If you’re a woman like me, there’s a big chance you’re playing one of these two cards right now:
THE STRONG WOMAN CARD
With this card no one is gonna mess with you, especially bros, otherwise known as dudes.
This is where you’ve consciously or unconsciously built up a wall so high and so thick no one ever gets to know the real you, because you don’t really trust anyone any more, including your own self.
You think men as assholes, women are bitches, and life is hard, so you have to be strong. And you sure are giving it your best shot.
It shows too. The expression on your face, your body language, the quality of your thoughts, everything you do, every conversation, every interaction and reaction… we get it, you’re a tough cookie. Or, are you?
THE VICTIM CARD
No one understands you or cares about you. The whole world is against you. Nobody likes you. Nothing ever goes your way. Life is an uphill struggle. Nothing is ever gonna get better. Drama follows you everywhere.
I didn’t even have to take a breath to write this, I know this game so well.
I was raised by a woman who plays the victim card exquisitely, and a man who plays the strong card like no other.
Shuffle the deck well, pick any one card, and what do you get?
Yours truly. A woman who for years played the infamous “strong/victim” game.
And you know who else is in the game?
Every woman and man in the world whose story left emotionally disabled. Everyone who doesn’t think much of themselves. Everyone who is ashamed to show who they really are for fear of not being accepted.
Sadly, I would go as far as to say this is the most played game in the world.
But as Brené Brown says:
In order for real human connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.
And this means stripping down and showing our true self. It means standing in our power and showing our vulnerability.
In order to do this, we must stop being who we think we should be, and start being who we are.
We must allow ourselves to think what we think, feel what we feel, and do what we do.
It’s about allowing ourselves to think positively thoughts, negative thoughts, empowering thoughts, ridiculous thoughts, inspiring thoughts, sad thoughts…
Allowing ourselves to feel sadness, anger, embarrassment, shyness, love, happiness, exhilaration, boredom.
Allowing ourselves to do, not knowing what the outcome will be; to take risks, to do something bold, to invest in people not knowing if they are going to reciprocate, to say I Love You first not knowing if you are going to hear it back.
It’s about not hiding who we are any more; not suppressing or numbing our feelings, not trying to know everything, control everything, make everything perfect all the time.
To allow ourselves to be vulnerable is to allow ourselves to experience everything life has to offer.
The good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the straight stretches of road and the close bends, the esplanades, the hills, the valleys… it’s all part of life on Earth.
Let’s drop cards and fold, leave the game for good, and really start living.