It's Our Turn | Janice Holland

It’s Our Turn

It’s our turn, ladies. It is our time to rise together and change society’s expectations and culture for the next generation of girls. For years, centuries even, women have been expected to work hard, not have needs, and take care of every aspect of our family and homes. Our divine feminine gifting has been exploited and reduced to nothing more than meeting others’ needs. We do it well don’t we? I have always called women superheroes. We can work hard to ensure the family needs are met, the house is sorted and food is managed all while also working full time jobs, and running a side hustle. We even manage to do all this while also maintaining our social connections and setting personal goals for the future. The strength and capability of women is outstanding. 

What is the most sad to me is that all this is accomplished with no expectation of any return. The motion was set years ago that our needs and wants don’t matter. It seems we have bought into the idea and live life pretending we don’t need anything. I don’t even think most of us are pretending. Anything we need, we will provide for ourselves. We truly believe that we are just fine even though most women I know feel empty, exhausted and overwhelmed. 

This is such a toxic reality that prevents us from evolving to all we were created to be. Women who are free to give and receive and live life with ease and grace are so incredibly inspiring to be around. They draw people in and have the warmest circle of love, friendship and support. The vibration they live on draws people that get this same concept towards them. Men and women who are willing to be vulnerable with each other without getting stuck in toxic traditional roles are the most inspiring and energy generating group. I love finding these people and connecting to them. They set clear boundaries for their needs and wants, they allow others to share their burdens, and gladly give parts of themselves to others too . It is truly a picture of love and it feels so warm. 

However, those of us still stuck in past generational expectations of earning love or earning what others want to freely give are repelled by people who don’t overwork. We see them as free spirits and we want them to come back to the bondage chains of earning and working for connection, love, and receiving from others. This is so generationally ingrained in us we see it as the truth. 

The reality is, if we  allow ourselves to accept that we don’t have to work and earn love, acceptance, and connection from others, we will have to face the grief that comes with realizing the “truth” we bought into all these years is nothing more than bondage. It’s a mix of patriarchal conditioning, self-protective strategy, and generational oppression. 

It’s our turn ladies. We can say thank you for getting us this far and we will take it from here. We will free ourselves and the generations to come from all forms of oppression so we are free to let the divine nature of who we were created to be shine bright. Our light will illuminate ourselves and our superpower gifts and inspire everyone our light touches. It is such an empowering divine way of living. 

Here is my theory of why mother/daughter relationships are so challenging. Girls growing up want to feel connections, to be seen, heard, validated and understood. Many mothers, however, have bought into the lie that we don’t have needs and it’s dangerous to be truly seen. That it’s vulnerable and risky. We train our girls early to shut down their desires, needs, and ability to receive. We train them that good girls stay quiet and serve the people around her. It sounds so harsh, but this is reality. I saw it clearly for the first time not long ago when I was explaining my culture to my therapist here in China. She is Chinese and does not have much understanding of American culture. As she asked questions and I explained the culture of girls and women, especially in the south, I got sick to my stomach. I was telling her about how I cleaned the house all summer while my parents worked and my brothers sat in the living room playing video games. This was just an expectation. I explained how we would rather die than ask for help, and if we do ask for help we qualify it with a list of 100 reasons why we need the additional support. It doesn’t have to be this way ladies and it shouldn’t be this way. My therapist just kept asking me why until I finally narrowed it down to, “that’s just the way it’s always been”. 

What is hardest for me to accept is that in order to facilitate change, I have to be willing to let some balls drop. I have to be willing to set boundaries which mean I don’t employ my superpowers all of the time. I know. This seems impossibly hard, but it truly is the only way. 

It doesn’t mean you lose your superpowers and it doesn’t mean there won’t be times where you need or want to use them. It does mean, however, that we will become much more strategic. We can allow our lives and the lives of our family members to be messy and real rather than curated and perfected. We can allow our partners and children to struggle as they discover their boundaries and how to get their own needs met. 

When we allow for the vulnerability of messy lives where we can’t predict outcomes, then we give the most incredible gift to the people we love. We allow them the space and safety to be vulnerable. We allow them to be messy, make mistakes and learn what their own limits and boundaries are. We allow them to learn how to ask for what they need and accept what we can offer without compromising our own sense of self. Joy and inspiration abounds in these kinds of families because of the love and respect that is shared among all members. No one is overworking, no one is overtaking, and everyone is loving and supporting.

 For many of us, this is what we thought we were achieving as we overextended ourselves and made sure all the things were taken care of. If you find yourself feeling empty, loney, frustrated and just plain tired all the time, it is likely you are stuck in the generational oppression of overextending your boundaries and ignoring your own needs. We think it is the good thing to do or the christian thing to do, but this just simply isn’t true. 

We have a lot of work to do in changing years of oppression and inspiring a new, more loving and hope-filled way of living but I think we are up for the task. We need to turn to the generations before us and thank them for getting us this far. But we can take the lead from here and inspire a new way of infusing love, hope, joy and purpose into our families which will have lasting effects for generations to come. It’s our turn.

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