Sunday, February 20, 2011

In the Spirit of Independence

While the idea of an independent woman gives cause for celebration on many levels, the resulting loses have left some, if not all women somewhat bitter and cynical or both. Consequently, confused, frustrated men and misguided, angry women are struggling with minimal success to understand the other.

When reduced to our most primal denominator, we are faced with the idea that our biology has yet to catch up with the evolution of our modern-day social order. However, in the true spirit of human ingenuity, we find new and improved ways to adjust. We are the fittest…and we are surviving. But there is a difference between surviving and living.

Women, despite significant advances, still face daunting challenges. We can do anything a man can do. Should that have been the goal? The independence that has given women equity with men has rewarded women with financial gain and a measure of security, seasoned with the exhaustion of having to now perform all of new found responsibilities along with the former. We are earning and burning the bacon.
Independence consents to the surprise of having a door held open. It makes us hear an order when a suggestion rooted in care and concern is offered. It is the first to make demands and the last to say “I love you”. The business of independence has in many ways compromised our capacity to experience or even appreciate the romance we desire. Whether you want to admit or not, women are waiting for Prince Charming. Our experiences with a few bad men have so validated our skepticism that we are unable to recognize the “good man” when he appears.

Our self-inflicted autonomy requires us to question or deny his existence; or turn up our nose at him when he doesn’t fit the image that is but a figment of our imagination. It is unlikely that he will ride in on the white horse. He may not be at all what you imagined at all.  Be warned! The “man of your imagination” may not be the man of your heart’s desire. It is important to know and embrace the difference.

The gender codes of conduct that are dictated and disseminated by the media further exhaust and highlight the hypocrisy of our expectations. Depending upon the book, magazine or television program that has your attention at any given moment, the “good man” either does or does not exist. So, which one is it? I believe he exists. And you should, too.

Anyone who knows me can attest that I try very hard not to hold any man in a disparaging light, not even the ones who have angered me, disappointed me or even broken my heart. There are redeeming qualities in everybody. For instance, my ex-husband started off as a great husband…and he still is…to his new wife!

Looking at the past with a view that finds its light in bitterness and disappointment is counter-productive and brings more of the same. Besides, at some point in time you thought it was a good idea for you to be with that former love. We make individual contributions to the death or survival of our relationships…the demise of a relationship cannot be entirely the other person’s fault. A positive perspective of the past is certain to open the door to a future where affection, concern, romance and even love can reside.

Each day I am more aware the influence of my independent spirit; that a certain degree of surrender is required for me to make room for what the years of solidarity cannot fathom. I relinquish a little of my legacy of independence daily. My heart is creating ample space for love. I am no longer afraid. And I will not be left bare.

Living and loving,