Ok so as I near fifty - maybe the time has arrived to come clean. I always thought I said it like it was - but there were some things I just did not dare talk about - for fear of unleashing the tiger - or shall I say lioness within.
Until yesterday - I always believed in the kinder gentler way. In fact in a recent conversation with my husband I remarked that perhaps he did not know me well - and that I believed in moving forward in life that I had an attitude of 'no harm to anyone' - and that love was the motivating factor for all that I did. Deep inside however is also the fierce protector - the advocate for those who dare not speak.
Interestingly enough - these values and beliefs were outwardly expressed for others - but never inwardly expressed on my own behalf. I have spent many years in relationships peppered with abuse of all kinds. Outwardly fighting for the rights and safety of other - inwardly - denying my own situations and needs.
How very sad. The woman who needed to be loved and protected the most - curled up in a fetal and protective position - praying for a hero. So yesterday - on behalf of that woman - the kinder gentler way got tossed out the window. The time has come to speak up on behalf of women all over the world - who fight for others and neglect their own needs.
It all started with a conversation of personal responsibility with someone I love dearly. I was accused of "chasing money" - running after the almighty dollar. In this conversation I was indicating I was going to apply for a prestigious position with a large paycheck. I was dreaming - and thinking of what life might be like - the benefits of the position - and also the love for the duties the position provided.
I was astounded by the accusation. I immediately went inside myself to test out if the accusation rang true. Immediately my higher self reminded me of all I had contributed to the world - without regard to pay or personal consequences. I knew that my motivation in the world was not to only 'make money'. I knew however I have financial responsibilities that require me to step up to the plate and make some changes.
Upset by the conversation I called his mother - just for some wisdom from another strong woman. Her words cut me to the core. "Maybe it's time you just found your real place in the world and stop trying so hard. Just be normal like the rest of us. Maybe it's time to live more within your means - you are thinking too big for your britches young lady. You are just too smart and ambitious - it's time to just let those silly ambitions go and get a regular job - stop chasing the brass ring so to speak".
OMG. Between the tears and disbelief I could feel a fire rising inside. I wonder if anyone ever uttered words like that to Martin Luther King who had 'a dream'. What would happen if every one who had a dream in this world was told "oh just sit down and shut up - will you?".
So I called my mother.
Despite our disagreements and misunderstandings over the years - she has given me many, many gifts. And yesterday - she gave me the greatest gift of all.
I do not remember the words she spoke - but I did note the fire in my chest that began to burn brightly. She told me through a series of stories about my strength. She reminded me of all the women that have gone before me - who sacrificed so that I could speak out. And for me - at this time in my life - the 'kinder gentler way' went right out the freakin window. My idea of a kinder gentler way to do things had brought me to a point where I was now a 'kinder gentler doormat', almost willing to accept the advice of a woman trying to put me in my place. (too big for your britches young lady)
Then I talked to my dear friend and fabulous counselor Heidi Cowie. She reminded me that the advice I had been given to 'slow down and not think so big' was not advice for special girls like us. Yes Heidi - we are special women. We are amazing - and I thank God for the community of Roaring Women who like my mother and the other women in my family understand.
I do have dreams. I do have something I want to give the world. And I do deserve to have a partner who will support me in that - or I will do it alone. I deserve to be paid well and acknowledged for my contributions - if not for me - for all the women who have gone before and fought the fight for equality and appreciation.
Am I angry - yes. But it is a righteous and positive anger, by George. And God help the man (or misguided woman) who will stand in my way to get the job done.
What is the job? To help women understand their value, worth and potential. To raise them to their rightful place in the universe. To support them in following their dreams - wherever it takes them. To honour the community of women that has gone before. To let every woman know that not only has she a right to her dreams - she has the right to live without fear of violence - or death - that no one has the right to abuse her verbally or degrade her or cut down her ideas and dreams.
My job is to help her steer in the right direction and channel all that wonderful courage and ambition in the direction she really wants to go.
And I am starting right here - in my own back yard. Care to join me?
Calgary Business Woman of the Year 2010
Calgary Business Woman of the Year 2010