Being a Mom is Not Your Only Option

(A white and privileged viewpoint)

I just wanted to be a voice to those today who haven’t considered options for their future other than parenthood. You may think “Well, that’s just what you do. You graduate from school, maybe go to college, get a fulltime job, get married and have kids, more or less in that order.” That doesn’t have to be the only way we go through life.

There are more than enough people on the planet at this point, and procreation just does not need to be a priority. In fact, some people have said that having one or fewer children is the only way to prevent catastrophic climate change (ie. air that is too toxic to breathe, heat that we can’t survive through, no plants in existence, no more humanity). This means one biological child at most, and adopt or foster the rest if you want more.

But beyond even that, there are many other pursuits in this life that are worthy ways of spending one’s limited time. Consider the life of Oprah Winfrey: she overcame so much and spends her life giving back to others and spreading wisdom and goodness in the world. She does not have living children. Diane Sawyer, Katharine Hepburn, Gloria Steinem, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, and many more also achieved so much, perhaps due to not having children. With more time and more money, and the potential for a lot more good sleep, and focus to develop your dreams and skills, what could you achieve in this world? Look to history, to inventors, innovators, writers, explorers, anyone who inspires you!

And really ask yourself, ‘what is it that I’m good at in this life?’ Are you good at activism for human rights or the environment? Making uplifting music? Helping people with their problems? Doing research and figuring out new ways to heal people? There are a million different things you can do, and bring your own experiences and thoughts and motivations to. I want to invite you to comment: what life pursuits interest you OTHER THAN parenthood?

There will be future posts about parenting, for sure, mothers in particular, and all the sacredness wrapped up in that. But for now, think about this: what are you really good at, or interested in? What do you want to do with the limited time you have? What do you want to change about the world, while you’re here?

I’m feeling good about expanding our horizons.

Dispelling Self-Doubt, Disrupting the myth of ‘other’

I’d like for you to watch this Tara Brach talk:

Healing Self-Doubt

What I take from her talk at this moment is that we have find a new way to think, to heal from thinking of men and people who disagree with us as being ‘other’. Because, they are human. When we can all hear each other, we can bring peace into situations. Relentless effort, unfathomable peace. It takes commitment to bring about peace and it takes acknowledging humanity in everyone.

Fear engenders only fear. And the extreme manifestation of fear is hate. We are more powerful than that today, and more humble. It is a sad conceit to believe that one is truly better than others. I intend to be humble today, and stronger because of it. I challenge you to put away your anger, fear, or whatever is tying you to the belief of there being ‘others’ today. We are all human, at our deepest levels.

Look into each other’s eyes. Drop the walls in your heart. Walls there only make us more vulnerable anyway, and we are as a movement committed to showing we are strong.

Please listen to the talk at the link I posted. It will begin to heal you if you let it. It’s helping me.

10 Months

It’s been 10 months since I last published a post on this blog. I’d considered closing it down, removing it from the internet. Not for any particular reason other than that maybe my fire had gone out. Understand, I was really quite happy (and am still, in other areas of my life). I’ve been really busy in a good way. And I felt less need to make change. But I kept this blog, live and on the internet.

There are so many things that I’ve written for it that I value. And of course I continue to believe in the worth of women. Yet I had stopped believing for awhile that continuing to strive for change was necessary. Things seemed so good!

With the recent election came a wake up call. Are some people so desperate that a woman wouldn’t run the US that they elected someone with no political experience and plenty of major flaws? Or maybe that has nothing to do with it. I’ve been busy doing other things important to me but some of those will take a temporary sideline so I can do some work for change. Writing doesn’t always feel* like the most practical work, however if it gives good people hope then it finds its value there.

I’ll write again.

 

*feelings are not facts!

Maybe it Could be Ok…

…to share your story.

I’m reading a book by Brené Brown, called ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’. The author’s work was recommended to me by two guiding women in my life, who have made a profound impact on the way I see the world. The one who first told me of Brené Brown gave me hope that through my active participation I can heal my body, that I can live the life I imagine and not be held back by health concerns. The one who loaned me her copy of this book has led me by example since I was a small child, showing me that it’s ok to live joyfully and authentically and accept being as imperfect as humans can’t help being. It’s ok to play it by ear, measure once and cut twice, and -not only ok but vital- to love yourself through it all. This book deals with those same topics, and is exactly what I need to hear.

If we want to live and love with our whole hearts, and if we want to engage with the world from a place of worthiness, we have to talk about the things that get in the way– especially shame, fear, and vulnerability.

~Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Brené mentions shame, that shame does not ‘like’ to be talked about, that when it has the chance to isolate us, it gains control over our lives. We all have shame. I know I do. We’re all afraid to talk about shame- interestingly enough, my friend mentioned this topic comes up a lot in her activist work with people whose homes have been foreclosed on. Talking about shame is the method that makes it go away.

What do you have shame about? I would like to invite you to send me an anonymous email with your story. If you would like your story shared as a post on this blog (I will do so at my discretion), please write at the top of the email or in the subject line of the email: “Share my Story on FGAF.” Send stories to feelinggoodfeminism@gmail.com

No matter what your story is about, there is no topic too big, nor too small. If someone else shares your topic, still write your story and share it. It is important. You may help someone else, and most importantly, you will help yourself.

I’m feeling good about wrapping up my shame in a cozy blanket of self-acceptance.