I’ve been pondering the subject of “Be Your Own Hero”. Here in the Western world, and maybe your part of the world also, we were told fairy tales in which a ‘hero’ came along and rescued the fair maiden who was in dire straits, be it a dragon, evil stepmother, witch, sorcerer, greedy king or whatever. This instilled in us as young female children, that we needed an outside influence to rescue us from whatever life brought us that was beyond our control to overcome.
We grew up never being told we had our own personal power to use in overcoming what life gave us. We never knew we could stand up to whoever or whatever wanted to harm us, capture us, misuse us and sell us into slavery of one kind or another (work or marriage not of our choice). We were just girl children and without much value, in the eyes of our society.
We were taught how to behave and the consequences of not following the dictates of our society. We were told to ‘act like a lady’ and how to dress like one, too. Our voices had to be moderate and not loud when we were allowed to speak. Our activities were confined to learning women stuff, cooking, cleaning, sewing, washing clothes, looking feminine, and taking care of a house. If a girl wanted to do ‘guy things’, she was considered odd and not very attractive. And usually ostracized by the other girls, ignored and not included in parties or other pursuits.
All of our training as young women was to help us ‘catch a man’, hopefully one who came from a good family with money and some social standing in our community. There was a lot of competition for the guys who were deemed worthy of marriage and often it wasn’t nice. Outright lies and backstabbing were common practices. There were times when you didn’t know who to trust, including your best friend.
Now, in a position of an elder woman of wisdom, I look back on my past as well as the present of today. What I see is more of the same manipulations that I grew up with, all to keep us controlled in one way or another. Yes, things have improved in many areas of this planet, but women are still considered second-class beings. Our societal dictates carry the same messages as I was subject to, we need a man to make our life complete, to save us when we are in trouble and to provide for us.
Women are making changes slowly as we try to navigate the societies we must live in. We have fought for our freedoms, sometimes paying dearly for them. But with each success, we gain the courage to keep going on to the next problem that holds us back. Sometimes we are alone and other times we move forward as a group, finding our voices and speaking up about what we need.
We learn that there isn’t a hero coming to save us. Our early programming is hard to break as we struggle for autonomy and authenticity. We leave jobs that provide no personal satisfaction. We leave relationships that are less than acceptable and hard on our self-esteem and hearts. We pursue our own interests and leave ones that we were told would provide success. We discover who we are and rebirth ourselves in our image, no longer willing to live a false life in the image of someone else.
We choose to be free, following our own life path. We discover the courage to stand up for ourselves, learn how to navigate the problems in our life and how to stand in our inner strength. We tolerate no one who cannot love us the way we are without a need to change us to make themselves feel better about their own life. We learn we can live alone in the knowing we will be all right no matter what happens to us. With each hardship, life-lesson and getting knocked to our knees again and again, we rise up stronger, more determined to live life as we choose.
We decide when to say ‘no’ and when to say ‘yes’. Our hearts become our guidance systems as we move through each day. Bad decisions are marked with an upset stomach or that uncomfortable feeling in our solar plexus chakra. Good decisions provide us with a good feeling and peace within our bodies. We learn and we learn and we learn. We keep moving with faith in a higher power and a hope for better days to come.
Success in our lives is evidenced by how good we feel. We celebrate our successes and mourn our losses. We are kinder, more loving, and share what we learn with other women, so they too, can walk through life with more wisdom and knowledge of who they are and why they are here on this life-walk. We become women of power and once we have tasted what that is like, we have no need of a hero as we are now the hero in our lives. Standing tall, proud of our personal accomplishments, we stand in unity with all other women on this beautiful planet we call our Mother.