I’ve been enveloped by strong women my entire life, so it makes sense that my heroes emanate that same quality.
I appreciate their strength, fortitude and how they inspire me. Though intimidating to some, these women are frequently misunderstood for declaring themselves. One of those dynamic women in my band of heroes has recently passed – Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Older women are brave, and my heroes exhibit that quality. They’ve reached that point of having no stock in optics or judgement. These women are no different from us, except that they have mastered release and have embraced their fierceness. They can dispense wisdom articulately, knowledgeably and compellingly while creating shifts along the way. It is something to think about, allowing ourselves to grow into our fierceness and not shy away from it as we mature. It’s easy to blend into the landscape and disappear, but why when we’ve reached a pinnacle in our growth where we can instigate significant positive change. Women like RBG are beacons of empathy, something the planet needs, and they intimately recognize the healing qualities and transcendence that comes with love. Equality and common sense rest at the core of their essence.
For me, RBG had the judicial elegance of Audrey Hepburn. Another one of my heroes. As is the late poet Maya Angelou. A fierce Warrior Angel. Angelou spoke judiciously and fiercely using words of love and respect. Her quiet strength was like a mountain—both evident and compelling. People listen to a calm, confident tone when spoken words are carved with a scalpel, mindfully, contemplatively spilling over with sensibility and empathy. Oh, how I wish it were two fierce mature women competing for the Presidency.
I know many women filled with grace and grit, courageous enough to abandon a dark narrative like abuse or submission so they could start over again. That takes fierce passion and strength. Women have balls, and we need to be reminded of that.
Growing up in an Eastern European home in the early sixties. I experienced first-hand how women were second-class citizens. Back then, the birth of a son was like the second coming of Christ. Women weren’t valued in the same way as a man and had to fight to be acknowledged. This phenomenon still exists in several countries. Back then, it was sucking it up, stuffing it down, being quiet, not making waves and looking pretty while doing all of that. Fuck that! That’s the recipe for giving away your power. RBG experienced male defiance, but her tool for overcoming was her intellect and her compassion. Both traits she possessed exponentially. They exceeded the boundaries of resistance and allowed her to blossom and create laws that brought light into the human condition.
It wasn’t until 1978 that a woman in Canada was awarded rights in family law. While I was disco dancing and listening to vinyl in the mid-seventies, the women before me fought so those rights would exist. Blind to it then, I have come to appreciate how critically important, as a woman and a mother, they are now as I age. Every generation of fierce women earned their stripes through the many hurdles they faced because of their gender and the refusal to accept second best. Their journey a testament to their indomitable spirit.
The idea of growing fiercer as we grow older is attractive to me, especially since we lose a lot as we age, including physical muscle mass and height. Jane Fonda, another hero, is a fabulous example of what alignment and intoxicating peace can look like as we mature. Each of us has access to a diamond that resides within our inner being. One that is insanely tough. Chiselled from experiences and insight, possessing forensic discernment and serving as both our anchor and the power to steer us to instigate tremendous change. That’s exhilarating.
Knowing where exactly to give a fuck and where not to comes with age. Not taking anyone’s crap, least of all a group of men stuck in an antiquated belief system, is liberation. Having the courage to stand outside of oneself and look at humanity, with a vision void of distractions and internal beliefs, honours our Higher Self. That stripped-down objective perspective serves the greater good. Releasing flawed limiting and suppressive notions rooted in institutions like religion and corporations takes fierceness. Discovering it is not the well to draw water from to satisfy one’s thirst. It takes courage to initiate fierce action that frees people to take responsibility for themselves, recognizing their highest spiritual calling and creating laws to empower them.
Fair decisions can’t come from beliefs that were passed down to us through years of repetition. They come from experiences. That contrast unhinges us from a narrow way of thinking, and we have to be okay to go there. Beliefs are thoughts that have agreement. Nothing more, and they cannot influence one’s judgement. It’s arduous to separate that concept when we’re young, but as we age, it’s easy and helps us unload the past for a freer future.
It’s challenging to insult a fierce woman because chances are she holds no value, in your opinion. You’re entitled to it, but that’s no reflection of her. Fierce women believe in their self-worth, which is determined by themselves and no one else. They’re often told their strength is viewed as a vulnerability, but they know better, having no intention of playing small so others can be comfortable.
These women are sensitive, but they’re not pushovers. Other people’s problems don’t bring them down. They are comfortable being accessible and authentic, understanding that strength lies in those two ways of being. They are kind, compassionate and possess integrity. A fierce woman is, first and foremost, true to herself. She practices self-care and is not afraid to stand on her own. She doesn’t make excuses or complains but continues to challenge herself. She’s open-minded and eager to learn and is open to things outside of herself. She takes risks and helps others, even during her own challenges. These women know they have to keep their chin up; otherwise, their crown slips. What’s outstanding about fierce women is the beautiful reflection they become, illustrating how not to give away one’s power.
Fierce women are not righteous or narrow thinkers. They are objectively open-minded and non-judgemental. They don’t wrong those pretending to be strong. They hold their counsel, get all the facts, and they don’t advertise. Humility is their companion as they’re accepting of the lessons that life has dispensed to them. Their ego is in check, aware that more lessons will come. Their expansion rests in their challenges, and there’s no sugar-coating the truth because they’re not Willy Wonka.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was petite in size and larger than life in conviction and courage. She was a tiny apple doll who happened to be packing thunder. RBG didn’t practice ‘gotcha’ law, where an aspect of an issue can loosely get caught in a net of preexisting precedents. She saw the big picture from a distance, much like a drone. Because she had experience with disempowerment, she understood empowerment. She recognized a person’s life journey, consciously, and our relationship with ourselves as our own. To practice that comes with its own demands. To create laws that encourage expansiveness of the human condition, not limitations, pulls on fierceness. She was a Supreme Court judge gifted to be void of ego.
Drama disappears as we age. It’s exhausting. Nothing is gained by it, and it releases more energy on the end goal. RBG had a beautiful combination of skills and instincts. She could comfortably live through the reverberations of her decisions. She possessed an enormous amount of enlightenment, sensibility and progressiveness all packed into a petite physique. She was a Tiffany box of wisdom, small and powerful. Strength is built on experiences and the insights gained from those realities. That journey sheds the illusions we’ve held close to ourselves.
This time in our evolution where everything is upside down is an opportune time for women our age and older to be part of a planetary shift into a direction that will serve, not some but everyone. That strength and brilliance exist in all of us. I didn’t have a jabot, but I was looking to find a doily upon RBG’s passing as a reminder of the intricacy of stitches serving as a metaphor of a woman’s life.
People have a say in society. It’s not exclusive to politicians. Somehow though, power was given away, and its time it’s taken back. RBG recognized that. Women our age epitomize a common-sense approach that is sorely needed today. We can learn from our heroes how that power already resides within each of us.
Fierce women can cause a tsunami of change. At this juncture, those are the waves I want to be riding on.