Brave, blessed, and beautiful. What’s in a name? Everything. Names define us, words either empower us or enslave us. The power of the word is mighty. Written words, spoken words, and even words left unspoken all have power. Over the last year, I have become mindful of the power words have. They can be sweet and healing or sharp and deadly. I know the power of both types and I’m sure you do too. On my healing journey I am realizing the only person I have control over is myself. My words and my actions, so although I can’t force others to speak words of life, I can try my best to use my words for the healing of others and not for harm. Speaking words of life begins with how we speak to ourselves and then flows onto others. I believe that women are brave, so brave. We face so many obstacles, storms, ever changing seasons, and the expectations society sets for how we should look, speak, act, or feel are unnattainable, unrealistic, and completely unfair. Just to walk the earth as a woman is an act of bravery. To grow in courage and in bravery is to become a woman intent on accepting and loving herself for the amazing, wonderful woman she is and to reject the pressures of society to be anything other than who she desires to be. Bravery is to love oneself.
I believe that women are blessed. Abundantly blessed. We have power inside each of us. Power to influence others through kindness, power to share, power to raise up families, power to influence our workplaces, power to speak words of life into eachother, and power to change the world. We are so abundantly blessed even in hardship. I know what the depths of pain feels like. I know what fear of the next minute feels like. I have known deep loss, deep dysfunction, and deep grief, and yet still I choose to call myself and other women blessed, because even in the mire and the mud when your insides are screaming from the searing pain, there is blessing to be found. If not in the night of mourning, the blessing may come in the dawn. It is there, but sometimes we must mine for it amongst a deep trench of soaking mud. I know. I get it. Let’s allow ourselves room to grieve the losses, room to cry in the mud puddles or mud ditches or vast muddy swamplands, yet when the season of mourning has ended, we can rise and find blessing.
Why beautiful? The beautiful part of the name was difficult. I wanted to remove it. I wrestled with that part. What will people think? Will they think I am saying I am beautiful? And who does that anyway? Who calls themselves beautiful? Here’s the raw and honest deal. Generally women don’t call themselves beautiful and honestly when someone else calls us beautiful, we blush and sometimes even disagree. Why? Why has society placed such a ridiculous amount of pressure on women to fit a certain mold of beautiful and also somehow made it taboo to believe in your own beauty? How cruel is that? We are raising girls who can’t stand up tall and say with confidence and love, “I am beautiful.” This aha moment came to me during some honest, heartfelt conversations with two of my closest friends who both shared that when speaking their “I am” statements, they could not say, “I am beautiful.” I listened in awe to each of them and then shared, “me too….” It was then that I began to think, “Have I ever had a friend or known a women who could honestly and confidently say, “I believe in my beauty. I am a beautiful woman.” ? I could not think of one person. Then I thought of my beautiful, amazing, innocent 6 year old daughter who spins and twirls and still believes in her beauty. I realized I will fight for her to be able to always believe in her beauty. I will teach her to be a beauty warrior for herself, for her friends, and for any girl she meets that needs a reminder. Society has lied to us. They have sold us a big lie about what beauty is and what it’s supposed to look like. Not only that, I don’t know a single woman who feels like she has achieved society’s version of beautiful. That’s because it’s not real. It’s a lie that we must defeat in order to capture and believe the truth. We are beautiful women and we should be proud to say to one another, “I am a beautiful woman, and so are you.”