A woman can be your best friend…
For years I surrounded myself with like-minded women. I felt like a woman of beauty, stature, and influence among them. I walked with my head held high. I was confident in who I was, my abilities, and my position within my circle.
I did my best to support the other women in my circle but I was opinionated and bold. I considered myself above-average intelligence, so I shared my knowledge freely and openly, never realizing the damage that was being done in my wake. As a woman, I thought it was my duty to right the wrongs done in the world. To stand up against those things that were “wrong” and to make them “right.” To open others’ eyes to the right way of thinking and to save them from the error of their ways. I was everyone’s best friend (if you can’t sense the sarcasm in that statement, we really have to talk). In essence, I was one of those “mean moms.”
In hindsight, I can see just how silly and addle-brained my thinking was. How judgmental, arrogant, and rude! Unfortunately, hindsight does tend to be 20/20 and what I couldn’t see came back to bite me on the behind quite ferociously.
Or she can be your worst enemy.
At some point these “friends” grew weary of my judgmental attitude, my haughtiness, my arrogance. At some point, they began to talk…but not to me. Oh no! They began to converse with each other…about me. The entire time I was woefully unaware. Lost in my world of ignorant bliss, I was unaware of the hurricane that was brewing.
Then the storm was upon me. The same judgmental, arrogant attitude I had unleashed on them for years rained down on me. In the same way I threw knowledge at them and issued corrections like it was my duty to change their beliefs and thinking, they did to me.
You see, I was tasting my own medicine and it was bitter.
It took me forever to realize what I had done to cause such a torrent of hate and venom to spew forth from these women I had called friends just a few months prior. You see, when the shoe is reversed we don’t always see what we’ve done right away. But once I realized, my world changed forever.
Storms change the landscape
We live in Florida. We routinely get major storms that come through. Sometimes really big ones. Those storms change the landscape around them….sometimes to the point that the land will never be the same again. And just like a storm, when I experienced the same judgment I had dished out to so many other women, I was changed.
Experiencing that judgment firsthand made me vividly aware of how much impact my words can have on an individual. It opened my eyes to how much, as a woman, I look for validation from other women around me. It made me realize how vitally important it is to accept every single person exactly where they are, allow them to believe what they will, and to live the life that they feel is best for them. It is not my job, my place, or my duty to put my beliefs on anyone else. My job is simply to love and support someone right where they are…wherever that may be.
Because of that experience…because of the change on my soul…because I felt what it felt like to be judged as a woman…I am a better doula.