By: Beatriz Craven, Guest Blogger
Being good is a great way to be. Especially for a woman. The good girl is immune to getting into any kind of real trouble. It's hard to get mad at her for anything besides being too sweet. The good girl is safe. She is protected from ugly labels. She will never be misperceived as a b-word when she speaks her mind. She is never judged as defensive when sharing her genuine stance. She gets along with everyone. But there is a price she pays for silent kindness. Without asserting more of her voice she may not get her needs met. As far as employment is concerned, she may not get paid as much as her more outspoken counterparts. She may get stepped on or over. She may not be taken as seriously.
I think about feminism and the way that can be translated in our wonderfully progressive country. As a woman with a nice girl track record, I think about what I want MY strong, assertive voice to sound like. I feel compelled to take kindness back in a more empowered way. Speaking my own truth in kindness and respect feels good to me. This also isn't easy all the time. I don't like feeling as though I'm still not being “tough” enough for other people's liking. I don't like being told I'm too gentle with others and need to be more of anything I'm not. I just want to do “Me” and the Me that I know believes in the incredible power of human kindness and compassion and is completely unapologetic about that. I also believe that kindness can speak its truth. I think kindness can establish healthy boundaries when walking in unkind territory. I think that kindness can say what it feels and what it doesn't agree with. I think it can say whatever it wants. That feels good to me.
Whatever your best “you” looks like is the “you” you're supposed to be. This ideal is not perfect. It's not void of making mistakes. But it's authentic. It's real and it's yours. If you feel you are holding yourself back I promise you the world needs your realness. The next time you feel yourself hesitate I invite you to take a step forward. Silence and stunted lives don't flourish. They perish. They suffer. They don't grow. It's in our silence behind our outward persona that depression and anxiety begins to breed. Our self-doubt builds in this space and our self-esteem suffers with it. Do yourself a favor. Do the world a favor. Step into who you were meant to be and then do it again and again and again.
Beatriz completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology. She works with college students at Sam Houston State University and finds incredible meaning in her work as a therapist. She is an avid life enthusiast, loving wife, and movie fanatic.
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