As a writer of Women’s Fiction I’m always on the lookout for articles and stories dealing with issues relating to women. This week in her blog Naomi Simpson shared some wonderful words of wisdom from writer Maya Angelou that I wanted to share with you here.

For those of you who don’t know Naomi she is an inspirational businesswoman and founder of leading online gift retailer Red Ballon (www.redballoon.com.au). You can follow her on her blog at http://naomisimson.com/.

Maya Angelou is a “remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. As a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, she continues to travel the world, spreading her legendary wisdom.” (www.mayaangelou.com)

I hope her words resonate with you as they did with me.

 

 

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to…
something perfect to wear if the employer,
or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..
a youth she’s content to leave behind….
a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to
retelling it in her old age….
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…
one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …….
a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..
a feeling of control over her destiny…..
how to fall in love without losing herself..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to quit a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without;
ruining the friendship….

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW….
when to try harder… and WHEN TO WALK AWAY…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
that she can’t change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
that her childhood may not have been perfect…but it’s over…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…..
how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.. .
whom she can trust,
whom she can’t,
and why she shouldn’t take it personally…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
where to go…
be it to her best friend’s kitchen table..
or a charming Inn in the woods…
when her soul needs soothing…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
What she can and can’t accomplish in a day…
a month…and a year…

I especially love the lines about having “control over her destiny…..” and “how to fall in love without losing herself…”. Both are central themes in my novels and issues that many women struggle with at various stages of their lives. In  our relationships with our partners and children finding the balance between achieving our own goals and being there for the people we love is often difficult.  How do you maintain a sense of self as a lover, a wife, a mother?

For me, being blessed with a partner who is supportive of my choices and eager for me to fulfil my dreams is a huge help. But so often (as Dr Phil says) we teach people how to treat us. If we don’t make our own needs and wants as much a priority as the needs and wants of our family members we will always come last. And what happens then? We feel unhappy, dissatasfied and resentful.

If we have the courage to assert ourselves, as Maya Angelou suggests in her poem, we will not only be happier and more contented ourselves, our families will be happier and our daughters will grow up knowing that women are powerful, wise, independent beings who have much to contribute to the world.

Would love to read your comments.