Does Being a Good Woman Mean Having To Be A Martyr?

Women everywhere have endured pain and suffering caused by betrayal, abuse or other injustice. We’ve used our bodies as carriers to help the creation of tribes and families passing on traditions over generations.

Strong, courageous and good women exist all across the globe. They come from different cultures, backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. The common thread we share is our life experiences with children, partners and career challenges. Innately, we’re nurturers willing to put others first. The needs of our loved ones often take priority. We sacrifice for the love of family. But what happens when we decide to put our needs ahead of others? Does it make us bad people? Do we lose our status as a “good woman” when we don’t abide by the hidden standards outlined by society.

Many of us have at one time or other accepted relationships with people who weren’t up to par with our desires. Choosing to remain with partners that don’t measure up to what we want or deserve. We compromise for the sake of an emotion that makes us do the craziest things. Love is convincing, enticing us to do whatever we can to hold on to it. Or is it possible that deep down, some of us still believe that nice girls don’t speak out of turn? Good girls don’t make demands. We are taught to accept what we’re given without gripes. I will be the first to admit that for much of my life I lived with this idea.

Seeing my own mother become a martyr in her marriage sent mixed signals. It gave me the false belief that a good woman forgives indiscretions, mistreatment and bad behavior. It’s what a woman should do if she loves her husband and wants to keep family together. My adult relationships took a few hits leaving me with a lot to learn. I couldn’t be further from the truth on my assumption. The misconception nearly broke my spirit. At least, it did for a some time. I’d like to think that when one’s spirit is as strong as mine is, you can’t banish it. You can’t destroy it unless I give you permission to do so. I realized that being outspoken in no way reflects on the quality of one’s heart. Forgiveness is a sign of empathy. However, allowing myself to be used as a doormat shows a lack of compassion for self.

It has been a long road to where I am today. A woman who respects herself, values her worth and sees beauty in all that she is. The trials and tribulations have helped empower me. My experiences have helped pinpoint those things I’m not willing to accept. I’ve evolved  from all the turmoil and continue to make tweaks as needed in my personal life. Thriving in the knowledge that I don’t have to sacrifice my identity, aspirations or dreams to prove myself as a good woman.

There is great freedom and pride in owning who you are. Bring awareness, value yourself without waiting for others to tell you how amazing you are. There is nothing wrong with considering your needs and prioritizing yourself. You don’t have to be a martyr to show that you are on the good side of life.

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