders, the wise, the seasoned, and look to them for guidance. May we understand that the measure of a woman doesn't come from a fleeting place of external beauty, or number of followers, but from a more profound place of having lived life to its fullest, having taken BIG leaps of faith when necessary, and having learned some tough, yet essential lessons along the way.

"The women whom I most admire in the world are those who have lived long and survived much. They have been through love, amazement, loss, catastrophe, sorrow. Most of all, though, they have been through DISAPPOINTMENT — and they have each individually found a way to live through it. 

Not only have they lived through disappointment; they came out on the other side much stronger as a result, having earned perspective, endurance, and wisdom through their trials.

One of the biggest misconceptions about women is that we cannot survive disappointment — because who among us — after a certain number of years of existence — has not been terribly disappointed? By love, by loss, by pain, by life itself?

Yet we are still here. Still here, and, if anything, stronger as we get older. Stronger for all that we have passed through. This is the truth that all the greatest old women know, deep in their bones.

The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it.

Those women are my SUPERHEROES."

-- Elizabeth Gilbert

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