Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with so much to do that it seemed impossible?
On other days have you felt a sense of emptiness and boredom?
Do you prefer to feel boredom or hurriedness?
I usually prefer hurriedness. I like to feel creative and productive and in the flow of getting things done and achieving. Perhaps I have even linked my sense of worth to how productive I am. Sound familiar?
We have a whole world and society that values productivity. That pays those who produce, that thrives on economic growth. GDP simply being a measure of how much money is spent by the country as a whole on goods and services. It doesn’t measure care, love, nurturing, connection, peace, or happiness. No. Our measurement of success as a whole country is based on our consumption.
For those who find themselves unemployed because of economic downturn, injury, illness, or mental health reasons this can hit hard. “You are of no worth to us if you are not contributing to the economy”, the system says. I have two friends at the moment who are unable to work because of injuries. One has a partner with money and assets which are a buffer. But she’s still going to work on crutches. The other is a health professional who has gone from a professional wage to trying to survive on $250 a week from Centrelink. WTF???
What about mothers? Do we as a society value parents who choose to stay home with their children. Doesn’t seem so. Most of the unpaid, and underpaid, care work and voluntary roles are done primarily by women… and this is completely disregarded in an economic system that only measures worth in dollars.
So women, and men, often prioritise their career progression over taking time off to be at home.
And how do you feel as a woman and mother when you take a day off? A day to yourself? Selfish??? After all you contribute, this is the common response.
I’m because I’m reflecting on the many ways women’s worth is undermined. And there are many.
Recently I attended a beautiful evening of facilitated sharing between male and female Rites of Passage facilitators. The women were asked to share their vision for girls and women. The common theme in all of these visions was that we wanted girls to have a sense of worth, to be able to stand tall without fear, to express their needs and desires, to speak their voice, to be heard, to feel worthy.
As women, and especially as women who work with teenage girls, we know that not feeling worthy is a common experience amongst us. That’s why we had this as a vision. This was news to the men in the room. Of course, because they have no idea what it’s like to live in the world as women. To not constantly be celebrated and applauded and credited.
We need to have more of these conversations about what it’s like to be a woman in the world.
And what it’s like to be a man in the world. What I heard when the men spoke about their visions and dreams was that boys and men struggle with needing to prove themselves and be successful. It really made me think. I don’t want to compete in that world.
I don’t want to feel my sense of worth as a woman, as a human, by winning at this stupid game of success. I don’t want to prove my worth by being busier, more productive, more successful, a better economic contributor. From what I heard from the men, it’s a game of competition which never ends – there’s always the constant pressure to win the next round.
Nope, I don’t want to play in a man’s world.
I walked away from this event, and after a few days I had this realisations. As women we have a gift in this scenario. We can opt out. We can develop our sense of worth just because. For no reason whatsoever. Without engaging with the game. I am enough. I am more. I am worthy. Because I am. That’s it. No justification required. Actually it’s the only way.
(I also know that when you do feel intrinsic worth as a woman and as a human being, you can more easily develop the courage to fight for structural equality - like equal pay.)
And with that feeling I can do nothing all day and feel totally fine about it.
And when I do work, it’s because I want to serve, because I want to share. Not because I need to prove anything to anybody. And I’ll tell you something, life’s a lot better this way.
Anxious to Awesome mentoring program is for teenage girls who want to feel awesome about who they are and what they’re here to contribute to the world.
Click HERE for more info.
Or let your daughter know she can go to bookeo.com/jcinspireyouth to book a free 20 minute intro call. No obligation... a simple get to know you chat...