The Celebration of The Strong Silent Woman Never Benefited Women

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Women have always been the cornerstone and anchor in my life.

They have always been the ones to leave the greatest imprint on me, shaping me into the woman I am today.

As a little girl, I'd watch the women in my family as they stayed busy meeting their endless list of responsibilities and care-taking.

I'd watch my mother, aunts, and my Huelita {grandmother} rush from space to space, minute by minute, day by day to finish the work of the day--work that centered around the children, the grandchildren, and a lot of adults, especially, the men.

As a teenager, I remember studying my Huelita.

I watched how she navigated through her day.

It started early in the morning before the crack of dawn--something was going to be swept, be it the inside of the house or the outside. 

I could hear the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of the broom brushing against the floor.

Before she went into the daily chores though, she'd already prayed.

I'm sure she was thanking God for her blessings, for another day, and I'd guess for strength.

I wonder what else Huelita prayed for...what silent fears and struggles was she sharing with God?

What else did she keep confidential with The Divine?

The rest of the day consisted of cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner with a lot of feeding of people in between.  

Cleaning up after the meal, praying, more cooking, more cleaning up, praying.

It wasn't until the evening that she'd finally rest and watch her beloved novelas.

As an adult, I now wonder what dreams, aspirations, and unanswered prayers Huelita carried with her.

I'll never know because, you see, she was a "Strong Woman" who "Never Complained", so none of us will ever know.

She was a Strong SILENT Woman.

Maybe she didn't have any unmet aspirations.

It's quite possible.  

Maybe.

But my heart tells me she did.

My heart tells me my Huelita had dreams that were just that...dreams--visions and make-believe scenarios that existed only in the safety of her heart.

Women like my Huelita are talked about like Super-Heroes.  

"She was such a good woman.  She never asked for anything.  She NEVER complained.  What a good woman."

Can you decode that message?

Can you see why that celebration doesn't benefit women?

The message I heard growing up and still hear over and over is that to be a good woman means you stay silent while you suffer. 

If you really want extra points then you are thankful for your suffering.

You get the gold badge of respect if you can endure pain for the sake of others, for the sake of the family, for the sake of your community.

Your sacrifice of potentially your Spirit (because I can't imagine that your Spirit is not on life support when you're consistently outputting and not restoring it) is the gold star and badge of honor for being a "good woman".

Don't get me wrong.

My Huelita WAS a strong woman.

Her faith was unwavering.

Her conviction to her beliefs indisputable.

Her constant dialogue with The Divine provided her with grace and timeless beauty.

Seriously...my Huelita was gorgeous.

But I wonder what life would have been like for the women before us if they'd been given permission to practice divine self-care.

How would their lives have been different?

What if they were given permission to set unapologetic boundaries?

How would their strength manifested then?

Who knows...

And there are times where I wonder what my Huelita, my very conservative and very Catholic Huelita, would have thought about her granddaughter being a Sex Therapist.

I wonder what type of concerns she'd voice when she learned that I talked about sex on a regular basis.

Makes me giggle cause I can see her face of concern, but in my heart...I bet there was also a part of her that would be impressed that her granddaughter could be so bold and so willing to break the rules that had been set for her. 

I like to think there was a part of her who appreciated that I could do what she and my other grandmothers and great grandmothers never dreamed possible--to be a woman who is still soft, faithful, and "good" but who is also bold, uses her voice, and includes herself on the list of people's needs to meet.

Thank you, Huelita, for paving the way and for gifting me with your unmet aspirations.

I love you.

XXOO

Your Granddaughter,

Eliza


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My Self-Care Reset Guide is dedicated to my Huelita and to all the women before me who weren't allowed to care for themselves without paying the high cost of shame and guilt.  Download your FREE copy today: http://bit.ly/selfcarereset.

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