I attended a girlfriend’s divorce party some time ago and it started me thinking about the character of the fine females I’ve chosen to surround myself with. Regardless their relationship status, there are a few things I’ve noticed about the way these women think and behave that commands respect.
- They forgive. The women I know have forgiven a multitude of sins on the part of their spouses, whether they chose to stay married to them or not. By forgive, I don’t mean forget – that is not humanly possible – but they choose to leave behind the hurt caused to them and move forward with their lives.
- They sacrifice. These women often don’t think twice about sacrificing their career aspirations in order to meet their children’s social and emotional needs. Reducing their hours of work, leaving their jobs, negotiating greater flexibility with their bosses, and delaying plans for advancement are commonplace amongst the working women I know. None of them measure their worth by the size of their paycheque.
- They are courageous. Most divorced women I know either left their partners, or refused to take them back. Doing this, especially if they’ve sacrificed their career to support those of their partners, takes tremendous courage. Those who remain married display courage in their staying power. Many more have chosen a single life, courageously facing the future without a partner to lean on emotionally or financially.
- They have the capacity to internalize their children’s emotional suffering. The women I know overwhelmingly bear the burden of healing the hurts their children experience. They take them to support programs and counselling and seek ways to connect them to sources of healing. They feel their childrens’ suffering and choose to do something about it.
- They take responsibility for their own wellbeing. These strong women recognize the need for healing in themselves and commit their time, energy and money to actively do the work necessary to grow and become better versions of themselves.
- They are humble. I don’t know any women who have recognition, thanks or respect as a prerequisite for any of the previously mentioned actions. They often persevere in the face of criticism, opposition or simple lack of participation on the part of others in their lives.
- They are communal. They constantly and consistently support each other through all kinds of circumstances. They choose not to suffer alone and they surround themselves with people who remind them of our resilience.
- They triumph. Together, we seek joy amidst chaos and celebrate our successes.
If you live by these principles, I applaud you, whether you are single, divorced or partnered. You are a powerful woman.