Friday, February 7, 2014

Becoming the Woman You Want to Be

The past few years of my life have always had me thinking about the kind of woman I want to be. The downside of that is ending up in the thought process of "why aren't I that person yet?" or "I could have been doing this instead of that and been that person by now". Well, we all know that can be extremely destructive.

I came across this talk by Gordon B. Hinckley titled "How Can I Become the Woman of Whom I Dream?" Perfect, right? Now I don't want to get all religiousy and preachy. That's not my purpose here. I am religious, but this talk has inspirational words that, I believe, can benefit every woman (and honestly, men too).

One of the first things that caught my eye while reading this was his push for finding a purpose:

"Find purpose in your life. Choose the things you would like to do,
and educate yourselves to be effective in their pursuit. For most it
is very difficult to settle on a vocation. You are hopeful that you will marry
 and that all will be taken care of. In this day and time, a girl needs an education."

I am so grateful that he called out those hoping that they will just get married and not have to worry about it. While marriage and having a family is one of the greatest callings for women on earth, I do not think it is their only calling. Many women throughout the ages have made impacts on society. Some of those women even had or have families and a husband. If your only calling is to be a wife and mother, would not getting an education only benefit you and your children?

Growing up, my father and mother both attended school. This sets a great example not only about the importance of getting an education, but taking the time to find purpose in your life and taking the time to fulfill that purpose.

Attending school isn't the only way to be educated, though. Read, experience, talk with others. So many options for continual learning.

"For you, my dear friends, the sky is the limit. You can be excellent in every way.
You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub.
Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself.
Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you.
Particularly, pay no attention to what some boy might say to demean you.
He is no better than you. In fact, he has already belittled himself by his actions.
Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you.
Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with
 great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life and look for its opportunities."

Women are so hard on themselves. It makes me sad. I'm hard on myself, too. Media is all about demeaning women (and men,too, but that's a whole other topic). "You aren't thin enough". "You aren't pretty enough". "You don't matter unless a boy likes you". When did we become so dependent on outside opinion, especially on what a guy thinks? The saddest part is that we allow it. People can say very rude things. But we, also, let it hurt us. We choose to take offense. We let that other person have control over our lives. Why? Low self-esteem is one. I've definitely struggled with that. We need to realize that those who bring others down are just as or more insecure than us. There is a difference between constructive, honest criticism, and being hurtful. Love yourself. Accept your flaws and the mistakes you've made and will make. Realize that you aren't supposed to be like the girl sitting next you, or the girl on the television. You have the potential and the ability to become the woman you want to be, the real and best version of yourself. 

What are interests of yours that you would love to learn more about? What would you do if you weren't afraid?

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