Strong, Perfect and Capable of Anything

One of my favorite pictures of my daughter, Kristin, was taken at her kindergarten Field Day.  She was the anchor on a relay and the picture shows her running full-out with people cheering in the background.  Nothing could slow her down and she was  joyfully and un-self-consciously in her body.  That Kristin went into hiding sometime between 8 and 14.

My friend Lisa (at Cheap Therapy Blog) has been writing about The Naked Face Project.  One of the women involved, Molly Barker, is the founder of Girls on the Run for girls 8-14.  She targets the age when girls begin to think they must fit into what she calls “The Girl Box”.

Molly Barker says “…there once was a 5th grader (or maybe it’s 3rd grade now??) in all of us who, at one point, KNEW that she was strong, perfect and capable of anything.”  Girls on the Run is about “making sure we don’t lose this pure essence of our girls”.

“How can I stop the slow hiss of that joy, bliss, and essence escaping from the balloon of her soul??”

I have 2 daughters who are good athletes.  They both were competitive swimmers from age 6-16.  At some point, they both decided they couldn’t run well.  Where did the joyful girl-child go?  Into the “Girl Box”, I guess.

Now they each have a daughter.  We all agree that girls can wear any color, not just pink. (Pink is the dominant color in anything for girls these days.)

I love watching 2-year-old Adaline run and climb and get sweaty and dirty in the backyard.  (We do bathe her and send her home clean.)  And Maggie, at 7 weeks, sailed through heart surgery.  I call her Baby Badass.

Will these little girls be pushed into the Girl Box?  Time will tell.

(PS:  Kristin is expecting a boy any day now.  Another side will be heard from!)

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

–Marianne Williamson


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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great post! I can’t find anything that isn’t pink for newborn except for the occasional purple here and there. Have you heard of the book “Raising Cain?”. It’s about the other side :). I found it hard to find clothes that didn’t have motorcycles or something else “tough” on it after 9months for Bennett.

    • Thanks for the book recommendation, Caroline. I’ve been girl-focused for over 30 years. I think I’ll need some help with the whole boy adventure! I hope you all are adjusting and doing as well as can be expected!

  2. I still find it hard to accept a compliment or say to myself, hey, I’m pretty decent at that. I’m not sure it is because I’m female. It may be just because I was raised by parents from a modest generation who were suspicious of braggarts and showoffs–even if you were only bragging to yourself. My mother, never once as far as I could tell, understood how smart and capable she was.

    • I think my mom knew she was smart but couldn’t figure out what to do with it. I’ve gotten better about compliments but I still figure if I can do something, then anyone can do the same thing just as well.

  3. The pressure of society to form each of us into a part of the whole is tremendous. It is a force of nature. Animals in the wild have a uniform color (no pinks!) and conformation.That is for breeding and fighting. It is only when domesticated that they loose their distinctive markings.

    You’re either part of the herd or not. “Not” is a lonely but rewarding road. Be careful what you wish for.

    • Very true, FJ. We are not encouraged to march to our own drummer.

  4. Nice line–“You’re playing small does not serve the world.”

    • I agree. But it can be hard to put into practice.

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