Sometimes I look at my teenage daughters and I marvel. They are just so...
They're not haunted by the idea that there's something wrong with them.
That's a miracle, to me, because at their ages through to oh, five years ago (and sometimes 5 minutes... ago), I thought I was defective and needed to be fixed.
And so I spent my life trying to be The Good Girl, The Perfect Woman, The Perfect Partner, The Flawless Worker, The Perfect Mother.
I spent decades trying to prove to other people that I'm worthy because our culture convinced me I was not.
I think that's what most women are trained to believe about themselves, too.
That's why we have all these gazillion dollar industries devoted to changing us, fixing us.
Often people will say that focusing on how culture/society/systems shapes (and deforms) our lives puts us "in victim mode" where we get stuck blaming other circumstances and can't do anything to change it...but I think the opposite is true.
Realizing that I'm NOT the problem -- but bigger-picture conditions are indeed the problem -- gets me into action.
I get defiant...and empowered.
No, this is not acceptable. No, I do not accept this pattern. No, I am not going to fold myself into this requirement.
YES I AM GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING, starting NOW.
Across my life, when I've zoomed out to see things structurally and systemically, and realized that my choices have been framed for me without my consent, two important things happen:
1) My shame dissolves
2) My power activates
Seeing the big picture, seeing the system, helped me see that the challenges in my life weren't a symptom of me being broken.
The problem was our culture and the frame I existed in -- and I didn't have to accept it. I could remake it, for myself and for others.
In those moments, with those epiphanies, I start getting free.
All this to say: building your analysis = liberation. And POWER.
Seeing the bigger picture, the big design, doesn't put you in a 'victim mentality'.
Instead, it frees you from the huge cultural lie that you are the problem.
Because you're NOT.
But you can be part of the solution. #WeAreTheCultureMakers