Saturday, January 14, 2012

Letter to Females

For a long time I have wanted to open up about my feelings regarding this but I couldn’t figure out how. There are too many variables in life that block me from expressing my feelings in this manner, so I do my best to encourage sometimes in the small amount that culture allows me to, but it still seems rather trite and empty. I do not want it to be that way, I don’t want my expressions of appreciation and encouragement to be so small and seemingly shallow, but I don’t know how to move forward, to push over the cultural hump I find myself.

Let me Explain.
What am I wanting to say?

It is hard for me to open up, to females. I am always wondering how they are going to see my comment, my conversations; just as mere words, or might they be looking for subtext that is not present. In the place where you find yourself a single male, going towards your thirties, how do you open up to females who are single or who are married? To the singles I feel my discussion gets misconstrued into thinking I am interested in them, as if I am attracted to them and want to date them. To those who are married, my discussion comes off probably as just odd. I am not supposed to be chatting with married women. That is how it feels.

Where do I find my way to be open?

Where do I find a way to express,
A way that is acceptable?

A way that won’t leave me or the other feeling odd,
But a way that brings us closer together,
As a brother and sister in the faith,
As common people in the thread of humanity?

There are many things I want to say, to express, to my female friends, my females sisters in the faith, but I can’t find an outlet, cannot find a way, so I suppose this is the best way I can think of to tell you what I think, what I feel about who you are, and who you are going to become...

Let me get started...

For a long time now I have seen you question yourself. I have seen you define yourself through the eyes and desires and needs of others. I see you squander and hide yourself and your identity behind the cloak of someone else. You seek their approval for who you are, who you have been, letting that define your self and who you will be and become in the future.

You are stronger than you think.

I see strength in you, a strength you must really not know you have, and one I see in the day to day. Many of you strive for perfection, though this may sometimes go overboard, it shows your dedication and sincere thoughts for the things you do and want to accomplish. To the home mom, I see strength in your care and concern for your child, for your home, and for the lives of your husbands and kids. I see this strength in the woman who works; who leaves her kids each day, has been left by her grown children, or is working to better herself. I see the most strength in the single moms, who perform all functions of raising children while also working. I find it ironic that the most hard-working women are the ones who are likely to be judged so much more than anyone else. You stick with your children, love them. You wear your family as a badge of honor and rightfully so... It is sad to think people use it as a way to judge your past in some way, trying to sow honor as dishonor.

In You I see Beauty.

I am not just talking about superficial beauty here, though I know how much your looks concern you. You wonder if all that makeup will change the way the world sees you, the way you see yourself. Will it make you look normal, sexy, professional? You wonder if you will ever be a healthy weight. A pretty weight? An attractive weight? A weight that will finally, after all that work, all that exercise, and all those diets, make you feel confident in yourself... Finally feel comfortable in your own skin.

But you are more than your looks,
Though some of your identities seem tied and bound by them,
At least in your own thoughts and those dark times at night,
And those dark times in the day, when you questions yourself once again.

But what you don’t know, what you cannot see is what others see. The beauty of who you are on the inside. The way you care for others. How you express concern for the poor, the oppressed, the taken advantaged and disadvantaged; you simply cannot know how lovely it is to see how much you care. The ways you care for your family or desire a family, for being the great wife and/or mother you are or the great wife and/or mother you will become when the time comes. You are beautiful for the way you do your job, the way you face you fears. You are beautiful, not because that is what psychologist say women desire most, but because it is who God made you, who God made you as a unique person. There is only one you. You are beautiful in your identity, whoever and however you are.

Own your likes and dislikes, and do not sacrifice pieces of you for someone, for anyone else. Cherish and protect those pieces of yourself, keep them always and forever. Mold your own identity based on who you are and who you will become. You will find you are most beautiful and most strong and free when you are simply yourself; body, mind, and spirit.

These are the things I have been wanting to say, to you; my sisters, my friends, the females circling my life. You are more than you know, many times more than you give yourself credit for, but so important to my life, and the life of everyone around you. So I end this letter, just saying to be you. You give another great life to the world in your comings and goings.

~ Daniel