4 Lies Every Woman Tells Herself and the World
4 Lies Every Woman Tells Herself and The World
I’ve been living a lie and it’s time that I confess. As a certified workaholic, I had no idea how much I was missing by not truly taking time to enjoy the simplest moments of life. The past few months have taught me the importance of recognizing the lies that we all live as we pretend to be happy, in love and successful.
During childhood, we were taught to believe that we had to fall in love. We were convinced that if we didn’t find Prince Charming, inevitably,we were flawed. Well that was a lie.
Lie #1: We are broken if we can’t find love.
There is a new breed of women who are making what society has labeled as “spinsterhood” look so good. Powerhouses like Oprah, Shonda Rhimes, Diane Keaton and Tyra Banks to name a few have changed the way that we define being single. I was raised in a single parent home and saw a single grandmother who was successful in all of her endeavors. I had an extremely relaxed standard as to my need for marriage. And even though these ladies have changed the way that we perceive being single, does that mean that we should throw love away all together?
One of my personal friends Koereyelle Dubose founded an organization called The Single Wives Club with a mission to empower women to become the best versions of themselves before becoming wives. I also wrote about Koereyelle’s story in my book A Heroine in Heels because I have watched her grow notoriety, membership and programming of The Single Wives Club to include so much of what women need, including financial literacy, physical fitness and even mentorship. I support this organization and am a member of The Wives Society because we share values in our quest to help women be the best versions of themselves and find love. The Single Wives Club’s programming is not only heavily focused on finding love but more importantly being ready as an individual when you do find it.
Furthermore, it is my belief that we deserve love if we have love to give in return.
Lie #2: We don’t need love.
As a child, my examples of women were those who were hardworking, strong beyond belief, successful, those who paid their bills on time and needed a man for very little other than to fix things like cars, garage doors and pipes. I hadn’t seen love and I didn’t recognize it. I speak in detail about this in my book A Heroine in Heels because I almost cut myself off from true happiness. I just didn’t know that love was for me. I was independent and I still am but I can say with certainty that I have been able to achieve new heights within myself and my professional life because I met love. It lives deep inside of me and allows me to give it so freely to others. Finding love replenished love within that I didn’t even know that I possessed. I am a better wife, mother, daughter and friend because I can call love by name.
With every passing day, the world is teaching us that we don’t need love. With an alarming divorce rate and several phenomenal depictions in media of women who are single and not necessarily looking for love, we are made to believe that we don’t need it. I even have friends that will tell a guy on the first date that they aren’t looking for anything serious. And while I completely get it, I know that no matter how we choose to lock up that space in our hearts, the key still dangles aimlessly and the lock still waits to be opened. Not only do we need love but we deserve it.
I’m not saying that we can’t find true happiness without love but I am screaming from the rooftops that we mustn’t forget that we deserve love. There, I said it, we deserve love.
Lie #3: The indicator of success is money.
Lord, I am still a piece of work in this department. As an independent woman, money was the only derivative of success that I knew. It can be measured, it can be recycled and it is downright empowering to be financially free. Who wants to be broke? Don’t all raise your hands at once now. In the midst of my search for money, I discovered legacy.
Together, my husband a n d I are digging with every ounce within to create legacy. When I moved to Chicago, my pace slowed. All of my daily meetings and invitations to events went from a high speed chase to driving Miss Daisy. I knew no one in my new hometown and was thrust into the land of the unknown.
Honey, I wasn’t sure if I was happy or depressed. But what I learned was how to be more strategic with my time and to truly embody the notion of working smarter not harder.
My biggest revelation came when I looked at my husband and children. They adjusted with ease, spoke with detail about achieving success in any setting and made new friends and acquaintances swiftly. My children immediately excelled in school and my husband immediately excelled in his job.
I realized that they were well adjusted because of the legacy that we were working to build. They were well adjusted because of the foundation that we were creating together for our family. This was success.
The difference for me was that instead of attending events every weekend and having my phone as an immediate extension of my arm, I began to find solace in balance.
For the first time in a long time, I actually heard what my family was saying because I was available. Their success means that I’m successful. Their success means that we are creating a legacy and legacy builds financial success for generations to come.
I could write a whole book here but I won’t. You know I have one coming;)
Lie #4: You can have it all.
You can have plenty but how do we define “all”? No one said it better than Shonda Rhimes when she delivered an epic commencement speech at Dartmouth.
“That there is no such thing as having it all.”
“If I am killing it on a Scandal script at work, I am probably missing bath and story time at home,” Rhimes recalled. “If I am at home sewing my kids’ Halloween costumes, I’m probably blowing off a rewrite I was supposed to turn in. If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing baby’s first swim lesson.” The result, she said, was “you are always a little nauseous.”
What I know for certain is that when you excel in one area, you sacrifice failure in another. In my life, if I’m at a photo shoot chances are I’m missing a weekend with my children. If I am writing scripts for a okay, chances are my mind is wandering in the land of the creative and I am not emotionally available even if I physically appear to be.
I used to feel so guilty every time I wasn’t available for my husband and children because I was in pursuit of my dreams. I don’t anymore because I recognize the importance of them seeing me do so and the importance of fulfilling my purpose which makes me a happy wife and a happy mother.
In the same token, I don’t feel guilty because I have discovered balance to the best of my ability. I am not at every social event possible because I am fully engaged with my family and that is the reason that I walked away from my job as an Assistant Principal years ago.
At the end of the day, we live, love and believe lies to pacify ourselves and the societal imposed standards of who we are and should be. But as they say, the truth shall set you free.
We deserve love, we deserve success and we deserve happiness; but on our own terms and through our own eyes. We can’t allow the world to be the measuring stick of our success or self-worth.
When we allow the world to calculate our value, we will always be shortchanged.
So let’s change the world, let’s fall in love (when we find Prince Charming), and let’s leave a legacy. In the words of Jada Pinkett Smith. We girls hold up this world. All my love. ❤️
Ardre Orie, Author|Film Director| Advocate