R.A.W. ~ Radically Altered Women
How many of you see yourselves as Superwomen? You have that big “S” on your chest. You are Super-Doers at work. You step in when things need to be done right. You are Super-Lovers; remember that commercial of a woman with a frying pan singing, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never, ever let you forget you’re a man”? Yeah, that one. You are Super-Housekeepers. The pillows are in place! (Or they will be at soon as you get home). You are Super-Mothers. Children are clothed, fed, hugged, and driven to their play dates, sports arenas, dance classes, swim, etc. Some of you are Super-Students as well. You are always looking for ways to advance yourself personally or in your career. You are amazing.
Super Women are not slackers. They get things done. People love and admire them. They hear statements all the time like, “I don’t know how you do it all.” They are envied as well. All they accomplish in one day can leave another woman feeling like she is a “slacker.” The one thing people don’t know about “Super Women” is they are “Super Tired”. Super Women are usually better at self-sacrifice than they are at self-care. Some of the common cries are that they really want to take better care of themselves, they want to eat better, exercise, and make time for personal enjoyment, but simply don’t know where to fit it in. If they finally do get to squeeze out a little time it loses its enjoyment because they feel guilty with so much left to still do.
Let me offer another lens of self care in hopes of giving you the “permission” you need to indulge, enjoy, and refresh yourself. In the Bible (Matthew 22:38), it says to love others as you love yourself. This does not mean that we are to put ourselves above everyone else. It means we are to put ourselves on our list as well. When we deny ourselves the right to rest and rejuvenate then we do not love ourselves they way we should. It’s like working for an overbearing boss who doesn’t allow you to take coffee breaks or lunch hours. After a while of being deprived of a break, it starts to affect your work performance and your relationships. It can turn you downright ugly. We are wired in such a way where we need to do something we enjoy to refresh our mind, body and spirit; an indulgence that is solely for us. Be it a nap, reading, gardening, a walk, exercise, a massage, a bath, etc. The essence of love is mercy, compassion, and care. When we love ourselves in this way we are living and modeling love in its fullest measure to others (especially our daughters, who will one day wear the “S” as well).
As for the guilt you feel when you take time for yourself, recognize it’s an old tape from an unhealthy mindset of days gone by. You are not a workhorse. You are worthy of love and care. It’s your God given right. It’s also your responsibility to be good stewards of the life God has given you. If you don’t personally add yourself to the list of things to take care of, no one else will either. Not taking time out for you is like the Super Woman’s kryptonite (the only thing that could defeat the real Superman). With tongue in cheek, let’s just assume that God is big enough to run the world for a few minutes while we take our breaks. Sometimes you have to hang up the cape and enjoy life’s journey. #rewardscoaching #marriagebuilders
This is for all the wives who are strong, tenacious, wise and successful. You set your sights on something and you go after it. You know how to hold your own. You don’t let others intimidate you. Some of you are mothers, professionals, civil servants, teachers, and artists. You have a great work ethic and have worked for everything you have. Bravo to you! I wholeheartedly celebrate and support you my sisters.
I entitled this blog “The Heartbroken Wife” because no matter how successful we are in other areas of our lives, it hurts to feel like you’re failing in your marriage. In over 30 years of counseling and coaching couples I have found that many strong successful woman seem to have the hardest time being or feeling successful within their marriage. (By successful I mean good at it.) They start off with the dream of how wonderful it’s going to be: to be married to the love of their life and getting to spend the rest of their lives with him, but somewhere along the way the dream doesn’t match up to the reality.
Being married in today’s world is very challenging. The traditions and norms of years ago are no longer relevant in a household where two people are working outside of the home, rearing children together, having separate incomes and bank accounts, step children, ex’s and on and on. I’m sure many of you have tried everything you could to bring about change, enrichment, and greater intimacy within your marriage but simply don’t know what else you can do. Let’s see if together, we can reload our “tool boxes“ with something new and look at a redefined blueprint of marriage. It is possible to have a successful marriage and enjoy one of the most important relationships in our lives!
Each of us have a different idea of what we want our home to look like. We can start with looking at our different childhood experiences, both good and bad. One tool I’ve found to be effective is being on the same page. Getting married means the two of you just became a team. Every successful team has a playbook that they refer to so that they can do their part to win the game. The first tool in getting you on the same page is to have a “playbook,” so to speak. You need to spend some time discussing and planning to make that happen. This is your home and you both get to choose what it’s going to look like. Keep the good things from your childhood experiences, throw out the bad, and incorporate new ones. I, Me and Mine need to go out the window. It should become: We, Us and Ours. Both of you are important in the relationship and both have opinions and needs. As mature adults we need to communicate those needs (no mind reading allowed!), listen well (practice active listening), always respect (no judgment), and strive toward a win-win situation.
Getting on the same page is a great place to begin, even if you’ve been married for many years. It's the foundation that every marriage needs to be able to build upon. When the foundation is faulty, the everyday stress and storms of life can weaken the relationship. #MarriageBuilders #RewardsCoaching
We all have more capacity (ability) than we are aware of. As I read a book I just picked up titled “ No Limits” by John Maxwell, I find it resonates with the language of my heart of never living with limitations.
Years ago, I suffered from anxiety and depression. I remember feeling so helpless to overcome this. I wanted to do so many things. I wanted to experience life and be out in the world but “this” was holding me back. I can’t say exactly when but one day I decided that I was going to do whatever it took (medication, counseling, studying, praying, hard work) to live a life with no limits. I found strength just saying to myself “I don’t want ANY limits on my life”. It motivated me. I prayed for God to show me what I needed to do and to give me the strength and the courage to do. Then I made a commitment to teach others the way as well.
Now over 40 years later, living a wonderfully full life I get to lead and teach other’s how through my coaching practice. Still “No limits” resonates within me today. Living a no limits life is not without fear though. Fear still tries to tell me to live small. It doesn’t want me (or you) to be seen because what if I’m judged, rejected, fail, ridiculed, embarrassed. It’s always the same old rhetoric. Fear wants to limit you. You have to learn how to turn a deaf ear to fear and bolster yourself up with the truth about how powerful and awesome you really are; you have a big God on the inside of you supplying everything you need to live large and make a difference in this world. Remember there is always to sides to every story. Listen to the other side which is you could actually enjoy yourself, have fun living larger, have some wonderful experiences, taste the richness of life, touch more people, make more money, live with passion and enjoy some life giving relationships along the way.
What dreams do you have? What do you look at and think I wish I could do that?
What changes would you like to make in your life but are too fearful to even allow yourself to think about? Relationships? Career? Education? Location?
If you’re thinking it - it means it’s in your heart. Pick one and explore it. Don’t only listen to your fears, which absolutely will come. Tell yourself the other side of the story. If you will allow yourself to toy with the possibility of it, share it with a friend and pray, you will find yourself living some of your dreams. There’s no magic formula and no one is more courageous than you to blow your limits off.
In Maxwell’s book he quotes Charles Shultz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip who said, “ Life is like a 10 speed bike. Most of us have gears we never even use.”
I love bike riding but the truth is I only use 2 maybe 3 gears when I ride. I’m really curious about what those others gears can do. Aren’t you?
I post my blogs bi-weekly, with a focus on strengthening and encouraging the amazing women and wives that you all are, Making marriages work well, and and having a Spiritual Journey.