RebLyner wrote: “Here’s one for abby: how does a woman remain strong yet not dominant, vulnerable yet not “mousy”?”
Her question made the nun in me go “Hmm” and instantly brought to mind some of the more “strong AND vulnerable” women who have impacted this world. Women like Mother Theresa, Corrie Ten Boom, and, on a more trivial but contemporary note, Oprah Winfrey. Women like Mother Theresa have stood up to governments (strength) and devoted their lives to loving and helping the poor (vulnerability). Corrie Ten Boom is one of countless women who survived the losses and agonies of concentration camps (strength) while somehow forgiving and even loving her tormentors (vulnerability). And Oprah, one of America’s most admired women (though her theology is “loose” to say the least) has single-handedly built a media empire and become the richest self-made woman in America (strength) while meeting important financial and medical needs around the world and in this country.
So…how can a woman be at once strong and vulnerable? It seems that the main common trait among the women mentioned above is an overused and under-valued word: love. Love tempers righteous anger and gives direction to rebellion (which can be a positive force when its motive is pure!). So my advice to young women who are still discovering and developing their strength and power is this: continue to strive for self-confidence and success, but make loving others your greatest aspiration. Only then, as you grow into your passions and “might”, will you be purposeful in your leadership and your ability to affect change. Love, love, LOVE. It’s certainly a profound example written throughout the Bible by one of the only men I know who was capable of balancing immeasurable power with unfathomable compassion. You guessed it. The Big Guy himself.
My advice to you all? Love. Not because you want to be loved back, but because you want your abilities and strengths and talents to make an eternal difference. Start small, with unnoticed acts of kindness, but assign the same ambition to helping others as you do to creating a career! I’ve seen some of you “in action” and I know that you’re well on your way to being the next Mother Theresa or Corrie Ten Boom of this world! A word of warning, though: If you ever have your own TV show and a reputation for giving brand new cars to entire audiences, remember a certain “serenitymine” whose dream it is to own a Jaguar!
Any other questions, complaints, or issues you’d like to discuss? Let them fly!! They don’t need to be profound! You now where to find me……