During Women’s History Month, it was an honor and privilege to share my thoughts and perspective through Build Her Up (www.Buildherup.org) blog. The content centered on women building each other up, beyond empowering, real talk: more than offering a seat at the table, more than opening the door to greater opportunity and growth, more than a welcoming spirit, more than access to resources and time, and more than coaching. Let’s take up the mantle and bring our best selves to building each other up.
“Building Her Up” means moving beyond the cliché of “empowered women empower women.” Let's not get it twisted, the infamous cliche of "empowered women empower women" is powerful and necessary. However, greater accountability and commitment to her flourishing in pursuit of her dreams and purpose, as she reaches higher in life and aligns actions towards purpose is most reflective of building her up.
So when considering “Building Her Up, I immediately reflect on four L’s:
The four L’s (Letting Go, Looking Up, Leaning In, and Lifting Up) are the truest sense of building her up. Before any of us can build up, we have to achieve the maturity level and foundation solid enough to sustain building someone else up, which is giving of ourselves -- our wellness and wholeness is a factor. The building up of others is beyond our natural capacity.
In Letting go, our inhibitions are extracted for the benefit of building her up. However, this is the most challenging, right ladies...real talk. I have had to focus less on me and release behaviors and perceptions that influence me not to see her as she is created. The transformative experience for me is to see her as God sees her, without my skewed viewpoints and baggage. Combatting the false messaging and influence of a 24-hour digital and social media-driven society with definitions for womanhood is ever changing and society seeking.. I am reminded of the children's song, Let It Go. Yes, we must unsubscribe to the noise and encourage her truth, her voice, her journey. Once in a good place with letting go, on to the second L.
Looking up originates with our faith and trust that our purpose here on Earth is so much grander than our comprehension. And for each reason and season, the growth, learning, and discovery is not solely about us. Looking up (looking beyond ourselves for the blueprint) means that we surrender our will and submit to our Higher Authority to honor His Will. Putting His Will above our will, having a relationship with God that not only sustains us, it also equips us to
build her up, sharpen her, guide her, influence her, and impact her. And it is, by far, one of the greatest demonstrations of compassion and obedience.
"Our motives are the purest when the assignment is from God’s view and not our own."
Putting aside my agenda and receiving His agenda creates a lasting impact that is life changing and life-sustaining as she is built up.
After Looking up, Leaning in (the strategy of knowing there is power in leaning into other women) fosters a humbleness to remain teachable and to learn while building her up. Simply put: coming to terms that we are better together, stronger together, healthier together, than we are alone.
Leaning In requires accountability with those around us in various spaces and roles. For me, it has meant actively listening, learning, and accepting roles and responsibilities that may not provide the glory and visibility I crave in my frailty as a human. Leaning in reminds me that I don’t have it all, will never have it all and will not seeking to have it all. Taking the superwoman cape off and destroying it! In the community, in relationship, in fellowship, there is God at work. This may be the grunt work of building her up, yet the reward of investing in practical ways deepens our ability to connect with relevancy and authenticity.
Now, the Lifting up (the actual implementation) requires dedication and commitment. Confidently knowing my uniqueness benefits me building her up. Having a keen awareness that comparison and competition may mitigate the efforts and potential growth, my intentionality in removing all the potential barriers and obstacles forges the paradigm shift. I’ve found taking time to assess the opportunity, weigh the areas that trip me up (and possibly her too), and resort to concise steps on the road map to building her up. I don’t forgo the hard and uncomfortable, for in building her up, I too experience breakthrough and growth.
Taking hold of a mindset to willingly sacrifice a piece of me (my emotion, spirituality, intellect, physicality, heart) as a conduit to change in her life has proven key to building women up. Standing as a willing vessel is the tip of the iceberg. We all know, the real change is occurring below the surface.
Allow the four pillars of building her up, Letting Go, Looking Up, Leaning In, and Lifting Up become a part of your DNA. Their journey is no respecter of persons. For those of us espousing the responsibility of building her up, may our hearts, minds, and spirits coincide with out actions, words, and lifestyle.
Now, let’s get to building her up while enjoying life fully.