Joe Guse on Chris Farley

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The biggest mistake you can make is removing jewels from your crown. (An open letter to women)

Dear Woman,
Sometimes
You'll just be too much woman.
Too smart,
Too beautiful,
Too strong.
Too much of something
That makes a man feel like less of a man,
Which will start making you feel like you have to be less of a woman.
The biggest mistake you can make
Is removing jewels from your crown
To make it easier for a man to carry.
When this happens, I need you to understand,
You do not need a smaller crown --
You need a man with bigger hands.
Michael Reid



Before I even start this essay, let me give full credit to Michael Reid for this poem. It sums up something I’ve been thinking about with my female clients for years. And he says it beautifully.


When you work as a therapist, you assume a lot of roles. Through the process of transference you occasionally become a brother, father, husband, priest, and yea, sometimes even a psychologist to your patients, and you better know how to handle it. Often times a woman coming to therapy is there because she has been the victim of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of one kind or another. It makes you humble as a man to hear these stories. Trauma leaves a long, long shadow in people’s lives, and sometimes this shadow leaves permanent scars.


Because truthfully we men have historically done women pretty wrong, and there are some fundamental truths we need to face about domestic violence, sexual assault, exploitation, and basic human rights that need to be discussed.



Here’s a fact from the Unites Nations website that is a little sobering.



Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own a much smaller percentage of the property.



That’s not a little bit of imbalance. That’s a system way out of whack. More importantly it speaks to a belief system that is way out of whack. The common misconception is that men go to work and women take care of the family, but this idea simply doesn’t stand up to the numbers. The fact is women do both. The average mother works approximately 80 hours a week cooking, cleaning, driving, wiping, psychologizing and nursing. And plenty of them “work” beyond these responsibilities.



It doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else. Time for a glass of wine, a soak in a hot tub, a nice night out, or even a couple of hours to watch a movie.



And one thing I see as a result of these things is a whole lot of women who feel totally overwhelmed. Competing pressures to keep a nice home, raise the kids, take care of their husbands, contribute something financially, and keep up with the Joneses has lead to a whole generation of women taking pills, seeking therapy and feeling like they’re not keeping up.



So how do women deal with the weight of all of these competing expectations? I know I’ve watched a LOT of great women in my own life settle. Settle for lesser jobs, lesser men, and lesser lives.



But as Mr. Reid says, the biggest mistake you can make is removing jewels from your crown.



Ask yourself these questions. Does the man in your life support you? Make you feel better about yourself? Help you bring out the best version of yourself? If the answer is no, you’re removing jewels from your crown. Don’t dumb yourself down for anyone. Don’t suppress your creativity for anyone. Don’t get married or have babies because you think it’s “time.’ And don’t ever, ever, set a precedent where you have to be less of yourself to make someone else feel like more of themselves.




That’s removing jewels from your crown.




So to all the mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, patients, aunts and even strangers out there, please know there are men out there whose hands are big enough to hold your dreams.





And furthermore you don’t even need a man to realize your dreams, but do keep hope there is someone out there to help you multiply the power that is already inside of you. In the best relationships that’s how it works, but until then be true to yourself and your own standards and integrity.