Helping Ourselves Helps Our Daughters
It has been some time since I have given myself space to write a blog. Perhaps it is the spinning of my mind that makes me struggle
to slow down enough to write things out clearly, or perhaps it is the fear that I have nothing relevant to say.
Which brings me to this post – self-confidence and the belief in our value, beauty and worth as girls and women.
Recently, my personal and work life has seen an influx of young, beautiful teen girls. This has been a joy for me as I think back fondly to this time in my own life as such a critical and life-filling season. I was also moody, confused, mildly insecure, and also frustrated with being a minor just like the rest of the girls my age. But this generation seems forced to suffer from much more. In addition to new hormonal changes and body image issues, there’s a new and deeply profound self-hatred and expectation of flawless performance and presentation that has seeped into our school, our family life, our culture.
I don’t want to get into a rant about the media or Orange County culture or “kids these days”. But, as a grown, successful and attractive women that still struggles with consistent belief in my own worth, I feel compelled to share some reminders I want to give myself that can help empower the girls coming up behind me.
- Not everybody is going to like me. Ever. And boy, has that been more evident for me as I speak up and share what’s on my mind! And that gives me the freedom to not have to try so hard to get people to like me or get my feelings hurt so easily. That gives me the freedom to act more like me and not feel like a failure or unlovable when an experience of rejection or criticism comes my way. It just means that person did not like what I did, said, how I looked, etc. It really has nothing to do with how awesome I am.
- I should be as nice as I possibly can to other women. Not because I need more best friends, but because I want to perpetuate and foster a cycle amongst women of acceptance and kindness. Because I have no idea what they’re thinking or experiencing. And because I want to give that kindness back to other women and create an unbeatable domino effect of self-love that acts as an example of strength and success to our daughters.
- I want to remember that my body is my temple. As an adult this means more water, less wine; more sleep, less multi-tasking. Indulging in our pleasures seems harmless and “helps get the job done” but I forget that I’m telling girls watching me that “nothing will happen if you neglect the care of your body”. Go ahead and cut or snort or abstain from food or binge and purge. I don’t want to passively give permission to girls to hate their body by minimizing the importance of mine.
- I won’t ever have it all figured out. I’m pretty sure of this and those who disagree have limited their capacity for learning. What this means is that I will never have perfected life. I think this gives me permission to just be and to settle into this present, grimy and displaced moment in time. I believe that teens already have enough pressure to succeed and perfect through peer review, school expectations and cultural messages. With all of that on their plate, why reinforce the belief that life is a continual hustle?
If we are being watched and observed, how do we want to live each day? If we are being mimicked, how do we treat each other and how do we treat ourselves? If we can impact another generation’s self-image how do we promote well-being, health and confidence? Just food for thought.