The Ripple Effect

October 26, 2016

Watercolor painting of a woman struggling to stay afloat.

Overwhelmed, judged and isolated - Why must those words sound so familiar to women of this day and age? We have come to accept these feelings as the norm when it has only been so these last few decades, the embrace of unhealthy badges of "strength". Our every day lives are measured and weighed not only by ourselves, but those around us who have no right to do so yet we put it right in their lap. This world we live in revolves around status built by our image rather than our worth. On how well we are selling our worth solely based on the perceived online level of perfection we are manufacturing via social media. Leading to depression, loneliness and feeling misunderstood, one by one it turns us from once supportive women into a sea of judgmental, self critical and vulnerable humans all trying to prove our worth in harmful ways. Whether tearing each other down or striving for that unrealistic perfection we are all found guilty of losing our way. Modern society is reprogramming our concept of motherhood and womanhood, but these newly minted connections are burning out faster and more furious than ever. They were never meant to exist for each one fused we lose another for human connection by trading it in for "social connection." We are left feeling empty and undeserving, the feeling of invalidation makes us shout that much louder to be heard but our voices are lost among our peers because we cannot unite on anything. And the things we choose to be divided on are the silliest of things because they only matter to our own individual lives yet we take ownership of other's decisions. Breastfeeding or formula, co-sleeping or not, career or motherhood, these are all INDIVIDUAL choices we somehow believe we have earned the right to decide or judge our peers for, yet our heart aches when it is done to us. United on nothing, divided on everything we shall fall. A computer keyboard does not make you right, does not make you indestructible but it does have the power to heal with kindness, as opposed to judgmental criticism. Before you say, "That is not me, I have never done that," be honest with yourself. If it is something you cannot say to someone's face should it be said hiding behind a monitor? And if you can say it, is it helpful or hurtful and is it even your business? When you complain about the inequality of women's rights do you yourself, have a hand in the destruction of our strength? Never have we had more power in our reach to gather as one and build each other up yet it is seeing our differences as a weakness that will be our undoing. Our differences is what makes us great, our ability to make our own choices and choose to support another's is a strength not an opportunity for criticism. Every choice, word and comment you make has a ripple effect and before you make them ask yourself, " Am I making a WAVE that will inspire another or one that will drown and suffocate." In a world where we are struggling to stay afloat why not help each other swim?

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