As I sit here in pain, unable to participate in the activities I’d planned, I had an epiphany. The shame and guilt I feel are ridiculous. Those feelings cropped up because I started comparing my life to my friends’ lives. Somehow sitting on the couch was making me falling behind as if we were all in some competition.
I also started thinking about other friends who pushed themselves until they ended up in the hospital. They too have chronic medical conditions. They too have Superwoman Syndrome.
What is Superwoman Syndrome?
It is the belief that we as women have to do it all. If we don’t do it, fix it or handle it then the world as we know it will cease to exist. I’m using dramatic language, but this condition requires it. Ask for help? No, that’s a sign of weakness. Superwoman doesn’t ask for help!!
Times have changed
When I was younger, the women in my community helped each other. The kids would congregate at a different house on the weekends. In retrospect, it was probably to give each other a break. They planned events together. They carpooled all the time. There was always some sort of interaction between them. Positive interaction.
This sense of community is needed now more than ever. The information age has brought with it a need to be everywhere and everything to everyone. However, we can take control of our lives. What are some of the ways we can learn to lean on each other?
Self-care is self-love. You have to take care of yourself first. If you aren’t 100%, then you can’t truly give to others. Find time to recharge doing the things you love whether it is reading, taking a walk, exercise, etc. You may find that the first step is to rediscover your passions.
Respect one another. Honor each other as women. This is our common ground. From there, get to know each other. Listen and share your stories. Our lifestyles may be different, but at the end of the day we all want to be understood.
Resolve conflicts. You want to be considered mature and wise? Learn how to resolve conflicts in a productive manner. It is important to understand different perspectives. The result may be that you agree to disagree, but this is possible without harboring resentment and bitterness.
Look for ways to serve others. A small gesture can go a long way. Maybe you notice someone appears weary. Make an extra portion of dinner and deliver it to them. You could send them flowers or a hand written note. Most times, we just need an empathetic ear and someone to reassure us that it’s going to be alright.
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Share other ways that we can build a stronger community or how you have achieved this yourselves.