Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

You’ve heard old stereotypes but some are still valid. Not for everyone. But, though I hate them, stereotypes are widespread enough to address. I’m not a typical female and hate getting lumped in with some of the annoying things chicks do. Unlike stereotypes, I LOVE my space and my emotional responses are limited. Over the years I’ve been told I think more like a guy. Hmmmm.. My response is that I’ve just broken out of stereotypes and am blessed to have learned a lot of the best qualities from both sexes.

Women tend to have more overt self-esteem busters—not having a guy, seeing herself as too fat, feeling taken for granted, etc. They busted me for years! Overwhelming needs to please can diminish how you perceive your value. Fear of being alone can push you to hunt and settle for a partner. But the fairy tale myth bursts quickly if you finally get what you thought you had to have and are still not happy. In fairy tales, the frog turns into a prince when he’s kissed. In real life, you marry the frog with lots of money or great sex techniques and spend your life kissing a frog. That’s partly why the divorce rate is so high.

In my pre-self-empowerment days, I lived to find a boyfriend and when I had one, lived to please him so he’d stay. My distorted view said I was complete by having a man, so the focus was on staying complete by keeping him, with little concern for getting my needs satisfied. Most of my girlfriends agreed. The first boyfriend after my divorce was nuts. Yes, he had mental issues. But he was SOOOO hot! With a killer body. And he was fun when he wasn’t mentally abusing me with accusations that weren’t true as I apologized for things I didn’t do. Did I mention great sex? ?

When I considered leaving this emotionally disturbed hunk, my friends were horrified—“Do you know what’s out there?” So I was encouraged to hang in with a hot whack job because he was better than nothing. Flying solo for a while never crossed our minds. Now I find it the best way to travel if I’m not with a guy who’s worth my time. I can do the many activities I’ve developed passion for, when and how I want. Men are now my cheesecake—a sweet dessert to my already delicious life. When you feel empowered on your own, life is beautiful. And did I mention the great solo sex? ?

Men tend to be more covert about self-esteem busters—quietly stressing about not making enough money or assessing their bodies against other guys in the gym. And worrying over attributes they can’t change. Height and follicle challenged guys often struggle more. Of course I don’t mean all of them. But a higher percentage of those without a thick head of hair or tall build say they feel less self-assured.

Many women do gravitate to tall men with hair. But sadly, a large income can balance that! Many men still feel a duty to provide, especially with a woman who likes to spend. Guys have told me they feel like women look at them as wallets. It’s harder to love yourself when you feel like a wallet! Or get rejected if your wallet ain’t fat enough. Add to that concerns about the size and delivery of your penis and self-esteem goes into limbo.

The bottom line—both sexes want to feel empowered.

Many women question how I can be so happy when I’m not in a relationship. It’s because I love myself and have a great life that’s dependent on no one but me! Lots of folks don’t have that. That’s why I began Project Self-Empowerment. I plan to raise money, self-publish my book, How Do I Love Me, Let Me Count the Ways, and give it away for free in colleges, shelters, etc. and continue to do self-empowerment projects. I want to help people learn to love themselves more, through my writing and speaking.

You can’t get real self-esteem from a bank account or job, the gym or a romantic partner. It must come from inside you! Yet the media gives unfair and often destructive signals about what we need to have or do. Don’t listen to what people tell you that you need for happiness unless you can say—without crossing your fingers—that you love chasing outside factors for it. Be honest! I chased it all and got some but was never happy—except for fleeting moments of joy—until I looked inward and started to appreciate myself—without the stuff I was told I had to have.

I’m not thin, I’d like to make more money, each year I get older, and right now I’m single. Yet, I’m happy every day. Look for the good in you! You have lots to value! Are you a good person? Appreciate that! Hold your head high and allow yourself to be happy in your own skin.

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