Superheroes don’t always wear capes. Neither do super heroines. Just after Mother’s Day, my virtual Women’s Circle CAFE group devoted an hour to talking about the heroines who changed our lives. And there wasn’t a cape to be found.
I posed these questions: Has a woman, a “heroine,” ever influenced you? How did she affect you? What did you learn from her that you carry with you today?
We were unanimous in our first impulse to acknowledge the accomplishments of famous women. Maya Angelou, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Marie Curie. These and many other historic women are noteworthy and influential. But our discussion turned instead to the not-so-famous heroines we’ve been blessed to know.
Everyday Women Changed Our Lives
Our mothers. Our teachers. Our mentors. We’ve learned many lessons about how to manage life, lessons they modeled for us. These women were:
- Single moms who showered us with unconditional love despite their circumstances.
- A best friend’s mom who gave us a safe space when our own mothers fell short.
- An educator who helped pave our way to a bright future against all odds.
- A colleague whose excitement about her job was contagious as she encouraged us to explore that path.
Giving voice to how they influenced and supported us elevates them to the rank of Heroine. They’ve left an indelible mark, and we’ll never forget them.
We Carry Their Gifts with Us
When I asked my Circle to summarize what their heroines demonstrated for them, their responses came easily. These special women…
- Made it work.
- Overcame obstacles.
- Kept it all together (as far as we could tell).
- Carried us through.
- Showed us the way.
- Showed us love.
We’re humbled to have been on the receiving end of their generosity. We like to think we will rise to the occasion like they did. We hope we’ve been able to give back even a little of what they gave us.
We Are Forever Grateful
What did our heroines teach us? What have we carried with us through the years? The list is rich and true: steadfastness, resilience, humor, strength, fearlessness, resolve, and always Love.
I asked my group to reflect on what they might impart to younger women, those who might travel the roads we trod and pass billboards plastered with our words of wisdom. What do we want them to know? What do we hope they’ll take away from our experiences?
This is a conversation for another time. One worth having.
Because we very well may be the Heroines of someone else’s life. Everyday women doing our best to make it through. Quietly leading the way without realizing it.
Our super heroines would be very proud.
Who were the influential women in your life? What did you learn from them? Why were they special to you? What do you remember about them the most vividly? Please join the conversation!