I’ve been immersed in the study of shame. How it is created, how it lives in our bodies, and the power of leaning into it as I learn to ‘un-shame’ myself.
In this process, I decided to embrace the idea of being a difficult woman.
This is a new declaration for me, not something I would have easily claimed before now. In fact, I spent most of my life working hard not to be difficult.
When I adopted the title of professional midlife troublemaker it was the result of a conversation with a sister-friend. We were talking about the things we were shamed for as kids. For her, it was being bold. For me, it was making trouble. After that conversation, I decided to embrace my inner troublemaker. The part of me that truly wants to dance to my own rhythm without fear of what others think.
Becoming a wiser, freer, more empowered woman is a process. One that over time has taken me into this study of shame and how it plays in our lives. How insidious it is. It’s in the air we breathe and the water we drink. It’s literally in our DNA passed down from generation to generation.
I was led to believe that we need shame to keep us from running amok in our lives. I no longer subscribes to this idea. Shame serves no one, and I truly believe it’s the one single thing that keeps us living in cycles of people-pleasing, perfecting, and abandoning our own needs and desires. It underpins overwhelm, burnout, every drop of unworthiness we carry and all the ways we numb ourselves. It keeps us playing small and setting aside our dreams. Understanding this, for me, is the beginning of the end of shame.
What does being ‘difficult’ really mean? Difficult according to whom?
In my life, “Don’t be difficult” was often the message I got as a child either directly or indirectly. That little me wasn’t trying to be ‘difficult’. She had needs, desires, and preferences that didn’t match the expectations of the adults in her life, and she had big emotions they couldn’t manage. Not their fault. They carry the shame of their ancestors. But I’m still pissed off about it!! All that trying not to be difficult made life fucking difficult for me. Can you relate to this?
From here on out I am a difficult woman. A dangerous woman.
What does that mean?
A difficult woman knows herself, trusts herself, and cares for herself first and foremost. Her health, heart, and well-being come first. It’s the only way she – I – can serve and give from a place of fullness. If this seems like a distant pipe dream to you, I invite you to do your own investigation.
Does being a difficult woman have a negative connotation for you? You’re not alone. Why do you think that is? Where did that originate for you? What things were or have you been labeled difficult for? Were you really difficult or simply difficult for those around you to understand? What if reclaiming your difficult is the pathway to standing in your power? What then sweet friend?
I choose to be a difficult woman. I choose to strip away what doesn’t strength my spirit and step boldly into being fully myself without apology. A difficult woman is a dangerous woman to the status quo. And this, dear heart, makes her a powerful woman.
I starting a movement of difficult woman. I hope you will join me.
I’d love to know what it means to you to be a difficult woman.