I’ve been thinking recently about what it means to be a woman. As many of you know my book is out, and I have had the incredible privilege and honour to interview some of the bravest women I have ever met. Women who have shared their stories with me, their truth. They have trusted me with some of the most intimate parts of their life.
Whether it is the young mum who faced a cancer journey before her 30th birthday. Or the woman who in her 40’s realised that the life she had was crashing down in front of her. Maybe even the beautiful woman I chatted to who believes that she, just being herself, will never be enough for anyone to love.
I am reminded of the CEO who seemingly has it all yet walks into her swanky office every day fearing that she will be ‘caught out’ someday. That day when people will discover her fear that she is a fraud. A fraud because she’s in the deep end and she’s treading water.
My mind wanders to the woman who is riddled with pain because her husband is addicted to pornography. She cries herself to sleep each night, feeling lonely, disconnected and insecure. I can’t forget the young mum who is desperate for friendship. She resents her kids because of what she feels she’s had to give up to be stuck at home, all day, every day, with them.
So, what is womanhood?
Who is woman? Woman is a collection of stories and each one of us hold more than one story. Our stories that weave together are like a stream that flows into a river that eventually connects with a large body of water. Our stories are varied and rich, they are textured with pain, with joy, sorrow, grief, happiness, adventure and disappointment.
For example I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and so much more. Even in the four titles to my life that I have mentioned, there are stories. I am a mother but before I was a mother I was a wife. Before I was a wife, I was a daughter. In being a daughter, I became a sister. I have a story about being a daughter, the story of my childhood, which for me was a beautiful experience. I believe I had a wonderful childhood and my memories are ones that I like to relive at times. Yes, there was some pain in my childhood, there are some dark and sad moments but for the most part, that story is one that evokes feelings of joy and peace.
That story weaves its way into the sisterhood story.
For me, coming from a very close knit family this story carries much weight, even to this day. My siblings are some of my closest friends. There have been times when we disagree, when we fight or challenge one another but we are forever in each other’s corners. We have each other’s backs and that old saying of ‘blood is thicker than water’ rings true. So, as you can see, this story holds a lot of emotion for me. It will until the day I take my last breath or one of my siblings do.
We all carry a number of stories.
My book True You tells my story – sure, but something even bigger than me. It tells a whole number of stories, and more importantly the voices who have told those stories have been silent for a long time. Take some time out of your day this week or on the weekend, to actually ask someone you know well to tell something special about them. We all have moments of brilliance, and most of us too some brilliant failures (but let’s not focus on them).
Move over self-help books, there’s a new book in town! Susan Sohn takes a weight off the reader’s shoulders by reminding them that it’s not all about SELF. In a world where we’re told to be better, kinder, smarter, faster, better looking, thinner, fatter, whatever… this book is a breath of fresh air. Susan makes it about something bigger and more purposeful than self. Where your authenticity, your true you, is not reflected back from everyone else’s expectations… but from your sense of self when you are spiritually connected to the God that has your back. If you’re tired of the struggle of self improvement, True You is the best read you can give yourself. More wisdom, longevity and kindness than advocated by ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F^*K’ and less pressure than ‘You Can Change Your Life’, ‘True You’ models a way in the world of human, connected authenticity.
Rowan ArmstrongTrue care and empathy comes from knowing the truth behind the mask, forced smile or Facebook profile and stepping in anyway. My friend just released her first book #trueyou. I didn’t realise how much I would get out of it. I am father to my daughter, husband and friend and this has helped me understand the hard truths the females in my life deal with. Thanks Susan Sohn, your book has blessed me and helped me be a blessing to others.