Courtney Arlesia

Quotes like “behind every successful man is a strong woman” caused me to place expectations on myself that I was unable to meet

Society has a way of putting pressure on us to be someone or something that we may or may not be able to level up to in a particular season of our lives. We constantly hear that a good man will do this and a good woman will do that. However, we never consider the weight of the expectations we are placing on mere human-beings. This pressure causes feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy.

Here’s my story…

My goal in life is to travel the world to empower women to be their most authentic self through writing, public speaking, and counseling. In addition to those goals, more the anything, for the past 7 years I have desired nothing more than to be a Wife and a Mother. I long to build, to grow, to nurture, to add to, and to literally love the hell out of the man God tailor-made just for me. Sis, let me tell you, I want it so much that I was preparing for it. I was reading self-help books, practicing celibacy, cooking, cleaning, setting boundaries, reading my word, writing, working out, and dodging fckboys like the plague. I was ON TOP OF IT!

Let’s fast forward to the beginning of 2018, when I decided I was ready to be in a committed relationship. Everything was on going well in my life and I was ready to be somebody’s good thing. March of 2018, I crossed paths with a man that at the time I found to be wonderful, kind, patient, talented, beautiful, and attentive. I just knew he was the one and we began a relationship. At this moment I was singing praises to the Most High: “look at you God, doing what you said you would”. My career was poppin’, I was a new published author, I lost over 20lbs, and I finally found a man that thought the world of me. I was on top of the world.

However, that feeling didn’t last long. Shortly after entering the relationship the storms began to rage, REAL BIG STORMS. Storms of death, a miscarriage (my second one within 5 years), anxiety, and symptoms of depression.

I found myself questioning God: “but wait, I was doing all you said to do. I was prepared for this, so why these storms and why now?”

My self-worth, my self-compassion, my desires, my goals, and my overall self-care began to decline. On top of that, it began to weigh down my relationship. I then found myself with constant thoughts of “I’m not the woman for this man”; ” I’m not the woman society tells me I should be for a relationship”; “I’m not adding to him, building him up, or making him a better man”. Although, I WAS (that’s another blog post for another day) I was too weighed down by feeling like these trials and tribulations somehow made me less of a woman. No longer did I feel worthy or deserving. No longer did I feel like a Proverbs Queen. No longer did I feel like that strong woman for that strong man.

Here’s what I’ve come to realize: 1) The experiences that we face do not take away from the woman God called us to be. 2) It is not our job to make a man better, make him change his ways, or to be his everything plus more. 3) Women deserve a partner that will support her after she has got done being “strong” for him and the rest of the world.

Before we enter into romantic relationships, we are our own persons. Our desires shouldn’t be someone adding to us or making us better. We should want to be better for our relationships with God and self regardless of our relationship status. Our focus should be on growing, healing, and adding to God’s kingdom to ensure we are putting in the necessary work to be what we need to be for ourselves without expecting someone else to be that for us.

 If we want long lasting, healthy relationships then we must alleviate the pressure that we place on ourselves and our spouses. We have to stop getting caught up in quotes, what the church/society tells us who we should be, and believing our value comes from what we can and cannot do for a man.

For me, when I was trying to be all that I could for my partner I didn’t have the space to grieve and to navigate these storms in the way God designed for me to. 

I have to remember that before I am somebody’s daughter, aunt, friend, and lifetime partner…I am human with human experiences and human emotions. I have to give myself the space to honor those experiences, emotions, and to go through the process. I also have to remind myself that I am still worthy no matter what season I am in. I am still a child of the Most High God and every storm has an expiration date. I’m still the woman God designed me to be and when the storm ceases, I’m going to be 10x better than I was before. 

If you are in a similar situation or you can relate in any way, shape, or form my prayer is that you release yourself of society expectations and you find rest in God’s truth about who He says you are. I pray that you are surrounded by people who do not weigh you down with exceptions but love you through with a heart that sees what God sees in you. I pray that you give yourself the grace and kindness that you deserve. I pray the desire of needing to be everything for everyone except yourself stops. And I pray you have a partner that’s sees strength in your weakness and stands in the gap with strength when you are unable to be strong for yourself.

With love,

Courtney Arlesia

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *