Being a woman that is not her own rival

Being a woman in our society is the most challenging thing that we are subjected to, every fraction of our society has an opinion on how we should live our lives – from how we conduct ourselves to our bodies, and even the most emotionally tormenting thing – to how we handle being heartbroken. I’ve witnessed friends and heard of stories of girls that have dealt ‘badly’ with breakups that left their hearts closed off to love and all its joys.


Does it always have to be like that? I don’t think so. We give break ups more power over us than we let on. We allow them drive us over our emotional extremes because we focus more on the fact that we have failed our boyfriends in numerous ways and that is essentially why they chose to be with someone else. Comparison is the thief of all joy and contentment, and we are so good at focusing on comparing ourselves against figments of our imagination, before we’ve even managed to begin our healing process. Our inability to find love within ourselves and appreciate ourselves, is the reason why we admit to ourselves that we’re not good enough, we create an imbalance, but we need to stop because even in not being good enough for some, we need to be good enough for ourselves.


After every break up, we’re left second guessing ourselves like we are some new theory. We question our character, habits, worth and beauty. Why were we not attacking ourselves like this when the relationship started? That’s because it is a trick we play on ourselves to dress boys in super hero costumes even when it is unnecessary. That is because for so many generations, we have always been expected to keep relationships going. It has never been a guy’s fault. Never his mistake, it’s always us and even guys have learnt to use this against us. We have been crowned our own rivals in such a beautiful and subtle way. Taught to put ourselves down in order to raise and embrace men’s egos.


I remember my encounter with a guy I liked it third year. An artist, soft spoken and extremely handsome. My initial mistake was believing the made up picture perfect idea I’d had of him in my mind, before even taking the time to know him. This is the same mistake that a lot of women make. We allow our minds to control us and to create perceptions of people before they reveal their true nature. This inhibits the role of our intuition, the ability of our conscious and our subconscious when they are raising red flags. We endanger our emotional well-being in relationships by dressing people in perfection to an extent that we think they can never be at fault. It just somehow always has to be us.


This is something I’ve painfully had to learn over the years, because hurting over the same thing time and time again, began to affect me. So I rid myself of this anchor – and it felt amazing for the first five minutes, then real life began to creep in and drown me. The pain began to hurt me. I was hurting because I chose to believe the dreams he sold me and that my trust was eventually betrayed. I cried it out until I had the courage to show the world my face again. I put on my bad bitch lipstick, shades, attitude, slayed and worked my hardest because that was what mattered. I had to wake up and start running again.


The lesson in this is: Treat break ups like a storm, when it hits you, surrender. When it leaves, do damage control and get your life back in order. If it means seeing someone, crying the whole day, do it. Always remember to do it for yourself. Read great books, turn up with the girls, go downtown to go listen to jazz and spoken poetry. Have ice cream. Pray for inner peace and forgive yourself. Do not ever at any point turn against yourself because we are our own saviors and guardian angels. Every little girl wants to hear our heroine story of defeating a bad break up. So step up and take on challenge.


Not every guy we meet is supposed to be our boyfriend. Not every relationship will have a happy ending. There are lessons in everything. Always have that at the back of your mind so you do not fall too hard when the storm hits. When you are trying to build something with someone and it just can’t work, abort the mission. Protect yourself. As women, we need to learn to be more selfish and protect ourselves, without drowning ourselves in someone else.


Always remember that the universe inside of you is strong enough to stand alone until the right person comes. If they never show up, maybe love is on the other side of the world and you can’t afford to go and bump into them. Maybe love is married to the wrong person. Love maybe died in a car accident when he was 8. Maybe love is just a fantasy. Regardless, you are an amazing woman and everything is going to work out just fine. For now, just be your best gift. The woman that is not her rival.


Follow me on Twitter: @MannyaLerato