Women are on the move – at lightening speed—like never before in history. We have experienced amazing social progress over the last 40 years, now out-learning and out-earning men. In the USA, there are more women than men in college, and women’s pay is increasing at a faster rate than men’s.
As a mom of six daughters, it thrills me to see the glass ceiling being pierced. I’m grateful for all the women who paved the way for my girls to have the liberty to maximize their potential. In my opinion, that’s a God-thing. Freedom always is.
Yet, women are now facing a conundrum. While her social progress has accelerated, research shows that women’s health and happiness are on the decline. Check out this recent “happiness” research for women:
- Over the last forty years, women have become less happy than they were, and less happy than men. This pattern holds true regardless of their marital status, whether they work or raise kids or both, number of children they have, or level of education.
- Women’s daily levels of stress are higher now than they were 40 years ago, and adding more free time does little to lessen her feelings of stress.
- Women consume twice as much anti-depression and anti-anxiety medication as men.
It appears that in her race to the top of the heap, many women have laid some things on the altar of success that they regret.
In my roles as a pastor and life coach, I get to see the real deal – what’s really going on behind the designer duds, stilettos, manicured nails and brief cases. I sit across the table, sip my coffee and listen with compassion about struggling marriages, failing health, loneliness, barren wombs and unbearable stress. I dare not judge – I’ve been there.
Why are these progressive, “successful” women so unhappy? Could it be because they have ignored the needs of their feminine soul – their divine design to crave relationship, give and receive nurturing, and make the world a more beautiful place?
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not advocating for women to leave their high-powered jobs and go home to be housewives; or take a lesser life-path to accommodate a man. Not at all. I am an advocate for liberty – women having the freedom to choose how they want to live.
What I am saying to women is this: if you’re going to work, then work like a woman. Do not deprive your feminine soul of what it needs to truly thrive, just so you can move up the proverbial ladder of success.
Here are three ways to work like a woman and grow happier:
- Keep the focus on your relationships. The feminine spirit craves intimate relationship. It doesn’t matter how outwardly successful a woman is, she determines her wellbeing by how well her relationships are going with significant others. Maintain time with your spouse, children, friends and other loved ones. Listen to that small voice that’s warning you to slow down and cultivate your relationships. It’s the voice of wisdom directing you toward greater happiness for now and the future.
- Help people and causes. The feminine spirit needs to nurture. At creation the female was purposed to be a helper, or, as I like to say it, a lifter. Women are encoded with a need to make people, places and things better. I believe that nothing will come to its true greatness without the touch of a woman. Resist becoming so self-consumed with your personal success that you neglect your spirit’s need to reach out and nurture someone else. Your soul will find its greatest satisfaction when it is helping another.
- Make the world a more beautiful place. The feminine spirit was created for beauty. What would the world be without pleasurable things to see, touch, smell and taste? Women are masters of the details that make life a beautiful experience for everyone. We turn houses into homes filled with love, laughter and the dainties that make people not want to leave. We shop for hours to adorn ourselves, home, children and men. The feminine spirit creates the beauty that everyone enjoys.
Sisters, don’t neglect this part of who you are for any reason. Embrace it. Plunge deeper into it. Wake up everyday with the intent to make your world a more beautiful place. Start with your heart…then a cute outfit with a sharp pair of shoes. Just because you’re a woman.