This topic has been buzzing around my head for a while now, I always find it I write about something it gets it out of my head and makes room for something else. My head is like one big bee hive, all the thoughts and ideas flying around – it’s a busy place!
Anyway I digress. I was thinking back to when I was younger and hearing women being described as strong, most of these women weren’t at all. They were just very vocal and quick to say what they meant even if it cut the legs under the person they were saying it to. My Grandmother, for example, she wasn’t a bit shy in having her say, usually as soon as she met someone. If she didn’t like you she’d tell you. She was fiercely independent and very outspoken, she may have been strong in her own way but I didn’t want to follow her footsteps.
Most of the women I grew up knowing were very similar to my grandmother, with the exception of my aunt. A wonderful warm woman, and although she didn’t have children she was very much a motherly figure. I suppose looking back if I aspired to be like anyone it would be here. Everyone who met her loved her, she’d light up a room and she had time for everyone. She’s much missed.
It’s funny though because even in more recent years I ended up being associated with the typical ‘strong women’, the more I tried to please them the harder it seemed to get. I ended up stuck in situations due to some kind of warped loyalty, it reminds me of a moth and a flame, you’d try to get closer even though you knew you were going to get burnt. I suppose I thought one day they might accept me for the person I was. It didn’t happen though and for my own sake I walked away from these situations, some might think this was cowardly but it was much more like self preservation.
In the last few years I’ve been blessed to meet real strong women. These are the people who will support others, they are kind and considerate, many are also excellent in their jobs, which proves that you don’t have to walk over people to be successful. These women empower and inspire others and that’s what it’s really all about. Life shouldn’t be about knocking others down it should be about helping them. Just because another person is successful and happy, it doesn’t mean that you are any less so.
I could go on and name individuals but I’m not going to for fear of forgetting to mention someone. I will mention a couple of things though:
Laura and her Blooming Queens event, if Laura hadn’t organised this wonderful event life would have been so different for me, I love her honesty and her courage. I hope there will be another event one day soon, perhaps I will stand up and tell my story. I wrote more about the event here: https://magnumlady.com/2021/01/26/two-years-ago/
Team Momentum – the most supportive work team I’ve ever met and I’m so grateful to Orla for giving me a chance. This special team have given me wings and allowed me to fly. They take me for who I am and I’m not afraid to use my voice.
The Havin’aLaugh Charity, they gave me the courage to take the first steps towards my new normal. They are understanding and unjudgmental.
Bite the Biscuit. Tara has made a wonderfully supportive group for creative folks. I hid there for a number of years just being amazed and inspired at the amount of talent in that group.
Women’s Inspire Network. Samantha has created a business network where she will support, encourage and help other women.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is look for the people who support you. Those who have your back and look out for you. Stay away from the naysayers, often they knock others in a bid to make themselves feel better. You can usually see the negative ones from a mile away, they almost bristle with anger when they see someone is doing well. It’s like they wonder why it’s not them having all the glory. There are supportive people out and it’s nothing short of amazing when you discover them.
Perfectly put Val. The strongest women I know want others to feel appreciated, to know their own worth, and know how to encourage and help others to feel that way without belittling or denigrating them. Well done you for having the strength to walk away; self-preservation is not cowardly but necessary to survive in life.
You are a fantastic example of what a strong woman actually is, kind, compassionate and so supportive to so many others-well done you!
Thanks so much Ita and likewise, you are a wonderful woman. Keep doing what you are doing.
I read but don’t think to comment! It should not be hard to find people like these.