By Sophia Godkin PhD
My life is the stage for an abundance of blessings, many orchestrated by the innumerable number of beautiful women with whom I share it. Each woman has bountiful inward and outward beauty. And not one is like the next. Today, in honor of the incredible women we know and love all over the world, I’d like to introduce you to 6 of them.
As you take a step into my world of incredible women, I invite you to think about, appreciate and celebrate your own.
Deanna (a Diplomat) was my first experience of true friendship. She is that friend that we all yearn to have as we explore ourselves and the nature of life from childhood through adolescence to adulthood— that friend that is always there by your side, no matter what, reassuring you through their presence that life is full of joy. Having spent our most formative teenage years together, Deanna and I were there for each other through it all. First relationships, sexual experiences, fad diets, breakups, let downs, curiosities about alcohol and drugs, deaths in the family, you name it! She’s got the memory of a bottlenose dolphin (who, if you don’t know, have the longest memory of any species other than humans) so thankfully she is there to remind me about the silly, playful, and carefree parts of me that have been there since day one. And though she has many lovable qualities, it’s her patience and acceptance that have especially impacted me in a positive way. She exercises quite a bit of discernment in her own life, yet through many a bad decision, mistake, and failure, I never felt an ounce of judgment from her. She loved me way before I loved myself. And it’s in observing how she treated me that I first grasped what it would be like to treat myself as someone I truly love.
Sometimes when you meet people, you don’t immediately know that they will stay in your life forever and have an incredibly positive impact on who you are. Chloe (a Crusader) was one of those people. Recognizing similarity and familiarity in each other as we both entered a new environment and stage of our young adult lives, we became fast friends. I was one of a few women who Chloe invited into her life at a time when opening up to new people, especially women, wasn’t her norm. And boy was I grateful. Incredibly smart, logical, and quick-witted, her personality easily complemented my naturally emotional, intuitive, and spontaneous self. Where I lacked practical know-how and skills, she had it and was quick to offer it. Where she lacked loving support and presence, I had it and was equally quick to offer it. The best thing about Chloe, though, is that she’s not afraid to be herself, which often means simultaneously being incredibly respectful and composed whilst also being ridiculously uninhibited and unconventional. When Chloe and I – with lots of humor and curiosity in hand – help one another to hone our skills and awareness in becoming more conscious partners, communicators, and lovers (a shared passion of ours), there is no topic that’s off limits. Recently, Chloe became the mother to a beautiful baby girl and added conscious parenting to the growing list of things she is remarkably good at. And I simply stand in awe and inspired by the gifted, loving woman God created in her.
Sara (a Sensor) is one of those people whom I met and instantaneously felt like I’d known for a lifetime. A dreamer and purveyor of all that’s possible in our world, she inspires me to dream and never to settle for what I see right in front of me. She has this way of asking all the right questions to help me realize where I’m straying from my true heart’s desires. These realizations quickly turn into inspired actions because Sara also has a knack for quickly knocking out of my sight any hidden insecurity that’s lurking and preventing me from reaching my dreams. If you knew her, she would do the same for you too because Sara is a woman of the world. She not only sees each person as who they are meant to be (rather than who they think they are now) but she also sees the world as what it can be (rather than through the lens of limitation that many others view it). Quick to offer help before I’ve even recognized that I need it and eager to listen and talk for hours about our deepest thoughts and feelings, Sara knows the ins and outs of my inner world more than anybody else. And it’s for this and many other reasons that she feels to me like the wise, beautiful big sister I never had.
Gloria (a Guardian) is the most caring, nurturing, selfless creature I have ever met. Throughout my life, she has always stood out as a role model of goodness. If ever I needed a reference point for what it means to be a ‘good person’, there she was. Truly selfless, Gloria sacrificed many of her personal desires so that her family could feel safe, comfortable, and supported in times of need. Thanks to her, I felt loved all throughout my childhood, even when other people, situations, and human nature may have pointed to the contrary. As I developed and came into touch with my own world views, values, and aspirations, they didn’t resemble her own. Confusing and disparaging to us both at first, this disparity in life philosophies, priorities, and wants between us turned out to be the biggest blessing of all, for we each deeply witnessed the ability that we all have to love, even when we don’t agree with the other’s decisions or life choices. She is forever my mother, forever my friend. And without a doubt, the most important lesson she taught and continues to teach me is unconditional love.
I know many kind souls, yet none compares in purity and love to Delila (a Diplomat). Delila is the true definition of a “soul sister” – a sister of the soul. She and I connect on a level that is rare, for her view of the purpose of life closely matches my own. And this isn’t something either of us knew back when we were occupying the back seat of my father’s car together, waiting to be escorted to the Junior High School dance where all the boys would be uncomfortably standing on the right side of the gym and all the girls on the left. We understood each other then (in our innocence, our wonderment, and in the insecurities of teenage life) and we deeply understand each other now (in our deep life curiosities, our felt understanding of the ups and downs of life, and in the faux confidence and security of adulthood). She sees my strength when I’ve dropped it like a coin in between the couch cushions, nowhere to be found. I see and remind her of her inner strength and fortitude when all she feels is weakness and uncertainty. In those moments of doubt when I ask myself “Am I really doing the right thing by following my heart, even though it hurts and isn’t easy?” she is there with a big, reassuring “Duh!” and a sweet, loving embrace to assert that of course, I am. When the world is telling her to “go right” yet her soul is screaming “go left!” and she feels lost, I am there to help her recognize that going left, although with fewer immediate relief than going right, is the only real way for her to go, and to console her when the rest of the world doesn’t understand, agree, or support her decision. Delila and I are two of the few women from our childhood neighborhoods to walk the non-traditional path of self-discovery, and it means the world to me that we can walk it together, with as much love, patience, understanding, and grace as we do.
Sophia (a Connector) was someone who I initially didn’t know how to live with. She was always there but I didn’t pay her any genuine attention or affection. But as time went on and I opened up my heart and let its walls crumble, I began to see her for the beautiful woman that she is and always has been. As a result, we became closer and closer. Over time, she showed me that fear is not an obstacle but the way forward. When I felt confused and didn’t know what to do, she oriented and showed me how to listen to my own inner guidance. She is a beautiful living paradox – equal parts serious and playful, strong and sensitive, with a love of depth, intimacy, simple connection and solitude alike. Her thirst for life is something to truly be admired. If you spend any time with her, you will undoubtedly see, be, do, or feel something fresh and new to your mind and heart. She is authentically herself, and she’s taught me to embrace all the parts of who I am, including and especially my shadows. And no matter how difficult it seemed at first, she made a commitment to learn to love me and succeeded in this goal, granting us “both” the greatest gift of a lifetime! This woman is me.
Who are the uniquely brilliant and beautiful women in your life who contribute to making it worth living every day? Take a moment and thank them today for being exactly who they are. And don’t forget to include yourself in the mix.
*Names have been changed to honor privacy.