Where is the love in sexism?

The first assumption: You are important. You are equally important, not “if” or “as long as”.

The second assumption: Can you turn X and you still get to the same result? (After my understanding, we have to add, that X can just be turned under the same conditions – a man can’t get pregnant – because his conditions are different, but it doesn’t mean a man cannot take care of a baby – as you need two arms, a chest and a strategy for that.)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This two very important assumptions are the base of Adichies book “Liebe Ijeawele … Wie unsere Töchter sebstbestimmte Frauen werden.” (I actually prefer the German title: How our daughter become self-determined (selbstbestimmte) or better a complete person. It’s funny, that translating it back in to English is not giving the same meaning than the German word.)

What do these two assumptions mean? Why am I writing about it?

Let’s start with the last question, to answer the first at the same moment. I am writing about it, because a lot of friends – especially female friends from Cameroon – are consulting me, when it comes to relationships, marriages or problems with their boyfriends, husbands or families. Girls and women are trying to find a way, but they are mostly condemned to fail. They are condemned to fail, because their fathers, their mothers, their sisters and brothers lead them along a way, which is not helping them, to be a strong and self-determined woman. They repel them to old values in a changing and different society. This society and their boyfriends instead are asking exactly for the opposite of what girls are raised to be. This is still happening in most societies.

Let’s put it down. Girls are trying to live free and modern relationships, which don’t start with marriage. They try to find out about boys, they are dating, they are maybe changing boyfriends, maybe girlfriends, they have sex and they are looking for something, what they might not really know yet. A concept to be happy in their individual ways.

When problems appear – and they always come – they are forced back into old shapes.

Example: A man is causing a big problem, because he is not honest towards his wife or girlfriend. People will tell the wife: You choose to marry him. You need to be strong. Forgive him. Support him, to become a better person … They will tell the girlfriend: I told you, he is not serious about you, because you guys are not married jet. He doesn’t respect you, because you are not his wife … It’s because you gave yourself away so easily.

Let’s turn the X: A woman is causing a big problem, because she is not honest towards her man or boyfriend. Well fill in what people might say: ________ Is it the same?

The last person asking me for advice told me something about loosing her honour and being the one, people will laugh about, if she calls her boyfriend after a huge fight. Though she told him to give her space – which he did –  she was sad about it. When finally rumours about him came up, trusting those voices, was easier, than talking straight to him. Why? Because a woman doesn’t become an active player! How was he supposed to know, finally she is ready to talk? How was she supposed to get active, when she learned a good woman is a waiting one?

Another woman came to ask, how to take it that her husband is cheating? She even feels getting sick and not following her daily life, because she suffers. Why does she have to take it and even cover it up, so nobody notices? Afraid of the voices telling her: “I told you”? How could she put her own health above her husband, as she always was told, that she is one of the lucky ones with that marriage.

I don’t even want to turn the X here. Think yourself, how the situation would be… Is it equal or different?

The worst thing, there is a whole market out there. Facebook offered me a quick test, why I am not able to keep a man. There are advices, how to be a tempting and attractive woman, how to be actually, so you are taken. Seriously? Are we products, lying in shelfs and we are finally chosen or left behind?

This is actually what the first assumption is talking about. You are equal. No matter “if” or “as long as”. Actually, I would say, this is the fragment of love, but it’s more than a fragment. It’s about how much we learn to love ourselves. It’s about how much people respect us, not because we are a woman, not because we are beautiful, not because we know, how to be quiet, not because we know how to behave, not because we are carrying and raising children, not because we support but because we are the person, who we choose to be. Choosing us, enables us finally to also build our lives actively, the way we want it.

Summar: 

The girl should call her boyfriend, if she want to forgive him or talk to him. She should call him, if he matters to her. The wife should talk to her husband and they should look for a solution, so both of them are fine again. Let’s try to think us humans and not just man or woman. 

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What is “Mother’s Day” really about?

Picture: Svenja Plaas

Mother’s Day just passed… I bought some flowers for my mom and when I saw her, I threw some words where she was standing, “Happy Mother’s Day Mom”, as my own baby startet crying at the very moment. The thrown words came from my heart, no question, but not even touching, what I wanted to say.

I guess, it’s a little bit the same for all the facebook-posts or tweets or funny exclamations of love for the moms around the world, you could read on that day or if people missed it, one day later. People try to thank their moms on that medium. That was, when I started wondering, if their moms even follow, to know. Some send pictures, greetings, even songs on facebook, but for a lot of them, I know, their moms are not even on facebook or know how to use internet well. So what is it about? Are we supposed to klick “like”?

Is it about a narcissistic selfie or the funny – “I remember, I have a mom?” I am really trying to find the fragment of love here. If I imagine my own children posting about me in maybe ten years, I would love to tell them: “Pls, come and tell me, if it’s me, you want to say thank you.” Don’t get me wrong, I am using facebook too and I love posting about things, going on in daily life, but for mother’s day it got me somehow angry.

Why? Maybe because being a mom is not a job, you could ever quit – even when your children are grown. You don’t get payed, you don’ get awards, well you also don’t get fired – all you get – and that is wonderful – is the love you share with your children…. this love includes the being beaten, when you change cloth, the fighting, when you say “no”, the crying nights you sit next to you baby (also sometimes grown up ones) to make it sleep, the fear and happyness for any step your baby takes, the sicknesses you go through… and many more things.

The fact is, you can’t really say thank you for something like that. You did not choose to be your mother’s child and you had very little influence on her being your mom. (At least in the first years) Though you could appreciate what your mother maybe did, what you liked or that she decided to be your mom. I know my own words did not get close to what I would have loved to tell my mom at the very moment. And I would say, like I do for a lot of such days (woman’s day, lover’s day also called valentines day, …) that there should not be a need for such, because you need to appreciate woman or your partner not just once a year, but all days of a year. Concerning mother’s day, it’s somehow special, as we forget easily, that mother’s (and i don’t want to exclude the fathers taking the role of mothers) raise our children, the grown ones of tomorrow. So even just telling my mom thank you, is something what seems funny to me. Why just thanking our own mom and not also our wives or girlfriends and sisters for raising our babies, for caring and giving birth to our babies. Let’s not forget about the moms, who maybe never gave birth, but are still moms, as they decided to take over responsibility for children. Why are man mostly thanking their mother’s, but barely mention the work their women do to raise the own children?

Mother’s day in first place could be a day, where we appreciate especially our mom, but I think and give my big thank you also, to all the mother’s who are trying their best, to raise a child, wether it’s a male or a female mother, a biological or non biological one, wether it’s your grandmother or maybe your aunty!

No Summary

What is mother’s day about? Tell me, where you see the fragment of love. 

BreakDown as a break up from being down!

What we imagine one of the most beautiful moments in our lives, sometimes turn to be the most difficult and challenging ones. Why? Because our expectations have been high for those moments, they have been very different to the final outcome… These moments are not necessarily bad or terrible, just that we missed the beauty as we waited for a different shine to show up.

When I gave birth to my daughter, I thought I had barely no expectations. It was not my first child, so I knew already that you don’t know what is coming. The following weeks showed me, that I was actually full with them. Two weeks after birth, I had a total break down, which clearly uncovered one expectation after another. First of all, I had expectations for the birth itself, for the first two weeks after, for the following time after, I expected form my partner different work plans than he finally followed, I expected from my family different way of support, than I got… It was just too much for this first weeks.

All this got me totally to my limits and ended up in a break down. After some months now, I can look back and say, that my expectations were bringing me down, but it helped me in a lot of things, to break and get myself back on my feet. Why? Because in this moment of breakdown, I was forced to have a break from diplomacy. I stopped trying to always understand the other side and hold back, what I needed or wanted or just wished for myself, especially in my family. I expected this already as a normal behaviour from my surrounding, but I was just confronted with the opposite after birth.

The break down gave me the chance to be completely naked, wether I liked it or not, in front of the people, who are close to me. Love me and just accept the person I am or leave. For sure I was told: “What happened?” and “when will you be back on your strength”… meanwhile I told them: “I will be, when I am ready”, not when they want or need me to be.

Sometimes, I think my daughter finally forced me to stand up for myself – especially in my family. As loud as she is asking for love, food or care, I had to ask for my own needs. And it’s something I want to teach my kids as well, so if I might not have been able to do this consequently enough before, now I know how to do… Thank u my dear.

Summary:

Our most frustrating moments teach us a lot about ourselves. Just go back, watch, understand and take something out for yourself. And than leave the moment as a memory behind, don’t dwell on it and stay. 

 

Changing my point of view

Changing yourself is never comming by force from outside. Changing yourself is a kind of enlightment you have to feel and the moment you see and feel the better for yourself of changing something, you will do things differently because you saw, it’s worth it. (Which doesn’t mean, that once in a while you fall back to old habits… it’s part of changing)

If you follow my blog already for a while, you know my love comes from a different culture and some problems which we face are cultural ones, some are problems many couples have. For a very long time, I suffered from our very different way of communication – which is mainly shaped by our different origins of culture – and a little bit by the family sourrounding we come from.

For me communication is part of our relationship, it’s like making love… a good talk can give you a stronger bond, as you feel how much you share. Making love also gives a strong bond, feeling how deeply you can be connected on a non-verbal way. (In case you are not the talkative one ;). ) At the same moment a good talk is one of the ways to confirm the relationship, especially when you are not together and sharing daily life. It’s the way to get yourself a hug, to get close, to know – what’s going on.

And than there are people who can have all this inside their hearts, making this dialogue to a monologue, because they can wait and their way of talking “love” is mostly done non-verbal. Everybody has it’s own way to handle distance.

This difference was getting back to me, again and again. Trying dialogue and not hearing the answering monologue made it sometimes really hard for me to understand, how love can exist like that. And it needed a lot of fights, discussions and later talks about it – how I feel, how my love feels, and what we both expect and think in exactly this situations. Anyway I still found myself in a lot of siutations, where I tried to “think it”, but it never really worked out, as my heart felt differently. … till the day came, that i experienced something new.

I changed my point of view on somethings, taken by daily life again and maybe more grown in some capacities, all of a sudden, I could hear the monologue as an answer on my dialogues. And I could sit quiet and wait… to hear the monologue becoming louder and more clearly to me. I don’t know jet, if my love could start understanding the dialogue at the same moment, but obviously it was mostly me having a problem with the way of communication, so to solve it, was also more interesting to me.

I assume, that one huge blockade was I myself. That some fears or voices inside me were talking to loud, to really listen to what I was supposed to hear. Now I know that to tolerate the difference between our different ways of communication is also part of the solution for that exact problem. And this is my changed point of few and the moment when I startet to hear, what I was supposed to hear.

See also To measure your treasure…

Summary:

Take your time to really put your finger on a problem which is comming again and again to disturbe you. Make sure you find out the original problem behinde the appearance… And try to work on it. Keep in dialogue about the problem. Don’t be to hard with yourself or your partner, some things come slowly and some things need you to develop some qualities before you might understand – like a computergame, where you have to collect something in level 2 to fight the enemy in level 4. 😉

Just love…

I had some very hard weeks or if I would be honest with myself, I had a hard time to pass. i don t know, if it s already the right moment, to use the past tenses … but i will try and hope so.

Inbetween this time my carring power was one simple and powerfull feeling: love. Only that i had several times where i lost my connection to that power. Too many doubts, too many bad influences, too many fears… all were hiding my source of power… and sometimes i had to dig really deep, to get back to what i want to be, what i want to follow and to see again, what is important.

The small fragments of love always helped me to find a way back to my source. And the love for my babies, my family, my friends and my love, but also the love for myself, finally put me back on my feet.

This overwhelming emotion in moments when u are lost is just love…and i can t say anything else, than thank u for this guiding light in my life!

 

Summary

Don t forget what is important for yourself in life. Take one of the most basic parts of your being and keep it in your heart… and you will not get lost, when the times are hard.

One of the hardest things…

to let another person love you!

It s easy to fall in love with somebody, because most of the times we meet someone, a thing we love about our idea of a future partner shows up and we imagine a lot of things, which could be real…

I would also say, it s easy to love after a while… especially as some people like to fall in love with the idea of a person or the image they created about a person. So the need of loving makes us not just blinde once in a while, but also helps us to see things, which are not always real. But what is reality, especially when we talk about emotions!

What is really hard, is to let a person love you! Why is it so difficult although it´s what everybody is longing for in life…

It´s so difficult, I would say, because it attacks first of all the relationship to ourselves. To love somebody means to choose a person in his or her whole appearance with all his or her strong and weak points. So if we want to be loved by a person, first step is to open up and show that whole person. It means to be yourself and not to hide behind what we would love to be in our own or the other person´s eyes. Probably you know for yourself how long it sometimes takes to really open up, to really be yourself – and lot´s of people don´t like to see their weak points or even to show them to other people. So we are busy in building walls and images, instead of breathing freely and just be the way we are. I don´t want to make an excursion why people start doing this… childhood, life-experiences, …

So it´s already a very difficult task to love ourselves the way we are. (Just look how many coachings or blogs or communities talk about “How to love yourself…”) And at the same moment we should open up, become more vulnerable to a person… a person we like to keep around us, because we are given something by the person, what we need and love… Some people say, you need to love yourself first and than another one could really love you. Don´t know, what do you think…

I myself experienced, that a person also can teach you, that there is no reason to run from you, just because you have weak points. My ex-boyfriend even told me, while we broke up, that I should not always be like the unreachable person, who is always strong, but that a partner also needs the feeling to protect the other once in a while… But actually to find someone who stands next to you, while showing the ugliest faces, is not just helping you to accept them, but maybe even to change for better. I don´t mean, that we should just feel free to let go of ourselves and our partner has to accept and love this, too. But I mean, that we should not hide away, what also belongs to us. And facing this in front of a mirror is helping us, to really see, what is there and maybe to think about how to go about it. Some things you just have to accept, but some things you also can and should work out. Growing up, doesn´t just mean to build your personality, but for me it also means to work on yourself, to become the best version of you. Not in the first place for somebody else, but for your own love and self-worth. To do that, it´s sometimes necessary to be alone with the facts we don´t like and not to run away. Sometimes it´s also necessary to have a mirror to reflect what is there. 

And my fragments of love, I want to talk about in this post, are actually the moments, when your partner just takes your hand or stands even stronger than before next to you, when you yourself think, you are not loveable at all. It always has a healing effect on my soul. 

Summary:

Try to open up. Don´t hide yourself behind an image you like to be, but you are actually not. There always will come a day, when you need to break out of that image. You will be surprised how much easier it is to love and to be loved, if you accept where you come from.

“I will run away…”

If your love tells you: “If we don’t stop fighting, I will run away…” There is nothing much to say about it.

I always wanted to write about the small fragments of love, which we might not see in daily life or which are sometimes hard to recognize in all this fast way of living. This phrase just pierced my heart and as sad as it is, it’s still a fragment of love. It’s my fragment – this time not ours.

I could just answer, if this is what you want to do, just run. You also could just go or leave, you don’t have to run. If my love can’t hold you back, how else should I keep you than?

If somebody has the feeling, that he or she wants to run, there is no possibility to stop that. You can cry and you can beg, but the person will not stay because of that. Maybe your love will stay a little longer, because you still get to his or her heart – but in the end there is no way to hold somebody, who needs to run. I know what I am talking about, I was running once myself. The feeling of freeing yourself while running is just amazing. What ever might come after, it’s not in your hands and it’s not in my hands neither. It never has been actually. Just be aware of that.

 

Summary:

Don’t have any.

The traces of love, we leave behind…

“Das einzige Wichtige im Leben sind die Spuren der Liebe, die wir hinterlassen, wenn wir gehen.” Albert Schweizer

“The most important thing in life are the traces of love, that we leave behind when we go.” Albert Schweizer

blog-69

What a beautiful and komplex quotation form a person, who was not just a brilliant genius but also a human being with a lot of life-philosophy to share.

The fragment of love reflects in all the small things we do and most of all in those which we do with love. My heart beats the very moment, I can engage people in thinking about life, love and theirselves. Too often our minds are just inside the box, which is well build by society, but finding ways to think out of the box, is where my heartbeat gets faster. Teaching students to believe in theirselves to choose that way of thinking, teaching people and force them to leave the comfort zone at least once, trying to push people beyond their limits, to face a new level – is my love I share. It also reflects in my writing and my photographs.

I guess people surrounding me and which I love the most, suffer from that kind of love I give. Once in a while maybe they hate it. I normally chase away strangers with this attitude, lovely are the once who stay.

Now I like to know:

What is your trace of love you leave behind, when you go?

When does your heart beat gets faster and long nights could come?

 

Looking for the fragment in daily life…

I lately read a blogpost that talked about “daily life” as the real spiritual way of life. The post said, that building structures for your life, which you keep for every day, is the true way of building your life.

That post really hit me, as I was always someone running away from routines, from daily life structures that come again – as one day is like the others. I considered routines even as the killing factor for love and relationship. I kept myself always busy to make something new, something different, to change, to create, to break out, to run away …

In deed, I still think routine could kill me or love, but not routine which is a structure in life. Routines, that fix us, like a photo become dangerous. The daily life should always stay open for changes, in case they come. However the routines work for us, why not.

I think, what I actually ran away from, was myself. I have been afraid of that I could not be enough, wether for myself nor for my love. Changing always, trying something new gives new challenges and new perspectives – but it was all a hiding from “I could get to boring” to myself or the person loving me.

Creating a daily life might not be a fragment of love, but it is a permanent shining of love. Building such a routine is a good sign, that you not just love the first exciting things, but the heart and the soul of your partner. You choose yourself which elements you keep, as you love doing them or which have to be changed. Why should you not jump out of the bed to have a coffee and find out about your favorite news first or why not jumping out of the bed and run for the work you love, before breakfast?

Love does not become boring, because you constructed your own house, where the two of you are comfortable – but love got a place to grow and spread its energy.

Summary: 

Build your routine, choose carefully and start loving it! 🙂

Your love is my love…

Sometimes you have one of these days: Everything goes wrong, your colleague has to point out today what you don’t need to hear and a person on the street needs to disturb your fragil freedom, you don’t come home today, because you are out for work – though you want to come home badly and just close the door.

The only people I let close to me at those days is my family, my love. I just need a place, where I can be exactly like I feel after closing the door. For sure, these days when I can’t come home and try to call my love, I don’t get through because there is a network problem or he is busy and doesn’t pick the phone. I won’t continue to write, how that kind of days normally end… I just leave it to you.

… The days he is picking or I get through, I just love him for standing me the way I am and listening to all the small, small things I need to complain about. Telling him any little injustice which made that day to one of those days. You know your love is a good choice, if he is somebody who treats you exactly the way you need to be treated, to get back on your feet. For some people it might be a hard treatment: “Stop crying. Don’t let it get to you!” for some it might be the very nice comforting way: “My love, I understand. Tomorrow the day will be better, baby…”. It doesn’t matter how you need it, but that there are people who know what to do. And this people are real treasures. So keep them around, but don’t just call them when you are down. 😉

Summary:

Love is not just the big movie and romance you find in Hollywood. Love is also part of daily life. Love is not just the good days, but also the arms which hide you from the world, the day you feel like hiding from the world. If you found that pair of arms, you are one of the lucky ones. And it doesn’t have to be necessarily your love. Sometimes it’s your mum, your baby, your sister or brother or a very good person around you…