A world where you don’t have to prove you are loveable

I’m not sure where to start with this post.
After my recent awakening in which I landed fully in my value, fully in my body, when I felt I’d finally arrived on planet earth and claimed: ‘this is what I allow into my life, this is who I invite into my life, this is what I do not accept’, I thought the work was done.
I’m not sure where to start with this post.
After my recent awakening in which I landed fully in my value, fully in my body, when I felt I’d finally arrived on planet earth and claimed: ‘this is what I allow into my life, this is who I invite into my life, this is what I do not accept’, I thought the work was done.

But as I step into my strength, I see there may be a cost to this. Maybe in 2020, there is still a cost to being a sovereign woman.

I see why in many ways it was ‘safer’ for me to be subordinate to men. Perhaps some primal instinct? If I’m easy to be with, I’ll be chosen and protected.

I remember the old me, placating myself to be seen and loved by my boyfriends. I feel a pain in my gut when I imagine this, and I think that I’ve always been kicking myself in the gut when it comes to men.

With my first boyfriend, we began DJ-ing together. I stopped because I was afraid that I’d be better at it than him, so I stepped aside. With my last boyfriend, I frantically went through the process to freeze my eggs because I thought that would make me a more viable option as a partner. With another boyfriend, I let him ‘take space’ for four weeks while he thought about whether or not he wanted to be with me!

I look back and I think ‘why wasn’t it about whether I wanted to be with him?’ How could I let it be that a man could take space to see if I was worthy to be chosen by him?

I remember these stories and I want to hold myself. I want to hold the child in me who was still searching for her father’s love and protection; that little girl who thought she had to make herself better to be loved.

Once I opened my eyes to all the ways I worked hard to be loved, all the ways I’d put a man on a pedestal without realising it or made my needs invisible just so THEY were comfortable. Even the guilt I felt after finally standing up for myself - guilty that I’d rejected him when really for the first time I refused to reject myself. All I could ask myself was ‘WHY?’ How could a strong feminist like me, placate myself this way?

Instead of wondering if there might be something wrong with the world, I decided there was something wrong with me. That I didn’t fit in with reality.

This is a reality where being ‘chosen’ by a man gives a woman value. Just look online, all of the toxic articles – ‘5 reasons why he didn’t choose you’, ‘How to make him love you’, ‘How to win him back’, ‘5 reasons why he won’t commit to you’. As if the problem is over here with us! All these messages aimed at keeping women feeling like they are not enough.

On the weekend I spoke to a dear woman in my life whose boyfriend recently ended it with her. These are the messages she heard from OTHER WOMEN throughout the relationship:

  • He’s a good catch, don’t fuck it up
  • Maybe you should have less needs, you have a lot. Lower your expectations

And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, she was told by her FRIEND, “Hey, you know, he’s just not that into you.

He’s just not that into you. Read the book, hey you can even watch the movie.

Be sure to remind yourself that IT APPARENTLY MATTERS WHAT MEN THINK OF YOU.

I think about my own life and relationships where I blamed myself for their demise. He’s just not that into ME?! How about, I’m not that into him. I lied to myself about who he was, I looked for the good instead, I ignored the red flags, I did everything I could to prove I was loveable to him. That was my only mistake.

Can you imagine a book called ‘She’s Just Not That into You?’ As much as I’d love to write that book, it’s all just so toxic, I don’t care to compete. But still let’s imagine a world where women are put on a pedestal, where men do the emotional lifting, or work hard to make themselves loveable, do their inner work and make sure we’re comfortable in the relationship dynamic, the way we do for them and their friends say ‘be careful, she’s a great catch, don’t fuck it up.’

Today, I woke up crying, feeling like there’s too much work to be done. I cried for another one of my friends who wants to make sure she isn’t being a burden to her younger lover as they explore open-relating. I cried for all women who were taught they needed to work hard to be loved. I cried for all of us who have to endure apparent rules for femaleness – be easy, happy, stoic, don’t fart, sweat, bleed, bloat, hunger or yearn.

And I cried because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of getting bigger and brighter. I’m afraid of leaving all potential partners in the dust because though women are standing taller than ever, the majority of the world is STILL not ready for a woman who owns herself completely, who does not need the approval of men.

"And I cried because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of getting bigger and brighter. I’m afraid of leaving all potential partners in the dust because though women are standing taller than ever, the majority of the world is STILL not ready for a woman who owns herself completely, who does not need the approval of men."

To be quite honest, I can understand why spiritual bypassing seems like a better option. Or putting my head in the sand. It all feels like such a mountain to climb.

But we can climb it in small ways. Some things we can do are:

  • Stop reading women’s magazines and stop believing them.
  • Stop watching YouTube videos that tell you how to be better to get a man.
  • Stop listening to any and all messages that centralise what men think of you and choose to decide how you feel about them. Centralise yourself.
  • Advocate for your friend’s self-worth and steer them away from patriarchal messages.
  • Question your motives behind changing your body or appearance. If you’re doing it because you don’t feel like you’re pretty enough, good enough or young enough, you’re buying into the system that hurts women.
  • Don’t let other women keep you small. If any woman says ‘he’s not into you’ or ‘make sure you xyz so he likes you’….say NO and then either surround yourself with women who celebrate you or coach these friends into a new way of thinking.

Make it so that when you look in the mirror you know without a shadow of a doubt that the one you see in the reflection will ALWAYS have your back.

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