Empowerment – The giving of an ability; enablement or permission (www.dictionary.com)
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
People seldom do things to the best of their ability. They do things to the best of their willingness.
Approach the start of each day with one goal and end the day with one word: DONE!
Today’s post is something I have been thinking about a lot. But until recently, I couldn’t put it into words.
How could I say the following?
- that I had been searching for a way to better myself as a wife, mother, and woman, without negating my uniqueness
- that I wanted to be self sufficient, but sometimes needed to be able to trust another to help me.
- that I wanted to be pushed, but not shoved,
- encouraged, not belittled.
- sheltered, but not imprisoned.
I went around in circles trying to define what I was looking for in my relationship, until one day it hit me. The one word I was looking for.
My desire is to be the best I can be, using education, life experiences and (hopefully, some day…) maturity. I want to do this on my own, but have found that sometimes I need outside help. I depend on my HOH, AKA hubby, to help me succeed. And even though it stings my pride to ask for help, I know this is the right move for me.
While I am a strong, intelligent woman capable of making her own decisions, sometimes I need him to help me.
He can either lead me through the moment,
or he can talk me through it, get me started, and give me a push.
(Sometimes, this involves a quick swat or two on the rear end). Depending on the situation, either can work.
When we first started DD (just over a year ago), I envisioned hubby forcing me out of bed, spanking me if necessary, and taking command of every facet of my life. I quickly realized this was not what either of us wanted. I still wanted to make my own decisions, live my own life. I just needed help getting started, or thinking things through. Yes, I needed his guidance and strength, but not for EVERY choice I made. Thankfully, he had already figured this out, and waited patiently for me to come to the same conclusion.
I have been having a lot of problems getting myself into the habit of waking early for a morning run. While it makes sense, and is easier to run before the heat and humidity kick in, I still can’t force myself out of bed.
Last week, he did something he had been doing frequently, yet I had never paid any attention.
Until this time.
He empowered me.
I had already missed two morning runs that week, was cranky, depressed, and letting everyone around me feel this in full force.
Hubby understands that this cycle hurts me. I get angry and lash out. Then I feel guilty, which makes me depressed. He helps me out of these occasional bad cycles with a release spanking, a discussion about how I can do better, or a combination of both. (This is probably why he started calling our sessions, “discussions”)
This last time, he started with a series of questions for me.
“When are you going to run tomorrow?” (“6:30 am”)
“What time do you need to get up to accomplish this?” (calculated morning hygiene. I hate running with morning breath. Eeeew. “6:20 am”)
“What time does this mean you will need to get to sleep?” (Took into account the amount of time it will take me to fall asleep after punching pillow, and grumbling at hubby for snoring. “10:30 pm”)
We walked through the whole scenario until I had a definitive course of action for the night and the morning. It was perfect! (Well, as perfect as it can be, when you still know you have to wake up at o-dark thirty)
The point is, he helped me make my own decision. He empowered me. He didn’t take over, and bulldoze me into a decision. But he did lead me through the proper questioning.
(Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed worrying about the end result, I can’t think through the steps to get me there. It helps to have that little push.)
He enabled me, by giving me questions to answer. I figured out how to achieve my end goal, and put the plan into action.
I had a great run, felt strong, and empowered – I felt good about myself.
Now, my HOH could have quite as easily, dictated my actions for the evening and morning.
But would it have helped me?
Would I have felt as good about myself, if I had just followed blindly?
I might have still gotten the run in, but it probably wouldn’t have helped me get through the whole week. Yes, slap on the back time. I made it the rest of the week on my own, without any prodding. 🙂
With that being said, there are times I really do need him to pull rank, and just call the shots. Sometimes, I forget to eat a meal, and I get reeeeeeeeeally crabby and mean. At this point, he just shoves some food at me. We talk about it later.
Sometimes, I get overwhelmed, and start over-emoting. We call that a tantrum. I am using no respectful communication, and am probably stomping my foot a little. Once again, this time just calls for decisive action on hubby’s part. A quick little scolding and bottom warming in the bathroom, is usually all it takes to get me thinking clearly again.
So empowering turns out to be a very important responsibility for the HOH. But is that all there is to it? He empowers, and guides? I accept and grow?
I don’t think so. At least not in our relationship.
I think my husband needs me to support him more,
to trust him,
to treat him respectfully.
(I will talk more about respect in another post. Maybe I will title it, “Wow! If my husband said half the disrespectful things I said…” or “Am I the pot or the kettle?”)
If I were to show my support, trust, love, and respect in him, I could truly empower him. He could grow into an even stronger leader.
Yes, I understand that we are all human, we all make mistakes. There are going to be times when he makes mistakes. What matters, is that he hold himself accountable for these mistakes and learn from them. I can’t do this for him. I can’t shove the mistakes in his face each time and say, “I told you so,”
(But I really was right about that garbage issue. Junky the squirrel has been back every day, and has gnawed a hole in our garbage can. It’s a burden being right all the time. )
But what good would it do?
If he is willing to be our leader, the least I can do is support him, fully, with unconditional trust and love.
No “I told you so’s”, and no disrespectful, eye rolling comments.
As he grows, he will learn that my support is not going to go away. When he makes mistakes, he will continue to learn from them, because his pride won’t be hurt by my attacks.
This is my responsibility to him – empowering him, building him up to be the strong, powerful, leader and protector of our family. I have just as big a responsibility as he does.
WE EMPOWER EACH OTHER.
In different ways, and through different approaches.
But neither is any less important than the other.
Thanks for reading!
*** The author was given a very sound “discussion” after writing this post, for having a tantrum over something quite silly. Hubby had broken into her brand new gluten free pretzels, and let the kids snack on them.
As she held her bright red bottom in her hands, sniffling, he explained that speaking respectfully about her precious GF snack, would have been accepted much easier.
“Oh, my loved ones, whom I adore. Please eat those normal pretzels from the second shelf instead. Mommy needs the GF ones so her tummy won’t look so plump,”
Would have been a lot better than,
“Mine, mine, mine! You can’t have ‘em! They are my precious! Give them back, give them back!” (along with some accentuated foot stomping)
Afterward, she remembered to thank him, and even apologized for the little freak out.
And he told her how much he appreciated her respect. ***