In the past few months I’ve tried to speak about something a few times, something that I feel is so incredibly important for women to hear, but each time I’ve done it I felt it was a flop… that it wasn’t really received or was misunderstood.
So I’m gonna try this again, because I know there are women out there who need to hear this right now, and that it will soothe an ancient wound in them, and for that, I’m willing to be misunderstood.
The thing I was trying to speak about was basically a push back against some very popular current entrepreneurial culture narratives that tell women business owners to: “Just focus on how you can serve and the rest will work itself out”or “don’t focus on the money, focus on how you can give”or “just come from a place of service and the universe will catch you” and other similar themes.
To be frank, these lines were pissing me off. They seemed good and right, and kind, but something about them stunk to me. Something felt shitty and just OFF, and for a long time, I couldn’t put my finger on it… until I did.
The thing that pisses me off about these quotes is that they are rooted in the history of oppression that those very women are trying so hard right now to shake off, and although they are not INTENDED to do so, when it comes right down to it, it is exactly these narratives that tell women they should be ASHAMED of themselves for their wanting.
Women have been taught they’re not allowed to be hungry—not allowed to be hungry in ALL THE WAYS. Not allowed to be in wanting. Women have been taught that their hunger is ugly. That it is out of control. That it can’t be trusted. That they can’t be trusted.
Women have been taught to serve. To take care of others first and not themselves. To trust their needs would be met if they just focus on giving. That it is their job and duty to give and not worry about receiving.
And we wonder why we have so much trouble asking for and receiving what we want and need. And we wonder why we’re so burnt-out, and stressed-out, and at the end of our rope!
Furthermore this teaches us that we should relinquish our needs being met to the responsibility of other people, instead of taking responsibility for it ourselves. And why is that? Because if the responsibility is with other people or outside us, it is not with us, and so we remain powerless. The system has benefited from our powerlessness. This is not a coincidence darlings.
Don’t get me wrong, I know what these messages mean to say. I know that is not their intention, I know they’re intended to be spiritual and inspiring and to get the reader to just focus on the big picture and to trust and have faith and to come from a true place of abundance in which there is no problem to give because there is enough for everyone and you already know that from a very deep and true place. But it’s a little too close to these old and shaming narratives for my comfort.
Because when a woman is trying to step into a different level of herself and her work, when she has been pouring her blood, sweat, and tears into service her whole life, and is now attempting to actually RECEIVE what she needs and WANTS for her life in a whole new way, it is narratives like that that make her feel there’s something wrong with her. That she is greedy and selfish and a bitch for wanting what she wants — whether that be money, food, time, freedom, love or otherwise.
And what breaks my heart is I see too many women dropping out of their own needs and wants because of shame that they shouldn’t focus on their wanting in the first place. They should focus on giving. They should trust their needs will be met outside themselves, like a good girl would do. Like a good mother and wife should do. Like women have been trained to do. That their caring for themselves is somehow ugly, and their caring for others is beautiful.
The irony is that when you care for yourself and put your needs and wants first, an entirely new and truly ALIVE sense of generosity and giving comes from that place… but NOT until we’ve first ALLOWED ourselves to be hungry.
These memes seem to attempt to skip over that part. To ignore the absolutely vital part where you recognize and allow yourself to be hungry for what you’re hungry for.
So I want to set the record straight. I want you to know (women, non-binary folks or men who’ve ever felt this way) that your hunger is not ugly. That your selfishness and wanting is not only vitally healthy but absolutely NECESSARY to create change in your life and in the world, and that it is safe for you to allow and trust that hunger, and when you do you will see how it all comes back to generosity and giving unlike anything you’ve ever imagined or seen… but NOT before you’ve allowed yourself space to just BE in your desire.
To just feel… and know… and breathe your desire.
To just be that flame in a way that burns up ALL that old stale oxygen. To be that flame just for you. And others will feel their OWN flame because of your example, and they will stop rejecting themselves over and over again and being lost to the depression that comes from suppression, because you’ve shown them that they are not alone in that.
Think of some generous souls in the public eye… anyone you like… let’s say Oprah, or Lizzo. Even Op’s talks about service a lot but she STARTED with her HUNGER to be in broadcast news and be an anchorwoman star. Do you have any idea the amount of times they’ve been called a selfish greedy bitch in their careers?? They didn’t let that stop them. They filled themselves up and spilled over.
So how will you fill yourself up?
Don’t even trip about the spilling over. It happens pretty much by itself when you fill up for REAL.
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