For a big ol’Buddhist, I have a rather scholarly knowledge of the bible, which some folks in my home town liked to beat each other over the heads with on Sunday afternoons.
One of my favourite biblical-quotes-almost-always-taken-out-of-context is; Proverbs 31:25 – She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she smiles at the future.
Part of Proverbs 31 is an ‘Ode to a Capable Wife’. Wife schmife. Let’s go with plain old ‘capable woman‘.
We live in a culture rooted in capitalism. The collective ‘we’ praises independence and individuality. We also live in a culture where the number of single parent homes is on the rise, and the majority of single-parent homes are headed by women.
Women also happen to be paid statistically less than men for the same work .Even if you’re a starlet. Please see the recent letter to Miley Cyrus from musical legend Sinead O’Connor
You and I may not be mathematicians darling, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize the financial and emotional stress that can affect women who, as my bra-burning sisters before me like to say, ‘have it all’.
Without our network of girlfriends, life would be a lot less tolerable. Proverbs may have expounded on the wonders of a ‘capable woman’, but I think in today’s world, capable translates to grace.
I hate to disappoint you wonderful women out there who think I’m all that and a glass of wine, but I must confess, I too suffer from ‘single-parent-home’ overload on occasion.
Growing up in an environment where money was used as a power and control mechanism, I have worked hard to not owe anyone anything. I have spent sleepless nights wondering how I will pay this bill or that bill, or make sure there’s enough milk in the fridge.
I have always counted myself very lucky to have not one, but three post-secondary pieces of paper hanging on my wall. I have never, despite sleepless nights, anxiety attacks and a genetic disposition to lunacy, stopped working, and trying to provide for my household.
Despite my work ethic, there have been times when working hard wasn’t enough. Being organized and prepared didn’t stop flu bugs, chicken pocks, pneumonia, torn ligaments, and surgeries.
During those times, my girlfriends have come through. It has always been with great difficulty that I am able to say to someone, “I need your help.” Those are the four most difficult words for me to say. They devastate my pride, and make me feel weak, vulnerable, and indebted to someone else. But there have been times when I’ve had to do just that.
You will be shocked to know that I was not born with a boatload of natural grace. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe my sweet, delicate flowers. Life, has an amazing way of giving us what we need, and it has indeed given me a number of challenges.
I like to think that as I age, I meet these challenges with just a little more grace, a little better sense of humor, and a lot more faith.
I believe deeply that if I maintain my own moral compass through the storms, I will indeed arrive stronger, with more wisdom and grace on the other side.
It was not only my own experience that taught me this, it was the wonderful mentoring of my “Mumster”, and other older, wiser women who had travelled the path before me.
We are all clothed in strength and dignity my darlings, and if we love one another we shall all smile at the future knowing that we are in good company.
Remember that when you see younger women struggling. Raise them up, help with their practical needs, and be the kind woman whom they strive to become.
Be grace in motion. Be fabulous 😉