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Woman know your worth This post is about self-empowerment of women and the cultural programming that have us all enclosed within invisible fences celebrating the limitations that we accept to define who we are.

This is a continuation from a process that I’ve been walking over several years with many dimensions and realizations along the way. Here are some of the previous posts in this series about cultural and gender programming:

Last Friday I came down with the flu and it happened to be the same day my partner left to work in the South of the country for two months. Spending time home alone being sick gave me the opportunity to have a look at where I stand in my process and also in relation to my partner now not being here for a period of time. Even that point in itself is a bit of a warning bell, because my partner leaving shouldn’t change anything in my process or application because that would imply that my process or who I am is somehow contingent upon my partner being here and thus contingent upon the relationship itself and not simply me here walking my own process, the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. So the point I have been looking at in relation to this is a dimension of complacency that I haven’t yet looked at or taken responsibility for changing within and as myself. What I realized is the following: In many respects on a practical level, I now have the life that I dreamt about as a child growing up. I have a stable relationship with a partner who is financially stable and who has a promising career a head of him. We have a home that I am satisfied with. I have a stable job. So in many ways everything is ’fine’. Things are ’good’. But I also see how I, because of this have ’settled’ within myself in now being satisfied with where things are and where they are heading in terms of my ’mortal life’ so to speak. I see that a consequence of this has been that I have become complacent within my process of Self-Change and transcending the mind because I no longer as I did previously, experience an emergent need to change. In many ways you could say that I have everything that I have always wanted. And so from a particular dimension of self-sabotage I see how there’s a point of plateauing and standing still because I don’t experience it as necessary for me to change. “Why should I change? I have everything I want.” And you know what is so fascinating? That is what the majority of human beings whose lives aren’t based on immediate survival says when presented with the advent of both Self-Change at an existential level and World-Change at a practical level. So actually what I have accessed here is a dimension of myself that was always there, but that I couldn’t face until my life had reached a certain stability where I had obtained certain elements, such as for instance a stable partner, which for me as a female, especially with the way I grew up without a male role model has been of primary importance. I remember that B. even warned me about this once, both in relation to me individually but also in relation to women in general and how this is actually and incremental limitation built into not only our systems, but also our very minds, through which women ‘gladly’ accept themselves to be enslaved. The only thing ‘missing’ from my ‘perfect life’ is a child. And from that perspective I am grateful that I haven’t yet had a child because I might have been even more complacent had I ‘hit the jackpot’ of having a fully ‘normal’ and stable life. See, the problem is that most of the world’s population does not have the luxury and privilege of having such a life. But in our self-interested and self-centered bubbles we don’t see that, we don’t care about that. We aren’t even willing to do anything about it, unless it is OUR children, OUR lives that are being threatened. The catch 22 within all of this though is that it IS OUR children, it IS OUR lives. We are all interconnected and in one way or another, sooner or later, the consequence of what we’re accepting and allowing in this existence would ‘hit’ me personally, either through disease, mental problems or actual physical problems such as unemployment or losing my home. It might not happen in this life time, but then it might happen to my children or to their children as the balance of economies shift and new countries (like China) arise to take the dominant role and countries that before were affluent, become war torn and immersed in poverty and chaos. Looking at this even more existentially, it doesn’t even matter if the tragedy that is the current conditions on earth would or would not hit me at a personal level. The thing is – and this is what I see that I have ignored and only understood at a conscious level, but not within full awareness, that our interconnectedness is not only on a practical level, but also on an existential level. This is thus the essence of the statement that “No one is free until all are free” which means that my apparent ‘perfect life’ is not ‘perfect’ or even ‘good’ or ‘fine’ at a real substantial level, because it is not granted to everyone. This obviously doesn’t mean that I should now deliberately wreck my life and go live in a ditch to be ‘one and equal’ with the people who are really suffering in this world – but it does mean that I am resting on a ’satisfaction’ towards a ’life’ based on self-interest and not on a self-honest consideration of who I am and where I am. See, because my life is relatively stable – it means that I actually have a unique opportunity to expand myself and to also within that be of service to the world as a whole as the larger ’who I am’.

Now in the relation to this entire point, I’ve had quite a few dreams in which my relationship with my partner ended. And I see that all of this has a lot to do with how I’ve programmed myself as a female to be dependent on males, not even as a practical point in my life (I grew up with a single mother) but as an ‘ideal’ situation that I projected myself into in the future. This point came distinctly from movies and stories and books and fairytales as I’ve written about previously. I’ve actually been quite shocked to discover how thoroughly saturated this point has been in my life in quite a ‘natural’ way, meaning that I never even considered it, let alone notice how I was simultaneously programming myself and being programmed. And what I see, as I also mentioned previously, is how ‘perfect’ this programming is of females, from the system’s perspective. Because if we ‘innately’ believe that we’re dependent on males and even romanticize this relationship of dependency within ourselves where, once we ‘get the man’ will settle in a state of complacent ‘security’ and ‘safety’, we’ll never discover our own power and thus won’t empower ourselves. A movie that that specifically triggered this pattern within me was “Pretty woman”. I watched this as the first adult movie I ever watched in a movie theater when I was around 8 or 9. It made a huge impression on me, obviously because I had never watched an adult movie before. So in my mind, I idolized the character played by Julia Roberts and I found the story of how she came together with the character played by Richard Gere, incredibly romantic.

What I find fascinating is that what these movies and stories have in common is how the man saves the woman from an often poor and financially insecure position in life where she is either enslaved to a miserable life like Cindarella or has to turn to prostitution like in Pretty Woman. And I never considered how I have subconsciously reacted to my own financial situation growing up being unstable and how I equated that to my mother being single and thus found a ’solution’ in growing up and finding a man who could save me. This obviously then also coincides with the desire to be beautiful and attractive because that is the single most important characteristic of the woman being saved in the movie/story, besides obviously being sweet and endearing. So subconsciously growing up, I’ve followed an exact and specific storyline where I almost ’instinctively’ knew that if only I could get a man from a ’higher class’ so to speak my life would be settled, I would be secure. What I never realized in that context (because this was all happening at a subconscious and unconscious level) was how I gave up on myself and never even considered that I could have the ability to make a life for myself.


I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become complacent in my life and in my process because I have now to a certain degree and extent obtained ‘everything I wanted in life’ – specifically a man with a financially stable future and so without even considering it, have ‘settled’ within myself in a stale form of ‘satisfaction’ which is actually a form of extreme limitation

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to extent my ambition in life only as far as getting a man who through which my life would be optimized and financially stable and secure and within that not realize how extensively I’ve accepted myself as devalued and worthless in and as my own ability to expand and grow and develop myself in my life

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize or consider how extensively saturated my life and who I’ve accepted myself as, has been by a specific type of cultural programming of females where I, as a female have without question accepted myself as dependent upon a man to expand myself and secure my life – especially financially and in relation to work and career

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that the cultural programming that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to define myself according to as a female was only symbolic or internal, not realizing how it has quite literally affected my decisions and the life path that I have taken within and through how I have existed in an integral self-devaluation and subsequent obscure form of valuation of myself as a female

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, by defining and accepting myself as a female and by defining and accepting being female as being less valuable, less worthy and entirely dependent on male, limit myself and my ambitions in life to an extreme degree – where I even celebrated and idolized my own self-confinement and enslavement

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear taking my life into my own hands because I have existed in such an inherent state of worthlessness and devaluation that I accepted and allowed to encompass and define the bounds of my being simply by defining myself as female

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to attach a definition of being weak, worth-less, devalued and dependent onto the word ‘female’ as an inherent part of the word – instead of realizing that these characteristics are not defining what a female is, but how we as females have been defined and have defined ourselves within a polarized and unequal culture

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize how programmed and conditioned that I have accepted and allowed myself to be and become through defining myself as a female and thus through identifying with female characters in movies and books, thus believing that whatever is presented as female automatically in some way or another defines who I am or who I should or shouldn’t be

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted to not realize how virtually all of my choices within my life has been saturated and defined by a story-line that I have automatically aligned myself with, like an undercurrent that I always navigated myself according to un- and subconsciously without realizing it

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that being successful, ambitious and obtaining a financially secure and stable life is not contingent upon being male or as a female being dependent on a male – it is contingent upon practical decisions and self-movement of myself based on self-worth, self-value, self-trust, self-discipline and self-confidence – that in essence has nothing to do with gender (although obviously some points in the system are gender-based still)

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that I have the ability to become financially stable and secure through my own actions and through being self-sufficient in educating myself on how the world system works, how the employment and business market works and according align myself to where I best see myself fit to make a life for myself

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to accept myself to be enslaved to, conditioned by and limited through a belief that I, as a woman am intrinsically less worth, less able, less valuable, less intelligent and less strong than a man and so thereby accept myself as being automatically dependent on a man to create a secure and financially stable life for myself

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to celebrate my own self-limitation, enslavement and devaluation of myself in my accepted roles as a woman being dependent on a man, where I’ve simply felt content and satisfied but where I’ve also stagnated and stopped moving and pushing myself beyond my limits

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to celebrate and fantasize about ‘just being a mother’ or ‘just being a housewife’ and how I would see that as being truly ‘fulfilling’ for me and my life – not realizing how I within and as this, was accepting and celebrating myself AS the brainwashing, AS the character of the devalued and dependent female and how I was satisfied within it, because it meant that I wouldn’t have to confront my fear or risk failure – as the main responsibility for my life would be on the male whom I’d made myself dependent on

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to become complacent within my acceptance of myself as a woman dependent on a man – not realizing how this complacency was created through a form of hiding where I didn’t have to take any chances or risks or even responsibility for my own life or situation, because I had projected that onto the man in my life, my partner and thereby could ‘settle’ within my ‘enclosure’ of self-limitation

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear becoming self-sustained, self-sufficient, self-worthy, self-valued, self- and independent and self-empowered because I within that also would risk and be confronted with my fears, with failure, with making mistakes, with having to stand up for myself, in essence: with having to stand responsible for myself and my own life

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to become complacent and lazy within and as being satisfied with where my life is at, at the moment, not realizing how the part of me that is satisfied, is a programmed personality and character, a limited self-definition based on an acceptance and identification of what it means to be a woman, when in fact – I, as a being, I as an individual, I as an equal in this world, am no where near satisfied. In fact – most of me, as this world, is still existing in immense suffering and enslavement and so I stand by and I commit myself to honor the words that “No one is free until all are free” and so also “No one is satisfied, until everyone is satisfied.” – this doesn’t mean that I cannot be satisfied with where my life is at, at the moment in one dimension – but it certainly also doesn’t mean that I will accept and allow myself to stand still and be complacent and not move or push myself to do everything in my power to create a life where every single being and creature in this existence is free, satisfied and empowered in any and all way possible. That is the measure of perfection that we are working with here – that is real ambition.

Self-Corrective Statements

So – the question that I am asking myself now that I have seen this pattern of complacency within myself is the following: How am I going to live this realization into a practical living change of ‘who I am’?

I realize that a primary aspect of changing this point within myself has to do with changing how and what I value in and of myself – and as such also with integrating and incorporating words and aspects into who I am and how I live that I haven’t yet lived or stood equal to. The complacency that I’ve talked about in this blog-post is more like an undercurrent that affects how I move – and especially how I don’t move myself in my world and reality, than it is manifested in particular thought patterns for example. One example is for example how I handle and deal with money and money-related matters where I’ve often left it up to my partner and have simply accepted that “I’m not good with that kind of stuff.” I also see how there particular points in my life that I’ve depended on my partner to take care of based on this division of labor and value between the sexes. I realize – but have yet to live – that I am equally valuable and can equally contribute to a safe and stable life as my partner.

When and as I see that I am accepting and allowing myself to slack and not take responsibility for matters regarding money and finances in my life, I stop and I breathe. I realize that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to make myself dependent on my partner when it comes to money and that I’ve justified myself as being ‘bad’ at dealing with money – instead of taking equal and self-responsibility for the money matters in my life. This obviously does not mean that my partner and I cannot divide responsibilities between us according to who’s more naturally skilled within certain points, but simply that this division shouldn’t be based on a preprogrammed limitation based on gender-roles. I commit myself to stop defining myself as ‘naturally’ less-worthy, less valuable, less capable, less strong, less intelligent and less able than my partner. I realize that I am a Being first and foremost and that the definition that I’ve accepted of myself as being female, has nothing to do with what it means to be female in fact and that this definition is a preprogrammed cultural limitation that has ensured that I have remained within limitation, that I have even celebrated and honored this limitation and thus prevented me from realizing and living my true potential and thus fully participating in changing the world to a place that is best for all. I commit myself to from this moment forward begin living the realization that my value is equal to that of any other Being and that being female does not define or place limits for Who I am or what my potential is. I commit myself to thus burst and break these limits that I have placed for myself through deliberately choosing a life path that I was in no way preprogrammed to walk and through which I can empower, not only my own life but the life of others. I commit myself to take responsibility for the money matters in my life. And I realize that everything I need to empower and enable myself to effectively take care of finances and to become successful in whatever endeavor I commit to is to educate myself and purify myself.

When and as I see that I am accepting and allowing myself to limit myself by specifically being unambitious in slacking and going into cowardice and retreating out of fear of failing or making mistakes, I stop and I breathe. I realize that it is through such actions that I diminish and devalue myself and my own worth and reversely that I can empower myself through respecting and disciplining myself, through taking my potential in this life seriously. I also realize that one of the reasons why I’ve never been ambitious or taken myself seriously in terms of pushing myself to perfection, to my utmost potential, is because I’ve subconsciously accepted myself as inherently less worthy and devalued. I realize that for me to start valuing myself, I have to make myself valuable to me. I have to live the realization for it to become the expression of who I am. I am not suddenly going to wake up one morning and be all self-empowered and self-worthy – I am going to have to do that through honoring the potential and inherent value of myself, as who I am, as a unique and individual being and expression in this existence. If I don’t take myself seriously, who will? If I don’t value myself, who will? If I don’t empower myself, who will? So I commit myself to push myself to start incorporating self-value and self-respect into my life and living and to remind myself every time I want to slack and give in and give up that this is coming from a starting-point of devaluing myself and that I don’t have to live that way, and also that I have a responsibility – to the rest of this existence who I am a part of and who is a part of me, especially in this context all the other females who have lived this exact same pattern of self-devaluation and diminishment – to become an example of what it means to be empowered, enabled and self-reliant.

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Artwork by Alexandra Valenti