For the ancient Celts, but also for other pre-Christian cultures, the archetype of the feminine was divided into three ages, the Maiden (the Maiden), the Mother (Mother) and the Crone (the Wise Woman), each of which is marked by certain physical, hormonal and psychological changes.
The age of the Maiden (child or young girl) is the age of innocence, purity, playfulness, lightness, freedom, but it also carries raw energy and creative potential. On a personal level it is a very important phase because it is here that we learn what it means to be a woman, a mother, a partner, a friend. It’s at this point of our lives that we develop our beliefs on being a woman and we make choices that will guide our entire life. Let’s see then the 10 most important influences on women’s life.
The society teaches us that if we follow the rules, everything will be ok. For thousands of years, women all over the world have always set themselves aside to serve others: their husbands, children, their family. As women we have always aspired to be first a good girl, then a good woman, a good wife and a good mother. We end up forgetting ourselves, our dreams, our aspirations. The risk of falling into this trap is that we find ourselves living a life that doesn’t belong to us, but is molded according to the expectations of others. A sure way to unhappiness.
We got used to make others happy. For more than 2000 years, we have been programmed to live under the radar, so that even now when we command, at work or at home, we tend to do it invisibly as if doing it openly was dangerous, and this costs us and incredible effort. We think “I have to be nice with others to deserve their love.” Wearing a mask of forced smiles, being cute at all costs, is an attitude that does not last long, sooner or later we will end up ruining all our relations (especially the one with ourselves), passing from being nice to being hateful. Isn’t it better to say the truth with kindness and love? The secret is to be kind, not necessarily nice.
Here’s another belief closely related to the previous one. How many times we as women don’t express our full potential for fear of losing people? A successful woman breaks the social patterns that would prefer a submissive woman and a helpful and reassuring mother. To give you a concrete idea, researches show that only 56 percent of men and 61 percent of women say that it’s acceptable for a woman to earn more than her partner! BUT...A woman who doesn’t reach her full potential will hardly be a happy companion.
For a long time, we were used to think that a strong, independent woman is a woman who can take care of herself, that does not need anyone and that she doesn’t have to ask for help. Don’t get surprised if then men get exactly this message and women are left alone. And how many times do we feel weak, inadequate, not good enough, wrong, when we cannot reach our goals? We evolve primarily through our relationships with others: it is also through the relationships with men that we have access to our vast potential as women, so we should give ourselves permission to ask for help when we need it and to work together with men (not against them but against old conditioning beliefs!).
How often do we belittle and do not recognize our successes and our achievements? Even when others recognize them, we say “Everybody could have done it”, “I did not do anything special” and so on. Most of the times, women lack of self-confidence and never feel up to the task. If we are praised for our results, instead of being gratified, we believe we haven’t done anything special. When we are given a recognition we think we do not deserve it. When we receive a promotion we are afraid to disappoint others. In order to express our potential we have to learn how to trust in ourselves. If we do not believe in ourselves first, how will any external recognition be able to convince us of our value?
The constraints that we inherited make us think of being the only one responsible for family meals. Generally, women satisfy the physical (such as food) and emotional needs of children. That’s why at a subconscious level we keep a similar vision. This does not mean that a man can not make dinner or take care of children, but usually if he does so, in his perception this is something extra, a gift for the family. If we want that in the future more and more people find it normal that both husband and wife share the family chores such as preparing meals, washing, ironing, changing baby diapers, waking up in the middle of the night when the baby cries, it’s up to us as women and mothers to teach this to our sons. Only then we will change the cultural stereotypes. If we want our children (and our daughters!) to have fulfilling relationships in which the support is mutual, we have to lead them by example.
Another typical belief for women is that some subjects or activities are not for them. The number of women enrolled in science, engineering and economic is less than that of men. Researches show, moreover, that on average parents have less expectations of females in subjects like math and engineering, because they consider this subjects “for males.” Girls who internalize this belief actually experience more difficulties in science. It is therefore necessary to pay attention also to the influences that we subconsciously send our children from an early age.
We got so used to giving priority to others that we feel guilty when we claim some time for ourselves. You know when the crew shows safety procedures on the plane? You need to put on the mask first and then assist children and people in need. And so we should do in our daily life. Unless we make sure we have enough resources and energy, nobody will do it for us and we will end up being exhausted.
Working mothers tend to feel guiltier. They are convinced that their job steals precious time away from the family. In 1991, the Early Child Care Research Network started the largest study ever conducted on the relationship between child care and child development. The results were published in 2006 and showed that there was no difference between children who had been looked after by mothers and those who hadn’t. There was no difference in terms of either cognitive or language skills or social, nor in attitude to create and maintain relationships. There were not differences in the quality of the bond between the child and the mother. What was important was the positive behavior and the emotional intimacy of the parents. These factors affect the growth of the child between two and three times more than staying at home with mom. Children need love and need to be taken care of by one or more adults, but this care taker does not necessarily have to be the mother. It may be the father, the grandmother, a nanny, a good educator, as long as they care about the child. Children also need to have parents who give them care, love, time, and attention. But this can happen even if both parents work and are not at home. Some data even suggests that this can contribute to the development of children, especially girls.
We are also influenced in relation to our private parts, considered dirty (actually it is a perfect ecosystem). Our vagina is a sacred place where until menopause the rite of the menstrual cycle takes place, this is also the period in which we are more in touch with Mother Earth (in fact it is called time of the moon in some communities and in France) and it is in this period that female energy is at the highest level. And after menopause, another developmental milestone in women’s life, like puberty in reverse, the connection with this sacred energy is always available. In fact in ancient times post menopausal women were called “wise women”.