Dear Lucy & Ruby: What does it mean to be a strong woman?
If the two of you are as strong as you were in utero, I have no doubt that you will be physically strong (Ruby - you are currently axe kicking through my abdomen - I can literally see your heel jabbing out).
But, physical strength is only one element of being a strong woman.
A strong woman also develops her mental, spiritual, and social strength as well.
My description of what it means to be a strong woman has changed and evolved over the years, and I am sure it will continue to change and evolve.
For now, I will share 5 characteristics of a strong woman. Not an exhaustive list, but a good start.
A strong woman has developed a sense of self-awareness that enables her to claim her power and live her life according to her priorities. She knows what she needs to be well, and knows herself well enough to know when to change course, to end relationships, and to stand her ground. She does so without regret, clear in who she is and what she is about.
A strong woman asks for help when she needs it and acknowledges to herself and others that she cannot and should not do it all. She is not afraid to say, “You know, I’d love to be able to take that on right now, but I am at my capacity in terms of being able to do justice to my priorities.” She feels no shame for setting boundaries.
A strong woman prioritizes her health and well-being so that she can be of best service to herself, her partner, her family, her career, her friends, her community, etc. She takes the time necessary to care for her body, her mind, and her soul. She knows this is the best way to serve others.
A strong woman acknowledges, observes, and accepts her emotions, her thoughts, and her feelings, but is not controlled or consumed by them. She recognizes that she is not her emotions, her thoughts, or her feelings and that emotions, thoughts, and feelings are constantly in flux, changing from moment to moment.
A strong woman knows that she will not be able to please everyone, nor does she try. She practices kindness and thoughtfulness, but does not compromise on her priorities, values, or goals in order to accommodate and please others. She focuses her energy on her top relationships and knows that she will not always be able to please them either.
I promise to do my best to model what it means to be a strong woman, and I acknowledge that I will fall short time and time again. In doing so, I will learn and get better, and I am hoping we can do that together.