Why Do We Women Feel The Need To Save The World?
Can we have a conversation about why women seem to feel the need to save the whole damn world?
Something I am noticing more and more is that we feel compelled to successfully fill the roles of good friend, good parent, good wife/girlfriend/lover, good businesswoman, creative person, philanthropist, do-gooder, volunteer, veg-grower, fitness-freak, and good cook — to fill them all, all the time, and do a good job of it too!
You might be a wonderful mother studying your ass off and working two part-time jobs, but you feel guilty or like a lesser woman because you haven’t successfully started implementing that business idea you’ve been thinking about for the last two years.
Or you’re happily married, you have enough money between the two of you to survive without really struggling, you make tasty cakes for your friends and family, and love to try new fun recipes, but feel like somehow you should be doing more.
Or you’re single, you have a good job, three happy dog-children and have struggled and beaten anorexia, yet now you feel you should be doing something to support others dealing with the same issue and raise awareness.
I swear, if a day goes by where I haven’t done something for someone else, I feel like I have wasted the day.
If I haven’t studied to become an even better therapist, or worked on an e-course I am designing, or baked something for a neighbor, or sent a supportive email to an ill friend… if I haven’t worked on my self-help book or published another blog, I feel useless, unworthy, and just all round a bit shitty.
And don’t get me wrong, these are all things I am hugely passionate about, there’s nothing I would rather do than spend my life helping people find joy and power in themselves and their bodies, and I will be the first person to sing the song of being gentle with yourself and getting into practicing self-care.
There is no need to beat ourselves up for not being able to do everything at once, and whenever possible I work on being compassionate with myself when those feelings do arise within me.
But I know we all have this unspoken feeling, this Am I enough… have I done enough… am I worth enough… have I contributed enough? going on and on in our heads when we do something that is just for us.
Frankly, I’m gonna have to say a big fat Fuck that!
Why do we feel like our worth is based on contributing to other people’s happiness?
Why should our lives revolve entirely around our spouses, our kids, our friends or our world-changing, earth-shattering business ideas?
What is it that I have quietly learned in my 21 years as a female on this planet that has taught me to feel that if I spend my Sunday baking brownies to devour all by myself, lounging pants-less with hairy legs reading a book or watching 15 episodes of Family Guy, or napping or dancing or surfing the web or bloody masturbating, that I have wasted a day being unproductive?
I call bullshit!
If I want to spend an hour drinking tea in the garden, pondering whether to buy some pretty lingerie for when the man comes home or to get the super cool leggings I saw up for sale on Boohoo.com instead, I do not need to feel guilty because I didn’t choose to spend it contemplating how I can better help other people with my therapy work, and what the quickest and most efficient way to get my therapy studio up and running to have clients will be.
Why do I consider it me time thinking about my business, or sending emails, or sanding bits of furniture to repaint, and consider it wasting time doing things that are fun, seemingly pointless, but that give me joy and a few hours downtime?
I can speak only for myself, but it is concerning to realize that I feel unable to go a day without doing something of service.
The real truth of it is, it is actually okay to be doing something for yourself and no one else.
It is okay to quit a job because doing it is making your heart unhappy, and not because you feel like you should be spending more time with the kids or because another job pays better.
It is okay to not take a guy’s phone number because you don’t want to, without feeling the need to pretend you already belong to someone else.
It’s okay to go on a spa day with friends before you have a mental breakdown and need to recharge your mind so you can continue being useful to other people.
It is okay to decide you’re happy just baking for yourself and your family in your little kitchen with minimal equipment, and develop a little muffin-top that your lover secretly adores because you always lick the bowl out afterwards.
And it is okay for me to spend a weekend watching films, sewing cat-toys for the kitty-babies, and not wearing pants.
I’m done with this idea that my worth is based on the volume of my contribution to society.
Contributing is wonderful, it makes us feel good, and it makes others feeling appreciated, and everyone should be involved in making the world a better place for future generations and for the future of our planet.
However, in the end, my life will be as valuable as I make it, and if I can spend as much of it in a state of blissful happiness as I possibly can, then that’s fab.
It’s not my job or your job to save the world and be superwoman/wife/mum/whatever all the time.
Actually my only job is to be happy.
Your only job is to be happy.
The only thing you will really look at when you are old and grey and your life is almost done is how many joyful moments you experienced with the people who made your heart shine bright out of your chest just by existing.
The world doesn’t stop turning just because you decide to do something for yourself without feeling guilty for once in your life!
Esther De La Ford is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Life Coach and Doula, and qualified at practitioner level in Stress Resilience training, Reiki and Seichem, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). She uses these tools, and others she has gathered along the way, to create writing that introduces the idea that every woman has all the tools they need to begin their healing work already within themselves. Her deepest wish is for every woman to have the strength to step back into their power, to re-learn how to trust in their bodies and the deep-knowing we call intuition, and to know the full extent of everything they deserve and everything they can be. Her core philosophy, and what fuels her writing and her work, is that a woman empowered has the ability to empower others and so a woman standing in her power has the power to change the world. You could contact Esther via Facebook or Instagram.