Cinderella in Chains

Men are simpler. If they hate a guy , they say it. If they like a girl they will try to pursue her. We are such complicated beasts, forever wallowing in our own emotions, in our own insecurities. And ultimately it boils down to the fact that we are taught to externalize our own happiness. We are taught that no matter what we do in our lives, we won’t be worthy. So many women tell me they don’t feel accomplished because they are not fulfilling the whole ” package”. If they are married with kids , they tell me they don’t like the way their jobs are headed. If they are single they feel lonely.

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When I was in my senior year in High School I had to do my thesis for my IB diploma. Being an intense girl, I decided to do about the ” Halved Soul”. Basically , by going through fairy tale mythology , I saw how women were taught the fallacy of believing that they are not complete unless they are ” saved’ by a Prince. The women are always poor, helpless who cannot do anything until they find that one person who can give them what they want. They are unable to take destiny in their own hands. I went on to argue that the Prince was merely a Jungian symbol of our souls. We were projecting our spiritual needs on someone else who would never possibly be able to fulfill them.
I write this now because, even though intellectually I wrote those things, I still was doing the opposite in my everyday life. I was in love with a boy who could never commit to me and I used it as an escape from my parent’s divorce. Whenever I got lost or in despair, the first thing I felt I had to do was call a boy to save me. I chose not to say the answer to the questions, because whenever I did men tended to not come close.
I still fell victim to what society expected of me. And the thing is, you can blame paternalism, sexism, whatever you want to call it. But I think it has more to do with what women do to each other. When we have an accomplishment , we tend to tear each other down. We are taught that we have to compete in a Man’s world. We are taught that we have to compete for the men, the glory , the careers. Instead of valuing our sisterhood , society unconsciously dictates that we have to compare ourselves to each other.
Men are simpler. If they hate a guy , they say it. If they like a girl they will try to pursue her. We are such complicated beasts, forever wallowing in our own emotions, in our own insecurities. And ultimately it boils down to the fact that we are taught to externalize our own happiness. We are taught that no matter what we do in our lives, we won’t be worthy. So many women tell me they don’t feel accomplished because they are not fulfilling the whole ” package”. If they are married with kids , they tell me they don’t like the way their jobs are headed. If they are single they feel lonely.
Let’s rid ourselves of these expectations. Let’s stop thinking about ” Others” and focus on ourselves. Let’s begin to stop worrying about how little we are appreciated and start to appreciate ourselves. We need to stop this from dictating our lives, because those chains are the ones that we can’t take off.
When I was in college I had a dream that I was walking with Abdul Baha along a green forest. There was some girls in the corner who began to tease me and were very hateful towards me because I was with Him. In the dream the girl who was the worst had dark hair. When I looked at her face I realized that it was myself! Then Abdul Baha grabbed my hand and looked at me with such love and pointed to the universe and it was so immense and amazing, that what was behind us became tinier and tinier as if to say ” None of this matters…”
And it doesn’t ladies. We need to take control of our own lives and realize that it is the only thing we can control. Yes, sometimes it is hard out there. Yes, we are overloaded with expectations : A tough workplace, an unequal world, men who fail to commit, philandering husbands, demanding children…. But we also have ourselves, we are women filled with all these complex emotions. We are capable of becoming so much! Let’s look on to those examples of those heroic women : Do you think Zaynab hesitated or compared herself when she set herself out for battle? Do you think Mona was thinking who was better in the prison?
No! Of course not! So let’s stop the madness now!
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