Womanhood is often defined as the state of being an adult woman. There is great diversity in a woman’s life when it comes to the choices she makes throughout her development into adulthood. The meaning of her adulthood can be viewed as a season within her life course (the evolution of her life from beginning to end) and can be examined through her relationships.
Relationships are the stuff our lives are made of and give shape and substance to our life course.
According to Daniel J. Levinson, author of The Season’s of a Woman’s Life, “relationships are the vehicle by which we live out – or bury – various aspects of ourselves; and by which we participate, for better and for worse, in the world around us” (p. 22).
Underlying and permeating all relationships with the external world is the relationship to the self. By pondering the following questions, we can begin to identify those aspects of the external world that have the greatest significance to us.
- What is my life like now?
- What are the most important parts of my life and how are they interrelated?
- Where do I invest most of my time and energy?
- Are there some relationships – to spouse, lover, family, occupation, religion, leisure, or whatever – that I would like to modify, to make more satisfying, or to eliminate?
- Are there some things now in my life that I would like to include?
- Are there interests and relationships, now absent or occupying minor place, that I would like to make more central?
But what if you are not a mother?
What if you choose to be child-free?
Does this make you any less of a woman?
Where is the map to womanhood in the 21st Century?
Do you know women who are stressed, perhaps even overwhelmed and complain about not being prepared for what it feels life has thrown them? Do you know women who are upset about their unmet expectations with themselves and others?
How do you make sense of your life experience? What are your strengths and resources that tap into your innate resilience?
I would love to hear your story.
Peace of mind,