I was in the car yesterday and was listening to a song from my youth. I wasn’t like a huge Silverchair (ca. 1997) fan or anything. But, a boy I was obsessed with in high school liked them. So, my 17-year-old lovesick self, deliberately listened to a few Silverchair songs, and after all of these years, I actually still kinda like one of them. And hearing this song yesterday in the car got me thinking about the way I behaved when I was younger. I had a strong personality always, but so very often muffled myself in order to be liked and accepted. And I began wondering if there are other females like me who have strong personalities and have experienced being shamed for it.
As a young person, when we’re shamed for something fundamental about ourselves, we can instantly form patterns of protection. For me, I learned lots of different ways to try to “not be me.” And I honestly carried that with me into my adult life, for years and years. I still struggle with it at times. And I wonder if you might as well. So, with both you and me in mind, I will write below, a love letter to all females with a strong personality. Because, I feel you…
A TEENAGER WITH A STRONG PERSONALITY
Since I love anecdotes, especially teenage angst ones, let me first expand upon this boy for a moment.
He was nothing special, actually, and was kinda chubby and short. Still, he had a rather quiet and mysterious personality, which I liked, as well as every pretty eyes. Most people could not believe that I liked him. Because the overall consensus was that I could do WAY better. But, the heart wants what it wants! So, when this boy finally asked me out, I was living in a dream world of both fantasy and terror. You see, I loved boys. But I was also petrified of them, and so insecure. And back then, when I got nervous, I babbled a lot. And when I babbled, I was rarely able to hide my strong personality.
I suppose, he couldn’t really stand that. I also didn’t put out (sexually) at all, because that also terrified me.
Anyway, on one of our dates, this boy had actually invited me to prom. And I was so excited not to be dateless for this event! However, a week later, he told me he would call me this one Friday night, and then we could possibly hang out. And on that Friday night, I waited, and waited, and waited. Until finally, my father came home from work to find me sobbing on the living room floor. And after seeing me in such pain, he told me definitively, you are not going to prom with him!
The song boy never did follow up with me about prom, or speak to me again, even though we actually sat right next to each other in English class. But it worked out so perfectly. Because I ended up going to prom with my good friend at the time and we had the loveliest evening imaginable. Looking back, I know my strong personality was a bit much for song boy. But part of me also knows that he, like many young men, just wanted a pretty girl who didn’t talk a whole lot.
BALANCING A STRONG PERSONALITY
It’s tricky because I do think part of growing up and maturing, is learning balance in all things. And I know that I really was too intense at times in my youth. I would verbally barf on really anyone around me. And it became obvious to me that guys really HATED that (and still do).
So for me, I did my best to become super silent (this was never possible, really). I was also really quite traumatized from being bullied in my earlier years. So, between my trauma and shame, I managed to zip up. In high school, ask anyone what I was like and they will tell you I was quiet and distant. This is so the opposite of who I am. But after such humiliation, and knowing my personality was “too much” for most, I didn’t know what to do. So, I just tried to drown myself into silence.
EVERY WOMAN HAS A STRONG PERSONALITY
I almost wanted to title this article something like, “A LETTER TO ALL FEMALES WITH A
STRONG NORMAL PERSONALITY.” But this didn’t quite make sense in the long run. But you get the idea, right? I mean, if we compare ourselves to men, they are REVERED for their strength. Females are shamed, beaten, raped, and even killed because of their power. I know it doesn’t seem like a direct correlation, a woman opening her mouth to speak her mind and getting raped for it. But rape culture is about one thing and one thing only. It’s about power. And men who silence, beat, and rape, get off on disempowering others.
I love Samsara Shoppe and I think she breaks this all down so brilliantly.
So, now that I’m done reminiscing, I am now proceeding with my love letter to strong (all) females. If you’re ever feeling blue, or powerless, or sad, or insecure, or scared, just whip this baby out and have a read. I hope she makes you feel so amazing about yourself! And so okay with being the loud, emotional, talkative, strong-willed, opinionated goddess that you are.
DEAR STRONG FEMALE,
How are you today? Have you compromised yourself in any way? Was there a moment when you felt the need to express yourself, but then didn’t? Ugh, I bet that felt terrible. And I’m sorry you felt the need to suppress yourself, even just for a moment. You should never be made to feel that way.
Or, maybe you didn’t suppress today. But maybe you “went too far,” and now feel ashamed. Don’t worry about it, darling. You have lots on your plate right now. And it was beyond time that you finally said something. If those words came out of his mouth, he’d be sexy, or powerful, or confident. But because you have a V, you feel ashamed. Or, you were shamed for it by someone else. However, on the contrary, you are a goddess.
Deep down, and sometimes even on the surface, you know how amazing you are. You must know. But when was the last time you were celebrated for screaming your feelings? Or standing up for yourself? Yes, maybe you gave yourself a pat on the back for that. But did anyone else care, or feel happy for you? Or, did you have to apologize and essentially take it all back? Did you drown in the shame of it all and forget how brilliant you were in that moment? I bet you were amazing. I bet they were terrified for a sec. But it’s okay. You’re not a monster. You are just a woman with feelings and thoughts and passion. And you have a right to radiate your light with intensity and power!
Remember when you were young, and you were SO not self-conscious? I hope you can find a moment of that for yourself each day. I hope you know that when you express your strength, and others get that look of terror in their eyes, it’s not because you suck. It’s just because it’s been so long since they’ve seen such courage and fire. Keep doing it anyway. They will adjust and learn that you are not someone to fear. Instead, you are simply full of love and beauty. You are a goddess with power, and you are divine.
WITH SO MUCH LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE,
THANK YOU FOR READING!
So, what did you think of my love letter? Did it make you feel good and/or better about yourself? Honestly, when I read it to myself, it seriously makes me feel amazing. And melts my heart, opens me, and allows my guard to come down, actually. It also felt really good to write. Allowing that unconditional love and compassion to just flow. I hope you enjoyed and so much love and big hugs to you all! xo
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Featured photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash
Frog photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash
GRL PWR photo by Kiana Bosman on Unsplash