Thursday, May 8, 2008

The gift of receiving

I've been going for very long runs over the past week with my friend, Lynn. Often, as the road or trail stretches out before us, we find ourselves chatting about matters of spirituality, quantum physics and God. Yesterday was no exception. The theme of yesterday's run was "the gift of receiving" or at least becoming comfortable with the idea.

We concluded that women of our age, and perhaps even those younger than us, are taught no...trained to become Wonder Women -- that we can do and have anything we want and we can achieve it all by ourselves. No help needed, thank you very much. Take it away Destiny's Child.

As one of these self-professed and rather burnt out Wonder Women, I ask from where did this silly nonsense come?

What's worse...if you've already achieved the reputation for being a Wonder Woman, then it can be hard to shake, even by those who profess to love you.

Now, I don't know about you, but I'm tired of being Wonder Woman. It's a persona I am trying to retire. The shiny utility belt, rocking cool "magic lasso" and those flashy headbands...they've all lost their appeal. And, just for the record, not even Diana Prince could sustain Wonder Woman 24/7.

Now, while Kelly means "Warrior" in Gaelic, it doesn't mean that I want to be one all the time. I certainly don't want to feel the expectation of being one during rough times. It's a lonely role. You're expected, especially by those who are in need and who say they love you, to carry them when they cannot carry have the patience of Job when your own heart is breaking, and to "rise above" trying situations.

Ad infinitum Ad nauseum.

I don't think anyone wants to see how tough this can really be on Wonder Woman, especially those who are leaning on her -- she's just supposed to handle it perfectly and without complaint. How can she tell them their own needs when they can't even hear them or, even worse, consider/validate them.

You know what? Maybe Wonder Woman just wants a break. I mean, look at the above picture -- she clearly needs a day at the spa! In the above image, we have Super Man and Company begging her to come back and save the world. They're resorting to language like "The Justice League (said group) needs you" (call to address need in their terms and without consulting her first).

What these other superheroes don't realize is that by presenting their needs to her in this fashion, they leave her little choice but to accept them, denying her the right to feel vulnerable. They silence her. They assume she will just cooperate because of this extreme need. She's obviously trying to make her voice heard but I don't think she's really getting anywhere.

If the above picture is any evidence of her plight, it shows an attempt to use her voice. She clearly doesn't want to give anything to the Justice League right now because, as she said, she "can't". She's also in distress (there are tears on her cheeks) and I doubt it's because of those pointy boots of hers.

It's quite possible that she needs to speak her truth and not have it misinterpreted by others.

I think she wants to re-discover her vulnerability, which can be tricky after so much time spent in Wonder Woman's shoes. Maybe in discovering her vulnerability and stepping out of the boots, it will encourage others to rise above and find strength they didn't even know they had. Maybe then some of the imbalance can be righted.

Perhaps then she can truly receive.


Jennifer said...

You said it sister!! Just because I am capable of doing everything doesn't mean I should have too!! Having someone to lean on is so important. I often feel like I can't not do something because everyone expects me to be able to do everything!! I know just how you feel.
Hugs, Jen

Kelly McGannon said...

Thanks, Jen! Yes, the importance of this is what I've have been reminded of these past weeks. You've been so awesome in your support...means SO much. HUGS, Kel

Patia said...

A friend just sent me my first action figure -- Wonder Woman!

I wonder what that means.