this week I have been thinking about the term “lady”.
as a little girl, i dreamed of being a princess as little girls do. i fantasized about being treated regally, gently, respectfully. treated with a sense of value…
a little girl who couldn’t wait to dress up in high heels, don a gorgeous dress and be a lady.
i would parade around the house and attend pretend tea parties -pinky finger gently lifted.
as pain and cruelty, that sometimes occurs in the world, became a reality to my heart, i began to desire to become a woman…strong, bold and in control. the type of woman that would never again be walked over, dismissed or ignored. i built a hard shell of independence and scoffed at the weakness portrayed of submissive ladies, mindlessly doting over a stove with her apron hanging over her puddle skirt.
a princess, i would never be! i was not born into a royal family and the likelihood of capturing the attention of a prince was pretty slim.
as a young woman, my friends and i would visit the local “tea room” and for an hour or so pretend, again, to be ladies. when my daughter came along…i would take her and her friends to the tea room for an afternoon experience- high tea and lady-like behavior.
once i left the “experience”, i became “woman” once again.
i have a long time running admiration for women like Dame Julie Andrews; her pose, elegance, courteousness, and sense of respect toward herself and others. her world seemed generally a more pleasant place.
i realize that i had dreamed and fantasized of being a lady but had given the concept a bum-wrap in the way i was thinking:
Lady-like behavior is unattainable in the real, modern world.
A lady has to know all the rules of etiquette.
A lady is boring, she doesn’t say what she really thinks.
A lady can’t be fashionable. She has to wear conservative looking clothes from the victorian ages.
Being a lady means you’re old-fashioned and boring. Only grannies care about being ladies.
A lady is so feminine, she doesn’t like sports.
A lady is elegant but not sexy. She is not carefree and free-spirited.
as i thought in my heart…i was. thoughts really do govern our behavior.
is being a lady only for grannies? since i am one…you might think it true.
but, i think not…for a lady personified is a kind heart and a conqueror.
being a lady is simply having extended manners such as always looking for a way to be kind and generous, as well as being a conqueror in life (meaning overcoming struggles and rising above difficulties).
a lady has usually given thought and more or less developed an organized way to go about life.
because of my fascination with Dame Julie Andrews, i have watched her do a few interviews. i notice that people speak differently to her (kinder, gentler) and act more respectful around her…because she truly is a lady. she is treated royally wherever she goes.
have you known the woman who complains about how people are rude to her all the time? what she can’t see is that people are rude and mean to her because she was to them in the first place.
i think being a lady is an art.
whether by conscious effort or instinct, being a lady helps you be decisive and assured – of knowing how to go about your day, get around in life, what to do in every situation.
being a lady is about being kind. it is also about choosing to believe the best in others and yourself.
the more you act like a lady, the more you bring out the gentlemanly side of the boys and men in your life. when you ask nicely and gently, you’ll be surprised about the reaction it evokes in others. your husband or son might initially think there may be something wrong with you. perhaps they become suspicious, but you do not need to explain, just keep at it.
people will be relaxed around you.
when you feel like a lady, you’ll feel more beautiful.
this behavior can be developed.
often women feel fake, unnatural when they try to develop ladylike behaviour.
when change happens, you’ll often feel like everything is thrown off balance. you feel uncertain, may feel nervous and wobbly. that is simply the process of finding a new balance. tweak it, adjust and you’ll find the right balance.
eventually, you’ll stop feeling like a fake, because you’ve become a lady and you might even develop the courage to graciously stand up for something you believe in, or for someone who has no voice.
you will gain a relaxed sense of confidence, an ease about yourself. you will feel secure in yourself. you won’t feel the need to impress or respond to bad manners. YOu are gracious.
the key to learning is this: learn through reading, understanding, imitation, and practice.
with art comes value appreciation.
being a lady, is an art. i’m sure of it. elegance, poise, courteousness, kindness, gentleness, and graciousness.
it is a discipline.
a kind of order that sets us free to fly
let’s not let it become a lost art.