This holiday season, I have three wishes for women. They are based on what I have heard and observed over the course of many years interviewing mothers as a researcher and working with women as a coach.
My three wishes for women:
- I wish you time to develop inner peace. Matthieu Ricard describes this as a practice in his book Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill. According to Ricard, this involves building the calm and quiet found at the bottom of the ocean deep inside you, despite the raging storm that may exist on its surface—that is, the chaos of a busy and perhaps sometimes messy life.
- I hope that the work you spend most of your time doing brings you joy. Marie Kondo recently described the importance of being able to recognize what brings you joy. To be more specific, I’m speaking of a vocation that you find enjoyable because it is challenging, uses your talents, and causes you to lose track of time.
- Finally, and most important, I want you to recognize the courage you have to love. Women are capable of so much love. They often love selflessly. Yet loving so deeply requires vulnerability. When we love, we expose ourselves to pain. It hurts when we are misunderstood or ignored by a loved one. It can shake us to our core when our love is taken for granted. Love requires us to be brave and strong.
My daughter recently read a book that made her heart break. As she described the story of the sacrifice the main character made because of his love for a friend, she wept. Watching her, my heart began to sear with empathic pain.
I asked, “Do you wish you hadn’t read the book?”
She looked up me, shook her head gently, and said, “No.”
“Isn’t it strange how beautiful this sadness is?”
“I love how you can love.”
This holiday season, whenever you see the words peace, joy, and love, please remember my deepest wishes for you.