When the Lion Tells the Story, You Win
You wouldn’t think that my generation of women who were early to embrace personal freedom would become radio silent about our personal challenges now that it is later in our lives. But I think it has happened. Some of us did marry our childhood sweethearts. But many of us are now single having outlived our mates. Some of us have never been married but are in relationships that drag on. And some are single by choice. Yes, to be single is a choice.
Regardless of our decision, most of us contemplated leaping into this chapter of our lives with abandon. Often that did not occur. And gone is the openness that made us a little different than those before us. Rarely is there much discussion about intimacy, personal finances or the other hard stuff we are really dealing with that is real in our lives.
Some of the reason for that, I maintain, is that we have been conditioned into silence. We (always we means some of us) were taught that no one wants to hear us complain. And so we don’t.
Let’s reset that practice and tell a different story. My suggestion for a new approach to this silence is contained within this African parable.
” Each evening the father reads his son a bedtime story; night after night for many years, the father reads the same story to his son. The story always begins with the antelope challenging the lion to a fight, and ends with the antelope triumphant in the fight over the lion. Years go by, when finally the son, frustrated by the lion always losing, stops his father mid-story – “Father, when will the lion win?” And the father replies to his son, “When the lion tells his story, then the Lion will win”.
Let’s tell our own story. Let’s dream ourselves awake. Come to Martha’s Vineyard and let’s focus on this one seminal and revolutionary task.
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