I have been working on this post for a few days now, and I was hesitant to post it. But this is a safe place for me, and I can be vulnerable. Don’t like it, don’t read it.
I am currently reading and studying a book called ‘Captivating’ by John and Stasi Eldredge. It is about understanding a woman’s needs, wants, and hormones. It is confusing being a woman sometimes, and it is incredibly frustrating. So many women suffer from the same thing. We have needs and wants, but we feel ashamed to voice them. Have you ever felt like you aren’t good enough, but too much at the same time? I do every single day. This book is part of my rehabilitation program and so I have started reading it.
A quote from the book that really spoke to me that made me think deep about myself… “How can a woman be confident, scandalous, and beautiful, yet not portray herself as a feminist Nazi or an insecure I-need-attention emotional whore? How can I become strong without becoming harsh? How can I be vulnerable without drowning myself in my sorrow?” That is the question, isn’t it?
The expectations that society has on women is ridiculous. We are never good enough, but we are too much at the same time. This doesn’t immediately make sense, but think about it. I’m not understanding enough, not kind enough, not fit enough, not pretty enough, not stable enough. But then.. I’m too sensitive, too needy, too emotional, too selfish. I feel this way on a daily basis. The result of this thinking… shame about ourselves. We’ll never measure up. I want to be perfect, and I’m far from it. And I feel it every day. I didn’t realize until I actually sat and thought about how I view myself. I’m ashamed. I should be better. I should be “X”. If I was a better woman, this wouldn’t have happened. If I wasn’t so sensitive, if I looked like her, if I wasn’t so busy, if I … blah blah blah…
I will never be good enough. To who? Why does it matter what ANYONE else thinks? Why have I given someone else so much control? I want to be good enough for me. And part of the process is figuring out what I want in my life. This a huge question. But also, not only what I want, but who I am. Who am I? Ok, I’m a daughter, sister, friend, dog trainer, etc. But those are all titles. Who am I at my core? I’m on my journey to figure that out.
I’m opening up and saying some of the things I want. I want to be precious to someone. I want to be romanced and chased. I want to be sought after. Noticed and seen, wanted. I want to be important. To be a priority. To be fought for. To matter. To be enough. To be loved unconditionally through all my imperfections and flaws. To be beautiful. To have someone who would give me the world if I asked for it. I want to be seen for me and have someone think “Wow, she’s amazing.” Because I am! I have worked hard to be where I am, and the things worth anything require work and dedication and commitment. This isn’t me saying I need someone to give me everything or I won’t be happy. I am very independent and don’t need anyone. But I long for it. And it’s even more crushing when you thought you had all that and it was ripped away from you.
But ordinary people don’t have this. This is for heroines, damsels in distress, and queens in storybooks. We don’t get our fairy tale happily ever after ending. I want this, just like every other woman. I am embarrassed to write this, but this is part of my recovery. Why do I feel ashamed to want these things? Why does it make me feel foolish or stupid? Because the idea of this has been abused and shamed in society. Either women need to be more submissive and focus on the home life, or they need to be less sensitive and buck up. Women of all kinds of backgrounds and personalities struggle with this concept. They aren’t enough, or they are too much. They have lost a sense of what it means to be a woman, and what it means to know who you are.
Beauty has been distorted and is no longer pure in the world. Society has changed the way we view ourselves, and made our expectations unmeetable. We watch TV, see things online, see things in magazines that have been altered or changed. It damages our self esteem and how we see ourselves. THAT, what we see, is how we are supposed to look and act, right? I mean, that’s what everybody wants – THAT. Not us. Not me. Not the ordinary girl with an ordinary job with an ordinary life. So how can any of us ever be happy with knowing that? We aren’t good enough, we can’t be that, so why do we try at all?
As said in the book, the deep desire to understand the heart of a woman and to express these desires causes much pain and suffering if those needs are thrown back in our faces or ignored. I know I want to put this damaged heart into a box and never open it for anyone. I hate I want any of these things. But then again, part of my recovery and rehabilitation is to learn how to express what I want and figure out who I am at the core. So, I’m accepting I may sound foolish and stupid. And I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. Which is why I started my blog in the first place. To share, to help, to understand, and to educate.
Anyone interested in this book can buy it on Amazon for pretty cheap. I’m taking my time with it, and this was just the first chapter. All these thoughts came from reading it and I’m also doing the workbook. There is one for men as well called “Wild At Heart” (which women-it’s good to read this one too and understand the heart of a man as well. That’s next after this book for me).