Who do you like, admire and emulate? I believe that role models/heroines can be useful for imagining and building a foundation of skills, characteristics, or actions that can help us strive for fulfillment and or achievement.
In one 30 day retreat program with 18 women my female co-therapist and I noticed that many of the women seemed to have led lives without goals. (The male therapists discovered that this was a theme with the 12 male participants also.) Many of the participants in this retreat seemed to be drifting through life more than they wanted. As leaders we noticed that the topic of not being goal oriented and not feeling fulfilled was a topic the group brought to our attention daily. We separated the group by gender the remainder of that week.
We discovered that in the women’s group, only one woman had chosen a role model. Interestingly enough, she was the only one with an adult woman’s physique. In fact, her figure was so perfect that she had been chosen as the model for a nude bas relief to be sculpted on the side of a community fitness center. She had a glorious figure. The group then noticed collectively that all the other women in the group had figures of eleven and twelve year old girls—hardly a curve in the bunch.
We discovered that all of us had chosen not to be like our mothers. And without any other role models these girl/women had not chosen ideals, characteristics and skills to strive towards to meet any goals of their own. In some sense they were wonder-less and wander-less.
Role models were always important for me. As a four year old my role models were Sonja Henning, WAVE’s in their glorious WWII uniforms, Betty Grable dancing in movies and my Aunt Mary, the only professional woman that I knew. Aunt Mary dressed beautifully, had a nice car, an office with exquisite Chinese furnishings and she never seemed confused or unsure. Aunt Mary remained my female role model through many years until I switched to Virginia Satir, often referred to as the Grandmother of Family Therapy. Today my heroes and role models are of both sexes and are usually leaders inspiring and serving the world.
If you don’t have an exact role model, may I suggest you make a list of five or six people you admire. Then list the special qualities that you might want to emulate for a more fulfilling life.
Hey, that’s another journal activity!