So on this Mother's Day I want to honor my girls - who are the most marvelous creatures I could ever wish to bless my life. I would shower them with jewels and chocolate if I could, but all I have this year is the following reflection:
Being a woman in today's society is not easy. We are measured and judged by impossible goals that no one can live up to, nor should ever be have to because they really aren't about true beauty, true values or true joy.
Look at these headlines to articles that came across my desktop just today:
Julia Roberts, Sally Field Have a Curse-Off for Jimmy Kimmel After Ripping Tequila Shots (See Video)
Worst Dressed Met Gala 2014: All The Stars That Failed On Fashion's Biggest Night
The Top 10 Ugliest Celebrities (now with your
May I first say, upfront - shame on Julia and Sally. If that's your idea of female enlightenment and abilities, I want no part of it. Women are more valuable than that! And the other headlines speak for themselves.
What in the world are women suppose to think when this is the nonsense they're reading? It breaks my heart to see how much we are asked to worry about how our bodies aren't good enough, our lives aren't fun enough, our jobs aren't fulfilling enough and our men aren't 'man' enough? I am especially concerned about the attitude of deserving to have "IT ALL" when that means that our families must suffer for it. Like Dorothy says in The Wizard of Oz, "I've learned....that if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I shouldn't look any farther than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, then I never really lost it to begin with."
Why in the WORLD are we letting these be the voices in our heads? It's tough on society and it's especially tough on a woman of faith - as if faith is some sort of silly little shortcoming to be ridiculed and reviled.
I was researching for an upcoming Sunday lesson and stupidly paged down into the comment section of a recently posted news article where a woman went on a rant because she felt that Mormon women were glassy eyed victims of lustful old dictators. As much as I realize she is the extreme viewpoint, it still just completely throws me how women who believe in God are constantly being accused of being ignorant automatrons. I mean, really. Does any one who knows me actually believes me to be mindless? A victim of a chauvinist husband? Ignorant of the world? I am the captain of my own ship, thank you very much, sink or sail.
I might not be the most gorgeous woman in the room and I'm okay with that. I might not be the most accomplished. I am definitely not the most educated And you know what? I'm okay with that too.
What I'm not okay with is the fact that I have, at times, taken on these self-doubts. It's my fault I've struggled with self image. It's my fault that I haven't always taken good care of this wonderful vessel Heavenly Father gave me to house my spirit. It's my fault I dropped out of college because it got 'too hard.' It's my fault I married the first guy who came along (luckily for me - he ended up being the RIGHT guy - but that's God's miracle, not mine). My parents didn't make me do that. My religion didn't either. Society may have played into the mindset, but ultimately I can be a sheep or I can be a shepherd.
So, even though I'm shocked and angry at stupid headlines, I'm really can't blame the media for this warped view of the world. I'm blaming me. Because I CAN stop this. Maybe not alone, though I will if I must. But better yet, I think we women should join together and reject the promotion of all things unworthy and unhealthy.
We can stop it in our own head by letting go of comparisons, the seeking of fulfillment through raucous and rash decisions, and judging others harshly.
We can stop it in our families by teaching our children to know that it is NOT alright to put people down, act disrespectfully, or promote self-hate any more than self-grandizement
We can stop it by speaking out when we see injustice. By fully researching and joining worthy causes. By opening our mouths even if no one else will. By recognizing that the the worth of a person is so much more than what they look like and what they wear and what they drive and how popular they may be.
We can stop it by not buying glamour magazines, not clicking on articles that concentrate on warped values, not watching worthless television shows that do not uplift and inspire, and not joining into conversations that focus on the devaluation of others.
Okay, so I've gone and jumped on another soapbox. But I want you to know that you are so very valuable and worthy and that anything you do for yourself and your family means more than any blockbuster movie, designer dress award or trending fad. I want you to know the joy of a strong marriage to a worthy partner, the fulfilling challenge of raising intelligent and active children, the strength of an honorable day's work, no matter whether it is as a sales clerk, or an administrator, or a mommy.
My darling girls....you and your spouses are the BEST gifts I have ever received (well along with those amazing grandchildren of ours). I thank Heavenly Father for you every single day. You did not earn that right simply by being a family member. You earned it through trial and failure and picking yourselves back up again. You earned it through your humanity and femininity and faith. You earned it because you are the smartest, most talented women I know. You are amazing for who you are right here, right now and there is even more potential before you. Yet, as awesome as you are, none of that has to do with the right shade of eyeliner or the number of people you passed on some corporate ladder. Not even a little.
I'm so proud of you. Thank you for being the women I admire most.