When I was a kid we had a get-to-know-you game called “Two Truths and A Lie.” Each person would tell a lie and bury it between two true, yet almost unbelievable stories. We speculated if it were actually possible for someone to successfully climb the Rocky Mountains by age 10 or better yet, would it be possible for someone to grow up in a circus or have had a third arm removed as a child. True detectives were born and story tellers found a platform to share the most exciting and wonderfully bizarre.
I want to share with you my 2 truths and 1 lie I have come to learn and reject as a woman who has found love and love within herself.
Truth #1: You are valuable as a woman.
While this may seem quite obvious, and rudimentary at best, I would venture to say whether it is from the media, our parents, or words we hear passing on the street, some women may take this to be a lie. Why? When did womanhood become a sign of weakness, mood swings, and emotional volatility? Violence against women, degrading ads, and objectification all have become common place in our culture. However, the truth is women are valuable for more than the component parts that make them women. Strength, beauty, and resiliency are found in every woman that finds she is valuable not for what she does, or what she wears, or the place she calls home, but solely because she is. That is power. You are valuable for just being. Let that thought liberate you. When you took your first breath and until your last, you are valuable. Whether you are a stay at home mom, or working woman, single or married for life, you are valuable. Let that sink in. It’s not what you do, you are valuable just because you walk this earth.
Truth #2: There is no place for “should” in your vocabulary.
Okay, so the first truth may have been a bit easier to digest, but stay with me, this one is important too. The word “should” denotes shame, a bar you need to meet, an expectation held over your head. We heard it growing up as women all to often.”You shouldn’t wear that skirt, you will look easy.” “You should be smarter.” “You should act like a lady.” “You should wear a dress and make sure to keep it clean.” “You should… You should… You should!” The truth is there is no place for “should” in your life as an adult. Why? You get to set the bars and decide for yourself what you love, want and how you spend your time. Why shame yourself for not meeting a standard your parents, society, or even yourself unknowingly has placed on you? It makes little sense to continue the cycle of shame, the cycle of always striving to be good enough for someone else. So trust me, drop “should” from your vocabulary. Start being content with who you are today, what you can achieve within your own limits, which are not to be compared to anyone else. When in doubt, refer to Truth #1 again.
A Lie: You can do it all.
While positivity culture would tell you otherwise, I am going to go ahead and say it, you can’t. That is not to say do not strive for your dreams, face great odds and overcome them. What I am saying is that when you fill your schedule full of activities, work, hobbies, dates, and party nights, you will find you eventually cannot say yes to everything. Why? We are finite beings. Any person who has spent one all-nighter in college knows one must sleep eventually after hours upon hours of mental and physical taxation. While it is attractive to be busy and have a full social calendar I urge you to remember you have limits. The best way to keep from collapsing under the pressure of planning a wedding, listening to your friend struggling through a break-up, orchestrating a new project at work or making time for your own relationship is to say no and take time for yourself. Taking care of yourself starts with saying no to someone or something else. It is hard. It feels selfish, but it is needed. You cannot do it all. Taking time to recharge with a good book, bubble bath, or run through Town Lake will help you rejuvenate and give back to your body and mind that sustains you during the weekly grind. So say yes to yourself. Take time to take care of number one. Why? Refer to Truth #1 yet again. It’s okay to not do it all. It is okay to just be you, accepting of your limits, and finding time to give love back to yourself.
Enjoy the weekend ahead. Remember there is nothing you “should” do this weekend. You cannot do it all. And most importantly you are valuable just because you are.
Featured Image Credit: Self