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Women and their mistakes: Not punishable by death.

October 27, 2013

Not all women feel this way, but many of us do: we have to be perfect—or else. If I had a daughter and not a son, it would rip my heart apart if she ever felt the way I sometimes do. Yet, I am guilty as charged: somewhere inside I believe that if fail or make a mistake it’ll be the end of me. Of course, when I get a grip, I see the humor in it all. “Oh, no. My work needed editing before I sent it  out.” KILL. “Oh, God. I sent my son to school wearing too light a jacket.” DIE. Oh crap. I’ve gained two pounds. YOUR DEAD.

I read the HuffPost Women regularly, because their stories speak to our authentic issues. They often uncover the lies and shameful things we believe about ourselves. Take today’s, for example: “little girls and body image”; “if real wives were treated like TV wives”; “do women just want the right be ugly”, “what Barbie would look like without makeup”. Now, read the subtext: our self-esteem is in the toilet. Of course, to make my point I’ve left out these stories: “Men got us into the shutdown, women got us out”; “your time of the month—a cause for celebration”; “This woman knows more about bourbon than you ever will.” Yes, it’s as plain as my strengthening sense of self that our longing to see ourselves as the empowered, authentic, beautiful women we truly are is very much alive (and we are in there socking it out with ourselves), God bless us.

I wrote this post because of an “aha” moment I had earlier. I’d written another post about how I am doing something that feels very scary to me, these days. And suddenly, it hit me that, God forbid I’ve made a mistake (which really isn’t part of the equation at all, and the point of the earlier post)—it is not punishable by death. It is okay. I am okay. I am much, much better than okay.


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