FROM ONE GIRL TO ANOTHER:
The last few weeks have held many mixed emotions for women across the UK and across the world. On one hand, we have celebrated the phenomenal women in our lives by coming together as a society to acknowledge International Women’s Day. And even for all of us here at OutsideIn, we were so excited and encouraged to see so many women passionate about creating change by supporting our Women’s Day Collection and the Period Packages to bring a sense of Period Dignity to women experiencing homelessness.
And on the other hand, we have seen terrible tragedy, unbelievable atrocities, and heart-wrenching devastation following the deaths of Sarah Everard, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Hyun Jung Grant, and the other yet-to-be-named women who were murdered in the recent shootings in Atlanta. These crimes have weighed heavy on the hearts of women across the world and many have come forward with their own stories and experiences of sexism, abuse, misogyny and other hate-driven acts.
When we planned this blog, we had planned for it to be an encouraging piece of content to uplift the women who read it. But in the spirit of true OutsideIn transparency, instead we thought that we would use this as a declaration of some of the things we aim to fight for to create a better reality for the women who are not only in our lives but for those far beyond too. With social impact at the heart of everything we do, we felt challenged to do exactly that: make an impact.
So here are the three declarations we want the world to know about the incredible women in it. Whoever you are, we hope that these three things encourage you and remind you of the incomparable power within each and every woman.
It can be very tempting to believe that you do not deserve certain things. Be these things that scrape the surface of life such as a job, a salary, a platform or a relationship, or be these things which go far deeper such as love, dignity, compassion or recognition. Whichever these may be, these toxic beliefs are so far beyond the truth and we need to remind ourselves of this at every opportunity we have.
Through the stories of the women we have encountered who are experiencing homelessness, we’ve recognised that so many of these truly remarkable and unbelievably strong women simply do not believe that they have any value. Life’s harsh realities have made them believe that their current situation defines who they are and that it is a label they are stuck with forever. When we hear these stories our hearts break because to us, they are SO much more than they know! And they, just like you, deserve to believe in the worth within them that no one can take away.
You may be feeling the same sense of a lack of worth in your own life and something that you’re going through - whatever it may be - might be tempting you to believe that there is little hope for or value in your life. If that’s you, stop.
You. Are. Worthy.
There is absolutely no question about it! Take our word for it, you are incredible. And no temporary trial or momentary mistake can change that.
If you’ve ever watched a nature documentary about the lives of lions, you’ll be able to understand what I’m about to tell you: the lioness is EXTREMELY powerful.
The lioness is not only the nurturer of the pack, caring for and giving life to the young cubs, but she is also the provider. While the lion protects the pack, the lioness hunts to feed the pack. And she’s the fastest member of the pack, making her the best hunter of the lot. She combines compassion and care with fierceness and fearlessness, providing for the essential needs of her pack. A lioness holds so much power, so effortlessly.
And you are much like that lioness. Regardless of your responsibilities within your own family or your own life, within you is that same kind of undaunted power. Many of us just don’t realise it.
When you begin to doubt what you are capable of, remember that inside of you is a power like no other and a power that, if tapped into, can accomplish anything.
I’m sure everyone has at some point in their lives experienced someone telling them that they are not enough of something. Perhaps smarter, stronger, richer, bolder… the list could go on. But what many of us don’t realise is that often we are guilty of telling ourselves that we are not enough of something, and at times, not even realise that we are doing it.
If that’s ever been you, it’s so unbelievably important for you to know that all those things you think you should be, they don’t matter. Because just as you are, you are enough.
We can all get better at certain things and improve in certain areas but when we believe that the things we can improve on are the things that make us incomplete, that puts us in dangerous territory. Improvements are not incompletions.
Whatever your life looks like right now and whatever you think you may be lacking, please take a moment to slow yourself down and look at the incredible things that exist within you. There is a world of beauty, accomplishments, power, courage, resilience, determination, strength, worth, value and greatness within you.
You are everything and more,
Never anything less.
You are everything you need,
Never short, always enough.