I'm No Superwoman!
This week I interviewed a prolific and bold poet on my podcast, Whiskey Girl. Watch the full episode of Pain to Power. In our conversation she brought up the idea of women having to be strong when the men in our lives are immature in their ability to lead in relationships. It took me down a path of thinking in regards to the idea of masculine and feminine characteristics women carry.
For a long time I wore the idea of being a super mom, super professional, at one time a super wife and a super woman in life on a whole, as a badge of honor and something to strive towards. I am not alone in this message of ultimate womanhood. But, I am done with that story and no longer subscribe to that damaging narrative.
No, I am NOT superwoman to anyone and it is perfectly ok and in fact healthy to know and own that reality. In truth it’s the same issues society has with masculine tendencies in strong women. The question is why do certain women require this level of strength rather than falling into the softness of being feminine? It starts with necessity, and then you have become one thing to people that the expectations and bar is set so high, there is no space to simply just exist and be.
I started to gain this realization in the past few months where I felt like the floor and all that I knew as my reality were slipping from underneath me. And I held on tight while still showing up and being. I kept my cameras on in every Zoom meeting with a bright smile on my face ready to lead, coach or plan without fail. I took every emotional shock or hit that came at me from every angle with stride and strength, giving them grace for their previous experiences, their youth or their growth path, while allowing nothing for myself. They get a break, they can break me and walk away, they can say hurtful things and turn their backs, but I must stand firm and just hold my shield up to deflect the arrows of pain and misplaced anger, because I am strong.
After all, the world has told me I am supposed to be a superwoman.
My added element is that I have also carried a financial responsibility of four children and (for some time now) a family over the span of now 6 years. Add it all together and it can feel that the weight of sustaining the basic needs of the people I am deemed responsible (and some who have allowed themselves to coast by on my hard work and tenacity believing it is their right) require me to continue doing it all because there is no one else. I am overqualified to do all those things, and when I do they are done with passion and care, but it should never have to be solely my responsibility.
That’s what superheroes do, they swoop in and save the day when no one else can or will. Great for movies and comics, but that’s an unsustainable myth to keep up in real life. We are lying to ourselves and creating damaging dynamics with people we love or ones who have the power to hurt us. When you are always out there to save the world, no one believes you also need to be saved and cared for. Having strength becomes your downfall.
I have been walking around with a tiny shield ready to protect my heart from harm. Every time I relaxed and let it down to share how I truly felt and the emotions stuffed inside me, it was sent back to me as a harsh slap in the face. The hero became the victim, cautiously protecting my heart from being exposed again and open for the targets to hit. Returning to barriers and walls I turned into myself silently to protect my heart and soul from more harm.
Constantly being in a state of providing for others emotionally, mentally, physically and financially leads a woman to sit firmly in a masculine energy because it is not safe to let down her guard. As my guest Whiskey Girl shared, irresponsible men require a woman who leads. That irresponsibility can come in the form of not providing, lacking confidence and direction or even emotional irresponsibility.
If a woman has to guard her heart from being taken for granted, or wonder where a man’s emotions lie in regard to his feelings about her, she is in her protective masculine energy. There is not enough trust to allow her to comfortably let down the guard and relax. So like many women, this has been my mostly permanent state for 20 plus years. I need to say mostly, because there were moments where I felt at home, at ease and safe. I hoped they would last for me to stay in that feminine state of being cared for, but it has ALWAYS been fleeting.
What I have realized about myself is that true sustainable strength strives in support and connection not isolation. I don’t want to fight the villains in my life alone anymore. I want a partner who creates a safety for me to fall into my feminine and trust I can count on someone. I have been repeatedly disappointed every time I thought I could allow love in and relax to accept it. Each time it was a false promise of future plans and ideas wrapped inside avoidance, control, distance and nonchalant behaviors towards my raw and real emotions.
I started to hide my gentleness behind the driver, the super Marya, the woman who could do it all. But once again I am exhausted and craving for something more. I crave the ability to let go of needing to save everyone else and know what it is for someone to want to take care of me. Women are out here being flown on tropical vacations, having their finances supported and having men fall at their feet ready to give and do for them. Meanwhile, I can’t even find the kind of men who own their own emotions to be honest about my presence and value in their lives. Leaving me to do the only thing I know I have control over, protect my heart and mind by moving into my masculine energy.
I don’t crave the bling and the man to pay my bills ( wouldn't hurt, but it's not my goal). I literally just want to feel the safety of falling into my femininity, adding my softness to care and being gentle, allowing for my inner child to thrive in laughter and levity instead of having to be strong and absorb the world's challenges and blows alone.
A true man would lead through love and support. They find ways to ease your burdens not contribute to them. A man would be my partner and support my ventures with ideas and showing up to cheer me on. He would be my biggest fan. His alpha would be his energy and actions not his bravado and words. He would be man enough to build and honor trust with a headstrong but deeply passionate and giving woman.
I am ready to release the masculine energy I have guarded myself with for so long to fall into my feminine. I want to be my true self, soft and loving openly and without restrictions. I want to finally feel safe in a relationship where I can allow my guard to fall and my nurturing gentle energy to thrive. To be wanted and chased, to be honored and seen. I build on my own, but sometimes I need a sounding board and support system. I want to be loved, adored and cared for. I crave a place where my gentle nature can navigate my path, not harness me from the trauma of past relationships and unrequited dynamics.
Women want happiness and peace with a partner. A man who is strong enough in himself to be gentle with our hearts and souls and carefully cradle our spirits knowing the harm it’s endured from past men who carelessly devalued it. I was loved the wrong way for decades and still gave it my all, I can only imagine what power and fire would ignite if I was loved and cradled in a space of safety with a man who leads, builds and grows with me patiently, honorably and with appreciation of who I am.
One day my feminine will flourish in that power couple dynamic. Until then . . .
The shift in my narrative is that I don’t want to stay in hyper masculine energy taking care of it all, helping everyone else, showing up for everyone wondering when I will have a partner to be my solid ride or die in life. I am claiming vulnerability as the new strength and anywhere it cannot exist is not the place for me or my spirit. I will nurture and love without restrictions.
So I will stop being super.
The world will keep turning.
The shit may keep flying.
However, the difference is I chose if I want to address it or offer my energy to solve it. I have finally learned to relinquish my cape and mask and chose myself instead.
Cause, I’m no Superwoman.