One Flaw in Women by Marcia Barhydt

Before you read this month’s Women of a Certain Age column, please go to http://www.TheOneFlawInWomen.com and watch the short video. It’s lovely, inspiring and you’ll be glad you did.

This video is noteworthy on two levels I think. It’s a great list of 21 things women are capable and proficient at and it finishes with the oh-so-true point that we don’t value ourselves enough.

Sigh. Why are we still doing this?

When I think of all the things in that wonderful list that we really excel at, that we often do as second nature, that we always do in a giving nature, I’m quieted by the strength, courage, sensitivity, love and tenderness that we possess as women. We have tenacity to ensure that what needs doing gets done. We’re resourceful in finding innovative ways to achieve whatever goal needs achieving. We’re courageous in our battles at all levels. And we’re the very best support system to everyone in our lives.

So then, how can it be that we either forget our own value or, at the very least, overlook it so often, so constantly?

As a woman of a certain age, ahem, I had my formative years in the 1950s and I was taught by my mother, at least by example, to put myself last. In pretty much everything. Even as I embraced the Feminist Movement in the 70s, I still carried my 50s core values right below the surface of my new-found independence and empowerment. Sure, be powerful now, but look after everyone else first.

Even if I look to my daughters (and your daughters too I bet), I see much of the same frame of mind. OK, maybe they’re better than we are about valuing themselves, but I still see a huge amount of selflessness in my grown daughters. Will their daughters be better at valuing themselves? Will my daughters be able to give them that gift?

Not valuing ourselves is a negative mindset and its pervasiveness needs to be minimized if not erased from our outlook, from our attitude. What if we spun that into a positive frame of mind by making a list of all that we’re personally good at, of all our attributes, of all our pluses? Wouldn’t that be a good start?

Don’t we need to broaden our scope to include ourselves in all the wonderful things we give to others? Don’t we need to be kind to ourselves at least as often as we are to others? Don’t we need to prioritize ourselves as highly as we do others?

Don’t we need to start embracing our own merits, our own capabilities, our own strengths as well as our softness, our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities?

I am a woman of a certain age…and I’m certain of my value.

© Marcia Barhydt 2010