I once saw it written that a woman living out her true design will be valiant, vulnerable and scandalous. Upon reading this, I felt a certain sense of release as if somehow by just seeing it in words, the life I have always innately been compelled to live had been validated. This was all too quickly followed by a pang deep in my heart as I know the reality of how painfully difficult it is as a woman, even with all of my “freedom”, to live valiantly in a way that most interpret as scandalous while fighting the urge to squelch my vulnerability as it seems to possess the power to hinder living a fully realized life.
Embracing these three corresponding elements while living out our unique design invites a few admirers and many criticizers, as are too prominent the beliefs that bold and tender together do not belong.
I am not a feminist. I am a woman who knows how hard it is to live what comes alive inside of her because of the way the world views us, the expectations that are put on us and the ideas formed about us by those who have never meandered through the inside of us.
Woman. Valiant: Boldly courageous. Vulnerable: Capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt. Scandalous: Displaying shocking behavior (and not necessarily sexual). If these things are part of the design of a woman then they don’t need to be attained, rather simply allowed to exist and cultivated.
I believe that how these attributes manifest in each woman is going to be different because no two people are entirely alike, but the essence remains the same. A woman living out her true design will be boldly courageous. She will be capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt and she will display shocking behavior.
So, live boldly and courageously without succumbing to the urge to squelch your vulnerability and pay them no mind when they call this scandalous.
©2015 Emily Francis Tavis
Photo ©Emily Francis Tavis