“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keller
I have been working on a post about women and the strength of our relationships for quite some time. (Seriously, like 6+ months) I’ve gone back and forth between several themes, and couldn’t settle on just one. The idea of a strong ancestral matriarch, where I roar, is my go to choice. The women who’ve come before me roared and as a descendant of those strong women, I am strong. But I wasn’t feeling it. Other times, I want to write to women that we have a responsibility to support each other first and foremost and not play second fiddle to our relationships to the opposite sex. How women relate to each other shouldn’t be dictated by this male dominated system. For instance, the idea that women should forego our innate womanhood to support each other simply win over the attention and affection of the opposite sex. But, yeah, I wasn’t really feeling that either. Last and definitely the least, the topic on balancing our time between female friends and male friends has been done to death.
In my heart of hearts, I really want to talk about four women that I know. I haven’t been able to write about them, despite several attempts, because my pen to the pad couldn’t quite capture their story, their lives, and their struggles. They are so diverse in ethnic groups, ages, careers, and societal roles. The four women I know aged with wisdom, seasoned with laughter, and equipped with love.
Sometimes words can’t encompass the most precious things in life. You must experience it and it must be felt. When you enter into their house, you can feel the love. One of my favorite lines from a Toby Mac song is, “When love is in the house, the house is packed”, and their house can get very packed, because they let people in with open arms. I am never ashamed to take someone to meet these four women that I know.
As I sit here, I am in that house, of these four women bonded by sisterhood that blood could never have forged, but of life and circumstances brought them together. I’m forever indebted to these four women, one who is my “real” aunt, but all of them, are family. When I was broken, they loved me back to life with their generosity, but most of all their spirit of kindness and love. You can fake a lot of things, but a true spirit of kindness is hard to mimic.
So when I stop to think about these four women who roar, they roar mightily, but not in the way you would think. You would never hear, because the roar is not loud or boastful, it is in the small things that show they really matter. And each one has a unique roar that form harmony in their universe. As a daughter of a science teacher, I couldn’t help but to describe their qualities to the elements of nature: Fire, Water, Earth, and Air.
Fire – One is like fire which associated with energy, assertiveness, and passion. She is the spark, full of life and energy, with an extra dose of spunk. There are days the fire shines brighter than others, but the best quality is that she is always warm. Her heart warms the soul of anyone who comes close.
Water – I think there are several ways to look at water, but for me, I believe the two things I love most about water is its calmness but even more so its steadiness. Although constantly, moving and changing, water is a steady, calming force the nurtures the soul when things are dry and brittle. She rises early and calmly to not disturb anyone who is slumbering about. All of her manners are calming from her speech to reading.
Earth – is associated with the qualities of patience, thoughtfulness, practicality, and hard work. It is seen nurturing and seeks to draw all things together with itself, in order to bring harmony and rootedness. She tends to mother anyone in her orbit. Her decisions are for the good of everyone. She has weathered many storms which allow her sound advice to be valued.
Air- One of the most important elements in life, it is necessary for survival or we would all perish. It fits into the nooks and crannies and fills the open space, it knows where the breaks and cracks are in a foundation. Air is also about movement. She is always on the move as she goes about making the environment comfortable for everyone.
These elements have the ability to destroy as well to heal and soothe. They have chosen to use their superpowers for good.
That pretty much sums them up: Warmth, Steadiness, Strength, and Harmony
So I don’t get to visit these four women as often as I would like, but whenever I tell people, I’m going to visit my 4 aunties, sometimes people get confused. I do have 7 aunts. I sometimes have to break it down, and people will reply, “So you’re Aunt lives with 3 roommates?” But its so much more than that. I am going to visit my 4 Aunts. So, I guess I have 10 aunts. I am blessed!
The reality is sometimes people just don’t get it and that’s what I’m really want to write about. Their house is made of love, and it’s different and people don’t always get it, because it’s not normal for 4 grown women to live in a house together after the children are grown, until death did you apart, or divorce. But that’s what is wrong with America these days. For every group, there’s a box, and sometimes people got outside the box to only end up creating another box. So it makes sense when people are confused because people don’t conform.
When things are true, you don’t have to explain it. Often times, the world, friends, co-workers, and even our family want to understand who, what, why, when and where you’re doing something. I’ve learned at some point in life you just have to do what’s best for you and EVERYTHING else is truly background noise. If you are unable to let go of conventions and boxes, you might never find the right fit, and be muddled with unhappiness for most of your life.
These four women I know in a subtle and silent fashion have taught me to be content with myself without being loud and boastful. To just walk in my purpose regardless of who understands and is watching, and that comfort and love will come to you. And that’s what is most important.
In Beyoncé ‘s video Pretty Hurts, she is asked, “Miss 3rd Ward, What is your aspiration in life? and she replies, “To Be Happy” , that rings so true to me. We do anything to be happy, except the one or two things that really makes us happy.
In the New Year, let go of the things that are keeping you from your happiness.