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Chivalry And Feminism

I’m afraid I’ve been thinking.  A dangerous past-time.  (Shout out to Lefou and Gaston. And Belle.  Because feminism.)

Yep.  Been thinking about feminism.  Been thinking about how there’s something really awesome about being taken care of, being paid for, being loved.  And sometimes feminism neglects that.  I actually think it’s a real problem, this woman-can-so-she-must mentality.  Stereotypically, we get thinking that we can do stuff and so we should do stuff… you know, like make the fancy meals every single day and dress so cute and have kids that behave all the time and vacuum the carpets and turn the mattresses and curl the eyelash hairs.  In our rush to perform, we’re forgetting the magic that comes from being alive.

I’m bugged because we keep saying that we can.  So we do.  And we never stopped to consider the why.  We rush to meet the needs that we perceive, but are they important? Is sacrificing peace for punctuality a good trade? Is power struggling through bedtime a worthy cause?  Dunno.  Truly I don’t.

Here’s what I do know.  Kids and families need love and eyeballs.  Friends need time.  Husbands need energy.  And we all need to breathe. Often in my circles (though not always, which is also fine), women are at home raising their children.  Cool.  But we’ve somehow come up with a rat race all our own — appearing to be effortless Barbies.  So we’re doing a stressed-out.  The pace is kind of intense.

Once upon my life, my husband couldn’t get out of bed for months.  I started spinning inside my head, stressing and worrying and feeling despair and regret and fear.  I had legit reasons to feel all those things.  Although, eventually I realized that all I really had control over was my anxiety.  I could (and can) choose to do a stressed-out, or I could (and can) choose to do a faith and deep-breath.  Choosing to chill, to accept enough, is my new life mission.  It’s about the hardest thing I’ve ever considered!!!!!!!  And surprisingly, my health and my husband’s health really responds to accepting enough.  Also surprisingly, enough is completely out of my control.  I have to trust that actually God WILL show up, and actually does count the sparrows, and actually means it when He gives counsel to “take no thought for the morrow” (Matthew 6:34).  The biggest surprise of all is that SO MANY AMAZING people showed up to help us out, and I’ve never felt more loved, more enough, than when I could do so little.

I’m still thinking about it.

This ties into chivalry because when we don’t feel like WE ARE ENOUGH as women, we try to prove it by being fiercely independent and stiff arming every man (and sometimes woman, and often God) we see, including those we care about (or who are trying to show their care for us).  We all like being useful engines, making a difference to our families and communities, and having stiff-collared (not a real saying, but you get my imagery right?!) reasons to get up each morning. But the reality is that we’re often running around in circles chasing our tails for the “I’m useful” crusade.  Here’s the newsflash that’s so often annoying: nothing matters if we forget God and others.  NOTHING. (Matthew 22:36-40) There’s something to hmmmm about eh?

So I’m definitely learning that instead of focusing on how I will be useful (and therefore enough in my off-kilter mindset of yesteryear), I have the choice to consider focusing on how to make others feel like enough.  Perhaps that looks like accepting the bent knee of proposal (a man essentially saying that his girl is worth discomfort and sacrifice and reverence), letting go of puppy guarding the 24/7 perfectly organized pantry gold medal (thereby letting others live in my space, telling them that their perhaps messy existence is worth love), or allowing my kid to play outside with disheveled hair (but what will others think?) and not even worrying about it.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about.  Wish I was better at it, but I’m excited to ponder and let it sink in…. that actually, I’m enough, I’m safe.

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