Try-This Tuesday: Cease Fire!

I heard a term on the radio last week: the silent war.  It refers to the phenomenon that many mothers experience; as we become more entrenched in motherhood, we lose our identity as individuals.  The deejay went on to explain that eventually mothers have a difficult time answering questions like “What was the last book you finished?” or “When was the last time you did something that was fun for just you?”  I understand this.  In fact, Let ME Out!! was born from this.  In another post I will illustrate this point and offer my own examples and suggestions.  But there is something else I feel compelled to talk about today.  And yes, there is a task for you that follows!

It’s the term “the silent war” that bugs me.  Our society is so hell-bent on fighting everything – from cancer to acne, from body types to the weeds in our gardens.  We compete with ourselves and our classmates, then we put on bigger armour and grab larger weapons and climb those proverbial ladders till we get to the top.  We battle deadlines and stronghold our relationships.  We beat ourselves up for wanting what we want and needing what we need.  We “fight the urge” and “kill our appetites” and wage war on everything.

You get the picture.  You know exactly what I’m talking about.

This week I want you to look at all of the things you are choosing to go up against.  (Yes, choosing.  It’s always your choice.)

Write them down.  And then lay it all down.  Lay down the weapons, the iron will, the need to control everything.  Whatever ammunition you use against yourself, your body, your significant others, lay it down and step away.

After doing that, after ceasing fire and calling truce, how do these situations look to you now?  Is there a gentler approach?  A kinder method?  A way to accept the situation for what it is and then pour some love right into it?

Start with one thing, then work your way over to another.  Do it at your own pace.  There’s no race, no one panting down your shoulder, no one you need to catch up with or beat.  Just love yourself enough to try this.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.  What are you fighting that you no longer need to?


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8 thoughts on “Try-This Tuesday: Cease Fire!

  1. Taslim,

    I want to respond to both parts of the point that you make but in reverse order.

    The idea of “fighting everything” is somewhat overstating reality as I see it. While many modern women feel that everything in our daily life is presented as a “fight to be won” there is the ultimate truth which you mention called “choice”. If women hold the power that they profess, then why are they allowing the power brokers (also, predominantly women) to shove everything at them in this manner?

    Nearly ¾ of modern North American advertising is made by, directed by and geared specifically toward women. If the women in this target demographic are unhappy with the direction of this media based juggernaut, which they rightfully should be, then my call to you is, “Change it”.

    The other side of the coin, to some degree, is that it was the women’s movement which created this monster and as such, modern women should probably be more tolerant to what it has become. After all, if you build a house and are dissatisfied with how it turned out, are you going to live in it, complain about it, or simply tear it down and start over?

    The other part, which you opened today’s post with, is the term “silent war”. You said, “It refers to the phenomenon that many mothers experience; as we become more entrenched in motherhood, we lose our identity as individuals”. I guess my main question is, why?

    I know many women who are wives, mothers, and career women who still read a book a week, keep a neat and tidy home, love and respect their families and still have no problem telling you who they really are.

    Our personal identity, whether man or woman, married or single, parent or not, is a matter of acknowledging our accomplishments or wallowing in our losses. Again, is this not just a choice we make as adults to either be fulfilled on the path we’ve chosen or seeking places to set the blame for our unhappiness over not going in a different direction somewhere along the way?

    As a child of the 50s and 60s, most of the women I knew were “happy” with their life roles, not merely complacently content. Then in the later 60s and throughout the 70s they were “told” that their lives weren’t good enough. After being force fed this deception and added to the socialist thinking which followed, economic restraints changed the interpersonal landscape and our nuclear family dynamic was forever altered. Now, 35 to 40 years later, with all of the advancements in careers and the crashing down of glass ceilings, the level of discontentment has only increased, exponentially.

    If anyone chooses a career and a family along with other interests at the same time, they must be mature enough to understand that NO ONE can do EVERYTHING, and do it ALL equally as well – ALL of the time.

    As human beings, we have limitations. I can’t, for example, flap my arms and take flight. I wasn’t designed for it and I totally accept that reality. However, in my imagination, I have soared with eagles, hundreds of feet in the air, gazing down with pin point eye sight catching the slightest movements on the ground. What I can do though, is perform my career, raise my daughter, cook, clean, do laundry and otherwise care for my home while reading books, watching movies and attending 2 churches and 2 study groups each week. Does everything get done perfectly or exactly on time, every time? No. So what? It gets done or it doesn’t and that’s just life.

    As far as laying out all of our life’s conflicts and deciding to ignore the every day battles we face, I see that as self imposed enslavement. Some fights must be fought. We choose those and we take on the task as best we can. We won’t lose them all and we won’t win them all, but we do what needs to be done as each comes up. Being a doormat doesn’t improve our life, whether we assist and allow it to happen or not.

  2. Richard,
    Power brokers are predominantly women? Three-quarters of advertising is made by women? Seriously?

    I’m afraid that you grossly misinterpreted your numbers. 85% of all purchases are made by women (mostly because women do the shopping for men, I’m guessing), but only 3% of advertising creative directors are women.

    And here’s a quote from the NYT: A survey conducted in February by the American Association of Advertising Agencies showed that 265 women held senior managerial positions at the more than 400 agencies (in more than 1,200 offices) that belong to the association.

    Do the math. The operative info there is 265 women out of 1200 offices.

    And although women do outnumber men in advertising agencies, accounting for 65.8 percent of the work force, according to the NYT, who got their data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,

    “…the status of women declines with each step up the corporate ladder. Women hold 76.7 percent of all clerical positions and 58.2 percent of all professional positions, defined as jobs that generally require a college degree [BUT] In middle- to upper-management positions, women hold 47 percent.”

    Sorry, Taslim. I know I’m doing exactly what you told us not to do. But correcting men is a dirty job and somebody had to do it. 😉

    1. When using the term “correcting” you should rely on more accurate and less biased sources than the New York Times.

      As for “correcting men” an open mind is far more productive than a closed one.

      I’ve spent half of my life fighting for and supporting EQUAL rights, not battling for a new version of discrimination.

  3. Does anyone else find it ironic that the title of this post is “Cease Fire” and yet it seemed to turn my blog into a battlefield – at least for the moment? I hope my response will navigate this blog back to what I believe I am creating here at Let ME Out!! which is a safe space for all of my readers.

    We all bring to the page (web or otherwise) our individual perspectives based on what we have experienced in our lives. These experiences have created a reality for us and, as such, things we read or hear or see will impact us differently than they might someone else. In writing this post, wearing the lenses of a 34 year old woman with two children under the age of 5, who brushed up against depression upon entering motherhood and then found her way out by finding her way BACK to her Self…I was merely suggesting that we all take a deep breath, and relieve ourselves of some of the elements that have become the very walls we bang our heads against.

    For example, I have been in conflict with time for nearly 5 years, since the birth of my daughter. I’m late for so many things, have to dig, dig, dig through my daytimer to find minutes here or there, and am constantly hearing the words “Hurry up!” shoot out of my mouth. If this were one of the battles I was going to call a truce on with this Tuesday Task, I would allow myself for the entire day to ignore the clock, brush off my own tardiness and take the time to say “You’re doing a great job!” instead of chastising my child for taking an hour to eat lunch. To someone else, it may seem idiotic to be so hung up on time and to impose this absurdness on innocent children. To me, it’s my reality.

    Though I am writing as a woman and a mother, I am most certainly not speaking for everyone who belongs in these categories. Living your authentic life is just as valid a journey for men as it is for women. I don’t profess that this journey is any easier for one sex than the other.

    What I would like to put out there is that, often when something strikes a deep chord, it indicates a more rooted issue that perhaps needs addressing in one’s own life. This blog is about self-discovery so if any of my posts have encouraged that, then I hope the reader incorporates this into their own personal journey. If something makes you feel strongly one way or the other, please take the time to explore that.

    Having said that, this blog is a safe space and I would be grateful if readers could comment from a place of kindness and non-judgement. We all have freedom of speech but we should still consider it a privilege to be able to share our words with each other. Over-generalizations, derogatory expressions and other such hurtful words do not belong here.

    Thank you for considering my comment.

    1. Awww, Denise, I wasn’t yelling 🙂 I just had to protect the integrity of my blog and the safety of my readers. Let ME Out!! does not tolerate sexism, racism or discrimination of any form and I needed to address that. I understand that you and Hyedie were standing up for this as well.

      1. Taslim,

        Are you saying that an opposing point of view is automatically sexist, racist or discriminatory?

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