BECOMING AN AUTHENTIC WOMAN
By Karen Collins
I’ve always believed that other women are one of the most overlooked assets in a woman’s life. I’ll admit that we all have the “friend” that tells us we would look great in the bright yellow dinner sized daisy muumuu dress for the 25th class reunion; but for the most part I have found other women to be true, compassionate and caring friends that want nothing more than to see me succeed.
As long as I can remember, I’ve been thrust into a “mentoring” role. God only knows why. It’s certainly not because I’m the perfect role model, wise or even smart. I have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about it and the only conclusion I’ve been able to arrive at is, “I am the first one to confess my (many) ridiculous, crazy, impetuous and sometimes even hurtful escapades to just about anyone that will listen.” And I think that other women find it comforting to know that there is someone else out there who has the same feelings of fears, resentments and hurts.
My method of mentoring is a bit outside the realm of the commonly expected. I tend to lead by “don’t follow my example”. For instance:
- Do not try to keep your husband engaged in conversation by following him to his car, hopping on the hood, and shouting into the glass while the windshield wipers are on full speed.
- Don’t run away from home, walk around the block and then crawl back in through a window so your husband doesn’t know you’re back home, wait a few hours and then crawl out the window and come in the front door, simply because a conversation that you were finally able to engage him in happened to go your way.
While these two examples may appear humorous (they seemed anything but funny at the time), they do not represent a mature way to handle conflict in a marriage or any relationship for that matter.
I guess I can see why my style of leadership could give comfort to other women. I help them feel more “normal” and might even give them permission to laugh at themselves more often. For me, it helps keep some of the pressure off. I don’t feel the need to appear like a “gotta keep it all together kind of woman” all the time. It gives me permission to enjoy myself, faults and all. As women, it’s our responsibility to help one another accept ourselves just the way God planned for us to be…..”fearfully and wonderfully made”.
Karen Collins is a popular speaker, mentor, author and grief counselor originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.