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“She is an essence, a way of being, a mindset – and she exists in us all. She is that part of us that is free – and not bound up by the joyless strings of Puritan morality or guilt. She’s that part of us that has a sense of continuity in life, that doesn’t rush, that feels sexy for no apparent reason. She is, more fundamentally, that part of us that does not want to live according to what others think she should be. She is her own woman. Entirely.”
-Debra Ollivier excerpt from Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl
So many strong, respected, successful women who thrived and/or conquered during different eras in history leapt to mind upon reading this quote: Coco Chanel, Alice Paul, Oprah Winfrey, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart – the list could go on. All of these women embody(ied) what truly can be the gift you yourself desire to share with the rest of the world – the strength to follow their own path and all the while helping mankind (womankind) in a way that was uniquely their own.
However, when you realize the path, the life you wish to live, it is likely you will meet with some (or quite a bit) of resistance. If you are dealing with those who are closest to you, who don’t seem to be able to support your “wild” dreams, they could very likely use the tool of guilt.
Guilt is a tool quickly used against anyone who is trying to exercise strength to rise up. If the opposition can’t stop you, then they resort to guilt because a person with a conscience is likely (if they are to succumb to anything related to emotion) to retreat if they are unable to see through the intention of the guilt being thrown at them.
Guilt is a weak man’s remedy to suppress others who want to change, improve, succeed or soar. However, don’t be dismayed because a guilt-trip is the easiest obstacle to overcome if you know that you are up against it.
The key is to know thyself. If you know in your heart and with sound mind that your intentions are pure, that you are not intentionally trying to bring pain, you will immediately recognize the guilt-trip for what it is and be able to let it flow off of you like water off a duck’s back. The guilt you will be given is not a reflection of you, but of the person dishing it out. It is their weakness, their insecurity, their doubt, and they are the only ones who can change this attitude. Do not waste energy, but instead respectfully recognize what they are doing, understanding why and then proceed to take action toward your dream. Do not, I repeat, do not, let them project onto you their hang-ups. Soar, fly and know that if anyone truly loves you, they will want you to find your contentment, your happiness because that is what real love is. It is not selfish or possessive.
With that said, be your own person, feel comfortable in the skin you were born in and discover your inner French girl. Enjoy the journey, for it will no doubt be fabulous.