I had a short conversation with my father a few days ago. He was telling me how he was trying to engage his granddaughter (my 9-year old niece) to solve maths riddles during a holiday on the beach. In a very light-hearted manner he was kind of complaining to me how it is usually not easy for him to interest my niece in doing intellectual exercises because all that she usually wants to do is to turn everything into play… I have to admit that I get tense every time I happen to hear him talking about the subject of child development. I was a little girl myself, and I had first hand experience of the harmful effect that my father’s teachings had on my life as a woman. My father carried on repeating what he told to my niece in his attempt to teach her “the truth about life”. It went something like this:
“When you grow up, you have three choices. One is, if you are very beautiful, you can marry a prince, and then you don’t need to study or know anything now, because the prince will take care of you. Second, you leave learning anything now, become a famous Hollywood actress and then you will be rich and able to do whatever you want since you won’t depend on anybody. But the third option, and the most likely one, is that you will have to work for money, which means that you have to learn a lot now, so you could know a lot of things, think fast and be better than others, so that people would want you…”
I even detected some pride in my father’s voice when he was telling me this little story. He was absolutely oblivious to the damaging effect his words had on my life. Lies travel fast, we say. Lies also travel long… It’s been forty years between the time when the “truth” about “my place and challenge in the world” entered my ears and now, when the same “masculine model of achievement and competition” was passed on to my little niece a generation down the line… All I could do in that conversation is to ask my father to stop talking and inform him in a rather abrupt manner that I disagree with his “life philosophy” because it’s just outright damaging and wrong. I felt my emotions and reactivity for a long time after this conversation took place. I was left feeling sad and bitter about being unable to give any clear explanation of my views and feelings to my 73-year old father, a self-made man, a distinguished maths professor, who grew up without a father in Russia after the second world war, and surely did the best he could as a father for his two daughters… Only a few years ago, the little girl inside me managed to forgive my father. My woman’s heart was finally healed and opened for love.
If you are one of those multitudes of women who received all sorts of damaging, diminishing or patriarchal messages about your life purpose and about who you truly are when you were a girl, throw these messages from your head forever and replace them with these:
I am Love. I am the resource, and my own cause. I have the power to create. I have the power to destroy. I choose. I am the Value, and I am enough. My feminine side manifests as being, changing, playing, and creating. I trust my intuition. I trust my body. I am free, and I don’t need to justify myself. There is no place I need to rush to. There is no one I need to be, as I already am, and ‘arrived’ when I was born, and this is Good.